Pence and Estonian PM discuss deploying the Patriot anti-missile defence system

The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, and the Estonian prime minister, Jüri Ratas, discussed the possibility of deploying the Patriot anti-missile defence system in Estonia.

Ratas, having met Pence, who was visiting the tiny Nordic NATO member from 30-31 July, told the main news programme of the Estonian public broadcasting that he discussed the deployment of the Patriot anti-missile system, but there were no talks about a potential date when the system would be deployed.

“We discussed it today,” Ratas said, replying to a reporter’s question about the defence system. “We didn’t discuss specifically when it would happen,” he added.

“The main messages from both sides were that both Estonia and the United States are active allies in NATO,” Ratas told the public broadcasting.

“We also discussed the [Russian] military exercise to take place at the Estonian border – Zapad – and how Estonia, the United States and NATO monitor it and exchange information,” Ratas added.

Increased cooperation in cyber security

The two leaders also discussed opportunities for increased cooperation in the digital field and cyber security. Pence praised Estonia as a model for innovation and the use of technology to develop solutions for global economic, security and social challenges, and he thanked the country for hosting the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn.

After meeting with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in Tallinn on 31 July, the US vice president again offered reassurances.

“Under President Donald Trump, the United States stands firmly behind our Article 5 pledge of mutual defence – an attack on one of us is an attack on us all,” Pence told reporters.

In Tallinn, he also met allied troops from France, the UK and the US that are stationed in Estonia.

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Cover: A Patriot missile fired (Wikimedia Commons.)

About the author: Silver Tambur and Sten Hankewitz

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. Sten Hankewitz is the Deputy Editor of Estonian World.

  • The real threat to the Baltics will occur when an opposition party manages to win elections in one of the Baltic States and make up a ruling coalition that includes parties representing the Russian “minorities”. Neither the European Union or the reactionary nationalists within that particular Baltic country will accept the results. NATO, the European Union, and that particular Baltic state will use the same old crap about Russian hacking to nullify the results. I hope you all find this worth dying for. I don’t. Brian Ghilliotti

    • Mare Britton

      A huge percentage of the Estonian population already died for simply being citizens of a democracy as a result of genocide carried out by the Russian Communists. There are still people who are living who remember seeing the cattle cars hauling off successful farmers and tens of thousands of innocent families to their deaths or Siberian work/death camps. So yeah, keeping Russians from ruling Estonia, based on their past record of allowing totalitarian murderous forces to con them into accepting a form of governmental hooliganism is worth dying for.

    • Ingvar Kaasler

      Those Russian minorities were imported into the Baltic countries to Russify them. They were considered as colonists by the Soviets. Decolonization is what we should be discussing now. People who lived in the Baltic’s for fifty years couldn’t be bothered to learn to local languages, and now complain about having to learn what they should have learnt decades ago. Maybe the solution is for them to move back to mother Russia. I’m sure they would prefer Putler’s Russia with it’s high standard of living to the “discrimination” in the EU nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.