Italy and Spain have received 30,000 face masks each from Estonia, to help control the spread of the coronavirus.
The Estonian government decided on 16 April to allocate €100,000 to both Italy and Spain via the International Red Cross to control the spread of the coronavirus, and also send 30,000 face masks and 2,000 units of disinfectant manufactured by the local producer, Nordic Group, to both countries.
Estonia’s assistance to Spain arrived with a cargo plane of the Spanish Armed Forces in Zaragoza airport on 21 April, and the country’s aid package to Italy arrived on 24 April in Milan Malpensa airport, through the services of the logistics firm DSV.
Curiously, the donation was done in the framework of NATO, rather than the European Union. “Spain and Italy requested assistance from their allies and Estonia, together with other NATO member states, has decided to offer them the help they need,” Jüri Ratas, the Estonian prime minister, said in a statement on 16 April.
“Both Italy and Spain have repeatedly demonstrated their solidarity and contributed to the security of the alliance and our region by participating in NATO battle groups, air policing in the Baltic states, and in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn,” Ratas said. “Therefore, is quite evident that Estonia supports them in this difficult time for of our allies.”
Coincidentally, Spain will take over the Baltic Air Policing mission in May.
Other NATO allies and European countries have helped Italy and Spain. For example, the Czech Republic sent 10,000 protective suits both to Italy and Spain. Denmark sent ventilators and a field hospital to Italy. Germany sent 5,000 ventilators to Spain and has brought patients in serious conditions with military aircraft from Italy to Germany. Turkey donated personal protective equipment and disinfectants to Spain and Italy, including 450,000 protective masks. Poland sent 15 and Albania 30 doctors to help Italy.
For the latest developments in Estonia, follow our special blog on coronavirus.
Cover: Estonia’s aid package to Italy arrived on 24 April in Milan Malpensa airport. Photo: Estonian delegation to NATO.