The Estonian Ministry of Defence submitted for approval draft resolutions of the parliament (Riigikogu) which propose that next year, on average, over 200 members of the Estonian Defence Forces will participate in international military operations.
According to the International Military Co-operation Act, the deployment of the Defence Forces in an international military operation is decided by the Riigikogu. The approval of the draft resolutions entered in the approval procedure today will require a majority in the parliament.
The largest foreign mission for the Estonian Defence Forces will continue to be participation in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, where, according to the draft resolution, 160-165 members of the Defence Forces will be serving on an on-going basis next year. Currently, Estonia is participating in the Afghanistan operation with an infantry company, logistical support element, fire support team, a counter-IED team and staff officers and NCO’s in Southern Afghanistan, and with a military police close protection team in Kabul.
According to the draft resolution, next year, Estonia would continue to participate in the EU counter-piracy operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia with a Vessel Protection Detachment of up to 15 members. The main task of the detachment is to protect cargo vessels sailing near the Somali coast, especially the vessels of the World Food Programme, against pirate attacks.