Danish soldiers warned about possible provocations during stay in Estonia

Taani kaitseväelased.

PHOTO: Henning Bagger / Scanpix

Danish soldiers who will arrive in Estonia as part of NATO's enhanced forward presence battalion battle group at year-end will have to be careful as they might encounter provocations of Russian agents, the aim of which is to compromise the alliance's soldiers, the Danish daily Politiken reported referring to a report published by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (DDIS).

According to the assessment made by DDIS the threat that Danish soldiers will be compromised and harassed is high, Politiken reported on Friday.

Soldiers have to be especially careful when they are granted permission to visit Tallinn or Tartu, and have to be careful who they socialize with, as they could be lured into compromising situation.

Denmark's Minister of Defense Claus Hjort Frederiksen who attended a ceremony at the Tapa army base on Thursday to mark the start of the service of NATO's enhanced forward presence battalion battle group in Estonia also said that there is a potential threat. "Soldiers might fall victim to provocations and the armed forces are handling the risk," the minister said.

At the Warsaw Summit in July 2016, 28 leaders of NATO member nations decided to establish an enhanced forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland due to changed security situation. The NATO battalion battle group in Estonia strengthens the deterrence and collective defense, and also reinforces Estonian self-defence capability.

The 1,200-strong NATO battalion battle group is part of the 1st Estonian Infantry Brigade, stationed in Tapa. The framework nation UK is contributing more than 800 troops, armed with Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles Warrior, and AS90 self-propelled howitzers. France is contributing 300 troops armed with Leclerc tanks, VBCI infantry fighting vehicles, and VAB armored vehicles. The French unit will serve at Tapa for eight months, after which it will be replaced by a Danish unit.