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Press Release No 36 Estonia Signed Memorandum of Understanding on EU Battle Group

31. August 2005 - 12:04
On Monday, 23 May, a Memorandum of Understanding between Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Norway concerning the forming of a EU battle group has been signed in the Council of the European Union in Brussels.

The Defence Ministers of Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Norway signed the Memorandum. Sweden will assume responsibility as the framework nation of the Nordic battle group.

\"Considering the fact that Estonia is the only member of the battle group that is both a member of NATO and the European Union, our participation in a battle group with Sweden, Finland and Norway is a sign of strengthening of our partnerships with other nations,\" said Defence Minister Jaak Jõerüüt. He added that, \"Estonia continuously believes that it is important for the EU’s common foreign policy to have a strong defence component, because that is the only way to protect values and principle’s of the European Security Strategy\".

Estonia’s military contribution to the EU battle group will be up to 45 troops. In addition to a forces protection unit, Estonia will provide staff offices, medical and logistic personnel. Estonia is supportive to the perspective that this particular battle group will be ready for the rotation from 1 January to 30 June 2008.

NATO standards and procedures will be used in forming the battle group. The goals of the battle group will be the so-called Petersberg tasks, which include humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and the tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking. Battle groups can be used for crisis management operations as an independent unit or as a part of a larger mission. The battle group should be sustainable for 30-120 days.