TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet took part in a video meeting of the defense ministers of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) where Secretary of State for Defense of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace introduced the post-Brexit Integrated Review and the defense ministers discussed the situation created on the Ukrainian border by Russia's increased military pressure, a press release by the Ministry of Defense reads.
"The JEF has an important role in strengthening the security of the Baltic Sea region and Europe more broadly. The primary role of the JEF in a crisis situation is prompt deployment of troops and deterrence. Participating states' smooth cooperation is required for this purpose, which will be rehearsed during the Joint Protector exercise this fall," Laanet said.
The defense ministers of the JEF said that the joint naval operation Expone held in the Baltic Sea in March also strengthened deterrence and highlighted the need for similar future operations.
The next meeting of the ministers of defense of the JEF is scheduled to be held in Helsinki in June 2021.
The UK-led multinational high-readiness Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) is intended as a pool of high readiness, adaptable rapid response forces. The JEF was initiated in 2015 and its members include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Iceland, which joined the coalition in April this year.
The focus areas of the coalition are the Baltic Sea region, the High North and the North Atlantic area. Upon the activation of the JEF, the United Kingdom will ensure the necessary command and force elements, which other member states will supplement with their capabilities.