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Estonian government ‘seriously’ discusses sending troops to Ukraine for non-combat tasks

Estonia’s national security advisor, Madis Roll, revealed that the government is engaged in “serious” discussions about deploying troops to western Ukraine for non-combat duties.
Estonia's national security advisor to the president, Madis Roll
Estonia’s national security advisor to the president, Madis Roll. Credit: open sources
Estonian government ‘seriously’ discusses sending troops to Ukraine for non-combat tasks

Estonia’s national security advisor to the president, Madis Roll, said that the Estonian government is engaged in “serious” discussions about sending troops to western Ukraine to take over non-combat duties from Ukrainian forces.

Breaking Defense newsletter reported, citing Roll that “Discussions are ongoing. We should be looking at all the possibilities. We shouldn’t have our minds restricted as to what we can do.”

Roll’s comments follow remarks from Estonia’s defense forces chief, Gen. Martin Herem, who revealed earlier discussions within the military about deploying troops for support roles like medical services, logistics, and air defense in western Ukrainian cities. However, Herem noted that the idea became polarized when it was made public.

Meanwhile, Roll did not specify what kind of non-combat duties Estonian troops could potentially do.

Roll said that while Estonia would prefer a broader NATO mission “to show combined strength and determination,” a smaller coalition remains a possibility. He added, “It’s not unthinkable that NATO nations opposed to such a move would change their minds as time goes on.”

Breaking Defense reports that Estonian President Alar Karis, as the commander-in-chief, is a key figure in foreign policy decisions despite the prime minister’s executive role.

The idea of foreign troops in Ukraine has sparked debates, with French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting it should not be ruled out, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated NATO’s commitment to not sending ground troops.

The US Ambassador to Estonia, George Kent, referred to the Biden administration’s policy of providing significant aid packages to Ukraine without deploying American soldiers.

According to Breaking Defense, Western leaders fear the conflict could escalate into a Russia-NATO war, potentially involving nuclear weapons. However, the sentiment in Finland and Estonia is that failing to help Ukraine win now could lead to “the reconstitution of the former Soviet Union” under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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