British troops land in Estonia for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to deter Russian Federation

British troops land in Estonia for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to deter Russian Federation

Around 120 soldiers from Britain's 5th Battalion The Rifles Battlegroup arrived in Estonia as part of an effort to boost NATO's presence in the region.

For Nato's eastern-most allies, the sight of British troops marching across the tarmac at Estonia's Amari airbase was a stirring - and long overdue - sight.

He added the measurements were designed not to "provoke or escalate" Russian aggression but were in accordance with Nato's wishes to deter the threat posed by the country. They were welcomed by Estonia's Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna, having flown from RAF Brize Norton by Voyager aircraft.

They will set up an headquarters in the country before the remaining troops arrive next month. The UK-led Estonia Battlegroup is one of four North Atlantic Treaty Organisation multinational deployments to the eastern part of the Alliance. They will work alongside French and Danish forces to "provide a proportionate, defensive, and combat capable force to defend our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and deter any form of hostile activity against the alliance", the Ministry of Defence said.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said this was the biggest United Kingdom military deployment in Europe since the end of the Cold War aimed at countering an "increasingly assertive Russian Federation".

The UK is taking a leading role in NATO's enhanced Forward Presence, alongside several other contributing nations.

Fallon said action was required "because of the increased Russian aggression that we've seen and the need to reassure our allies on the eastern side of Nato".

The deployment is meant to showcase Britain's commitment to the collective European security initiative.

'My soldiers are looking forward to again be working, training and exercising alongside their Estonian counterparts'.

Three hundred vehicles will arrive by next week, including Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Challenger 2 tanks and AS90 artillery weapons.

With raw memories of Soviet occupation during the Cold War, the governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have been lobbying frantically for an enhanced North Atlantic Treaty Organisation presence ever since Russian troops swept into Crimea and East Ukraine three years ago.

The first 50 members of the battle group's French contingent are scheduled to arrive in Estonia on March 20.