TALLINN - Denmark has an important part in shaping the future of defense in the Baltic Sea area, Estonian Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur said at a meeting with his Danish counterpart Jakob Ellemann-Jensen on Thursday.
"I thanked Denmark for their contribution to our NATO battle group because their presence in Estonia greatly improves the security of the entire region. We spoke about the future of bilateral defense cooperation, the need to strengthen the defense capability of the alliance as well as the steps Estonia has taken in this direction over the past year and still plans to take in the future," Pevkur was quoted by Defense Ministry spokespeople as saying.
Ellemann-Jensen, who is on a visit to Estonia together with members of the Danish parliament, is also visiting the Danish troops stationed in Estonia. The meeting of the commanders of the Estonian and Danish defense forces was also held in parallel.
"I was pleased to acknowledge that we are of the same mind when it comes to assisting Ukraine -- Denmark has also decided to send a significant part of its artillery capability to Ukraine, a total of 19 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers, to be more specific. Denmark has to date sent over 750 million euros' worth of military aid to Ukraine, which is very positive," Pevkur said.
The two countries' defense ministers also discussed the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO and the impact thereof on the region's security.
"With Finland and Sweden joining NATO, the Baltic Sea will essentially become an internal sea of NATO. As a Baltic Sea state, Denmark also has an important part in shaping the future of defense in this region," Pevkur said.
The defense cooperation between Estonian and Denmark is based on strong and long-lasting traditions. The Danish unit is participating in the composition of the NATO battle group in Estonia with a sixth rotation formed on the basis of the 2nd squadron of the 1st battalion of the Jutland Dragoon Regiment. The latest rotation brought with it 14 Leopard 2A7 tanks. In 2014, the Royal Danish Air Force was the first to perform NATO's Baltic air policing mission from Amari Air Base.