TALLINN - In a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo at Amari air base on Wednesday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that Belgium is an invaluable ally in ensuring Estonia's security.
The two heads of government discussed defense cooperation, the security situation in the region, and familiarized themselves with the Belgian Air Force mission based in Amari and its F-16 fighter jets.
"Belgium is an invaluable ally in ensuring Estonia's security," Kallas said according to spokespeople.
"Belgian fighter jets were the first to protect the Baltic airspace back in 2004 in Siauliai, Lithuania under the aegis of NATO. Now they are in Amari already for the third time and I am very grateful to Belgium for effective defense cooperation and a great contribution to our security," the Estonian premier said.
"NATO fighter jets in our skies are a very obvious sign of our and allies' deterrence efforts to keep the security situation stable. It is clear, however, that we need to do even more in case Russia decides to abandon diplomacy and use military force," Kallas said.
"We, on our part, are contributing 380 million euros to comprehensive defense over the next four years, but we are also working to increase NATO's presence in our region and to help us improve our self-defense capabilities," the premier added.
The prime ministers also talked about high energy prices and the situation in COVID-19. In addition, during the tour of the air base, they met with members of the Belgian mission and looked at the fighter jets used in protecting the airspace here.