Estonian PM discusses defense cooperation with French president

  • 2021-02-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on Friday had a telephone conversation with the French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Estonian-French defense cooperation and foreign policy.

Kallas thanked Macron for France's contribution to the security of the region and NATO as a whole. "France is an important ally for Estonia," the prime minister said. "Our troops are serving together in Mali and France's contribution to the security of our region is enormous. Last year, the French contributed to NATO air policing in Amari, and this spring they will return to the NATO battle group in Estonia."

Next week, Macron and Kallas will take part in a video meeting coordinating cooperation between the countries of the Sahel region -- Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. Estonia is participating in the French-led operation Barkhane in Mali with a group-sized unit and with special forces in its Takuba Task Force, in addition, Estonian staff officers are participating in an UN peacekeeping mission and an European Union training mission.

Kallas and Macron also talked about relations with the new U.S. administration, the future of NATO and relations with Russia. The prime minister also presented the priorities of the new government, and Macron and Kallas both reaffirmed the importance of the goal of climate neutrality both in the European Union and in each member state.

Kallas accepted Macron's invitation to meet bilaterally as soon as possible.