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Estonia to contribute troops to EU´s new IRINI mission

3. April 2020 - 12:52
Estonia to contribute troops to EU´s new IRINI mission.
Estonia to contribute troops to EU´s new IRINI mission.

Thursday, Estonian Government approved participation of the Estonian Defence Forces in EUNAVFOR MED/IRINI, the European Union’s latest military operation, which started this week and serves as the continuation of the now concluded Mediterranean mission SOPHIA.

‘Although this is a European Union mission, with our contribution we want to show solidarity with our southern allies, especially Italy and Spain, who are currently facing a very difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whose participation in the missions is therefore difficult,' Estonian Minister of Defence, Jüri Luik said.

Estonia's participation in Operation EUNAVFOR MED/IRINI, the new European Union military mission in the Mediterranean, is primarily due to the decision by the Council of the European Union on Tuesday to end operation EUNAVFOR MED/SOPHIA, in which Estonia troops had been participating. The size of the mandate for will not change; as was the case with operation Sophia, up to six troops may participate in operation IRINI. At present Estonia is contributing with one medical officer.

The primary goal of the operation is to support the enforcement of the UN arms embargo on Libya. In addition, the operation will support the application of UN measures to prohibit the illicit export of crude oil from Libya and the training and building up of the Libyan navy and border guard.

The area of operations has changed somewhat – an area of 15 nautical miles around Malta will be excluded, and the new mission will be focused mainly on the east coast of Libya, and no longer the vicinity of the west coast.

More info: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee