TALLINN - Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet on Monday discussed cooperation between Estonia and France in international operations with the chairman of the French Senate's committee on foreign affairs, defense and the armed forces, Christian Cambon.
In their meeting in Tallinn, Laanet and Cambon discussed defense cooperation in the French-led operations Barkhane and Takuba in the Sahel region of Africa, as well as cooperation within the NATO battle group and relations with Russia, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Defense said.
Laanet and Cambon said that defense and security cooperation between the two countries has intensified significantly in recent years and is in a very good state.
"Estonia highly appreciates France's contribution to the NATO battlegroup and the Baltic air policing mission and their decision to come to Estonia with their unit for a full year this March instead of the previous eight months. Close defense cooperation is important, and for us the eFP is a much appreciated deterrent against Russia," the Estonian minister said.
On Sunday, Cambon visited the French contingent of the NATO battlegroup operating on the military campus of Tapa.
France has been participating in the UK-led NATO battlegroup in Estonia since 2017. In March this year, a company of the French defense forces came to Estonia for the third time, and instead of the previous eight months, they will serve a full year here.
Most members of the French contingent come from the 12th Cuirassier Regiment, from the Ad hoc Regiment of Chad, as well as from other artillery, combat engineer and logistics units of the French Army. The French contingent has among its armaments here 12 Leclerc main battle tanks and eight VBCI infantry fighting vehicles.