German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was presented with an Estonian e-residency card by the Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas during her two-day visit to Tallinn.
The German cabinet took an interest in e-Estonia and digital society was also on the agenda during Merkel’s visit to Tallinn, where she delivered a speech, entitled “Estonia – a pioneer in digital technology – and Germany – a global industrial power – shaping the future of Europe together”. The two countries share a long history and are cooperating on EU, security and digital affairs.
Angela Merkel is also a strong defender of Estonia’s (and the Baltic countries’) defines by NATO. Although Estonia joined NATO in 2004, it wasn’t until Russia’s most recent aggression that the decision to commit multinational troops to the Baltic states was made.
In July, NATO leaders agreed to deploy military forces to the Baltic states, including Estonia and eastern Poland for the first time and increase air and sea patrols to reassure allies who were once part of the Soviet bloc following Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.
The 28-nation Western defense alliance decided to move four battalions totaling 3,000 to 4,000 troops into northeastern Europe on a rotating basis to display its readiness to defend eastern members against any Russian aggression.
However, they also underlined their willingness to pursue a dialogue with Moscow and revive confidence-building measures that Russia has spurned since its 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for Russian-speaking rebels in eastern Ukraine.
“These battalions will be robust and they will be multinational. They make clear that an attack on one ally will be considered an attack on the whole alliance,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference after the summit’s first working session in Warsaw, the Polish capital.
President Barack Obama said the United States would deploy about 1,000 soldiers in Poland under the plan “to enhance our forward presence in central and eastern Europe”. Germany will lead the battalion in Lithuania, Britain in Estonia and Canada in Latvia. Other nations such as France will supply troops.