In the course of European arms cuts and sales, the armed forces of Estonia have had to call on their neighbors in Latvia to borrow a tank…because they did not have any.
Far from planning to build a one-tank army, Estonians will only use the Latvian tank once, in a military exercise.
The borrowed Russian-made T-55 vehicle is not a combat tank. The Latvians bought it from the Czech Republic for psychological training of its army to fight armored vehicles.
Ironically, ten years ago Poland offered five tanks of the same model to Estonia for free, which the country refused. The Russian tanks, Estonians said, would impede the country’s path to joining NATO, as the vehicles did not comply to NATO standards.