Estonian president Lennart Meri, Prime Minister Tiit Vahi, defense minister Andrus Oovel, and acting Army Commander Col. Vello Loemaa conferred January 8 in Tallinn with Danish defense minister Hans Haekkerup. The parties discussed military cooperation on the bilateral and regional level, as well as joint participation in NATO programs. Specific discussion topics included training of Estonian officers in Danish military schools, as well as training an Estonian infantry company in Denmark in preparation for its participation in NATO exercises. Estonian and Danish officials also discussed the supply of Danish military equipment to Estonia, multilateral Danish-Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian military exercises to be held in 1996, and the creation of a joint Baltic airspace surveillance system and naval mine-sweeping squadron. (13)
Estonia and the other two Baltic states have established a particularly close military cooperation with Denmark that reflects common security interests in the region. The three Baltic states regard bilateral cooperation with NATO member countries as an avenue for gradually attaining NATO military standards and a political stepping stone toward joining the alliance. Peacekeeping units of the three Baltic states, together with a Danish battalion, are scheduled to participate in the Bosnia peacekeeping operation under overall NATO command.
U.S., Russian Defense Ministers Hail Ukrainian Disarmament.