France sent to Estonia hundreds of soldiers, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles for a “Spring storm” NATO near the borders of the Russian Federation to counter Russian threat

JB.Tabone©armée de Terre

In the military brigade in Tapa already have over 20 tanks Challenger-2 and about 80 armoured personnel carriers. There are about 30 infantry fighting vehicles Warrior and three AS90 self-propelled guns leading to the battle group NATO British armed forces

Gertrud Zach /

Almost three hundred soldiers and four tanks and twenty infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) will arrive to Estonia from France as part of the mission of NATO to increase military presence in the region to counter Russian threat and to participate in the exercise “Spring storm”.

On April 23 the troops and equipment would be deployed in the military town of Tapa, located about 150 kilometers from the Russian border. The French should be there instead of the Belgian soldiers, who arrived in Estonia in mid-January. At the end of April the Ardennes Rangers (an infantry regiment in the Armed forces of Belgium) leave this Baltic state.

As the press service of the Embassy of France in Estonia, part of the French contingent includes soldiers of the second brigade of the French army and the mercenaries of the Foreign Legion. They will be placed in Tapa in the framework of the NATO mission in the Baltic States and Poland (FRA-EFP LYNX).

In the military brigade in Tapa already have over 20 tanks Challenger-2 and about 80 armoured personnel carriers. There are about 30 infantry fighting vehicles Warrior and three AS90 self-propelled guns leading to the battle group NATO British armed forces. Soon they will add about 200 armored vehicles of the Estonian 1st infantry brigade of the defence forces of Estonia, Delfi recalls.

Based there battle group is only a part of a broader deterrence of NATO. There are also mission the protection of NATO airspace regularly and arriving on different exercises and drills part of the series of allied States. Last week, the Kingdom was sent here to strengthen the battle group NATO four Wildcat combat helicopter, and soon will arrive another five Apache helicopters.

All this technology and manpower of the allies in the Northern Alliance at the end of April to take part in the exercise “Spring storm – 2019”, which this year will be held in the counties of IDA-Virumaa and lääne-Viru from 29 April to 17 may. Just military exercises will take part about 10 thousand military men and soldiers from 15 countries – members of NATO.

The French are actively working in close cooperation with the defence forces of Estonia will be helicopter unit in the UK. Mission SAS troops, which are part of the 21st and 23rd reserve battalions of the British, will be the track “Russian activity” in border areas. For tracking “potential enemy” and his movements along the boundaries of the units are drones.

NATO allies this spring almost weekly in Estonia some military exercises on countering a potential Russian attack, to actively preparing for hybrid wars and practicing appropriate tactics. Last week in Tallinn ended cyberscene NATO Shield 2019 Locked (“Locked shield – 2019”). April 16 in the sky Estonia began aviation maneuvers of the Alliance Ramstein 19-1 Alloy (“Alloy Ramstein 19-1″). 29 April will begin the largest land exercises Kevadtorm 2019 (the”Spring storm – 2019”). And at the end of may of the planned naval exercises Baltic transfer Protector (“protector of the Baltic”).

As writes “the Russian newspaper”, the name “transfer” maneuvers “in the Baltic protector” was because they are associated with large-scale early rendition of troops, weapons and warships from Western countries, NATO in Estonia. At the same time their actions are considered in the framework of the “United expeditionary force (EV) of the Alliance and its allies (Sweden and Finland)”.

As previously reported, the agreement on EEU British-led European countries signed a year ago. In addition to the UK the document was signed by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Despite the fact that the Baltic Protector with the participation of about 20 NATO warships and 3 thousand troops scheduled for June, in Estonia already, arrive the contingents of EAV that in April-may of 2019 will participate in other maneuvers of NATO countries and their allies.

Russia in recent years, said the unprecedented activity of NATO on its Western borders, where the countries of the Alliance are expanding their operation, calling it a “deterring Russian aggression”.

Only yesterday the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the talks in the Kremlin with President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid discussed concerns of the Baltic States about the “Russian threat”. The heads of two once-allied countries became the first full meeting since 2008.

Putin called such statements about the threats “absolutely baseless”, reports TASS.

“Mention about NATO, about the fears of Estonia and other Baltic countries on security. We are convinced that they are absolutely groundless. They skillfully fueled on the part of NATO commanders and overseas politicians”, – said the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the outcome of the negotiations. He stressed that Russia “poses no threat to any of his neighbors.”

In turn, the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid invited Putin to the Baltic Republic in 2020 for the Congress of Finno-Ugric peoples, which will take place in Tartu.