Felipe VI confirms that Spain will send another anti-aircraft battery to Estonia to face Russian aggression

In the garden of the Presidential Palace in Tallinn, on an evening when Estonians celebrate Jänioks, their special St. John’s Eve, Felipe VI marked the first stop of his tour of the Baltic countries with a “Triumph of Light”. , The darkness after a long winter. A symbolism that has gained its full meaning because of “the difficult times we live in, in which a terrible war is being fought in the heart of Europe and many of our citizens fear for their future”.

On a three-day visit, in which the King intended to transfer the “firm and reliable” support of a “friendly country” such as Spain to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, countries that defend NATO’s eastern flank, Don Felipe transferred to the President of Estonia, Alar Karis, who “fully understands the grave concern that the invasion of Ukraine generates in many parts of Europe” and in particular in the Baltic region and Estonia, a country where he “recognized its leadership in confronting aggression and demanding justice.” He added, “We are obliged because of our joint will and conviction – together with our allies – to hold Russia accountable for all the crimes committed in Ukraine.”

“Spain may be at the other end of Europe, but believe me, we also feel very close to you,” the King said, giving the main message of his visit: “You can count on Spain as a friend, partner of the European Union and NATO ally. In this sense, the King confirmed that within a few weeks Spain will once again deploy a NASMS battery in Estonia “to strengthen air defense.” He also reminded that Spain has expanded its commitment to the common defense of the EU countries with “troops on the ground and specific capabilities in other parts of Europe, such as Slovakia and Romania”, while naval ships continue to patrol “regularly” in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. “In total, Spain has more than 4,000 uniformed Spanish women and men deployed or actively dedicated to improving security and deterrence on the eastern flank of the Alliance,” he added.

There is a broad consensus in Estonia on foreign policy and the defence of the EU and NATO as guarantors of well-being and security. The country’s internal politics are strongly influenced by the international environment, particularly the situation in Ukraine, which they consider a fundamental issue as it shares an approximately 300 kilometer border with Russia and also due to its status as a former Soviet republic. This is why there is a broad consensus on their firmness when it comes to supporting sanctions against Ukraine and Russia. Therefore, Felipe VI reiterated that “our commitment to our allies is strong and firm” and recalled President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Madrid a few weeks ago, where he expressed that Spain would “support Ukraine for as long as necessary, to help it regain its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to assist in its reconstruction efforts.”

Don Felipe highlighted the effort that Spain guarantees “firm and reliable” support. And to do so he reviewed his visit to the port of Tallinn in the afternoon, where “our Navy is deployed in the Baltic Sea to participate in the NATO BALTOPS exercise.” He also highlighted that the Armed Forces have “permanently integrated a military contingent of 600 soldiers into the NATO EFP armored BG in Latvia, and our F-18 fighter jets conduct the BAP-Baltic Air Police mission from Lithuania.” The King will meet contingents of these troops in the coming days. In these countries he will also hold bilateral meetings with their respective presidents, Gitanas Nauseda (Lithuania) and Edgars Rinkēvičs (Latvia).

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