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14 May, 2024 11:46

NATO country rules out sending troops to Ukraine 

Estonia’s defense minister has dismissed remarks by a presidential advisor regarding a possible military deployment
NATO country rules out sending troops to Ukraine 

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur has insisted that neither Tallinn nor the European Union are considering proposals to deploy troops to Ukraine.  

He was commenting on remarks made by Madis Roll, the national security advisor to Estonian President Alar Karis, who told news outlet Breaking Defense last week that the country was “seriously” considering sending troops to fill “rear” roles in Ukraine. 

According to Roll, the Estonian government is weighing up the potential move in a bid to help Kiev solve its manpower problem and send more soldiers to the front line.   

The article reported that Estonian troops could be positioned away from the battlefield and assume non-direct combat roles from Ukrainian Armed Forces in order to free them up to fight on the front line.  

The outlet said Roll had suggested that the move could be part of a full NATO mission “to show broader combined strength and determination,” but didn’t rule out the possibility of Estonia acting with a smaller group of allies.  

The idea “has not reached anywhere” either in Estonia or at EU level, Pevkur said, adding that there had been no specific discussion within government on the matter.

“I think that, according to Madis Roll, it has perhaps been interpreted too boldly” he told ERR. “There is certainly no initiative of Estonia’s own, and Estonia is certainly not going to do anything alone,” added the defense minister.  

Estonia, along with Latvia and Lithuania, has been at the forefront of the West’s confrontation with Moscow since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. Tallinn and the other Baltic states have long touted a strategy of backing Kiev with NATO troops.   

Last week, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told the Financial Times that she had been given the authority by parliament to deploy troops to Ukraine for training, but that Kiev had not made such a request.  

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told The Guardian last week that he favors deploying NATO military instructors with air defense cover to Ukraine.   

In recent months, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly floated the idea of sending NATO troops to Ukraine. Several other member states have pushed back against Macron’s comments, however, insisting they have no plans to deploy troops.  

Russia has repeatedly warned that it would view any NATO troop deployments in Ukraine as a major escalation, adding that it would not change the situation on the battlefield.

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