Photo: Pool Moncloa/Diego Crespo
The Diplomat. 17/07/2017
Today, the president of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, starts a visit to Estonia and Latvia, where he will meet the authorities of those countries and will visit the Spanish contingents deployed there to protect the Baltic’s borders from a possible Russian threat.
Along with the Minister of Defence, María Dolores de Cospedal, Rajoy will go to the Amari air base, in Estonia, where the Spanish Armed Forces have five fighters F-18 of the 15th Wing that have been participating in the protection of the air space of sovereignty of the Baltic states for the last three months for not having the latter sufficient resources to carry out this task.
This is a NATO operation that started in 2004 after Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’s admission into the Alliance, which was strengthened after the start of the crisis in Ukraine at the beginning of 2014, as a result of the incursion of Russian planes on the Baltic air space.
During his stay in Amari, the head of the Executive will also hold a meeting with Estonia’s Prime Minister, Jüri Ratas, with whom he recently met in Madrid, since his country assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the Union on 1 July.
Tomorrow, Rajoy will travel to Latvia, where he will know the work of the troops deployed there to guarantee the stability of the Euro-Atlantic security, as it was agreed during Summit of Warsaw of 2016. Spain has 305 forces in this mission and it has allowed the Army to deploy, for the first time out of Spain, ‘Leopardo’ tanks and the ‘Pizarro’ Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
After the visit of the troops, the president of the Government will hold a meeting with Latvia’s Prime Minister, Maris Kucinskis.