1 Royal Welsh personnel training in Germany ahead of Estonia deployment.
Russia

850 UK troops head to Estonia amid Ukraine tensions

The Ministry of Defence say the soldiers are part of a pre-planned deployment and are not directly linked to the build-up of tension in the...

1 Royal Welsh personnel training in Germany ahead of Estonia deployment.

Estonian TV are reporting 850 extra UK troops will arrive in Estonia later this month.

The UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) says the soldiers are part of a planned deployment and are not linked to the build-up of tension in the region. 

Soldiers from the First Battalion the Royal Welsh are currently training in Sennelager in Germany ahead of a deployment to Estonia.

The UK already has more than 900 British military personnel based in Estonia, more than 100 in Ukraine as part of Operation Orbital, and a Light Cavalry Squadron of about 150 people deployed to Poland. 

On Friday, Ross Allen, the UK Ambassador to Estonia, gave an interview to Estonian Public Broadcasting.

He has been quoted as saying: "Our plan is for the first soldiers to arrive this month – in February... They're getting ready now.

"And that's about 850 soldiers, like a combat group that we already have in Estonia."  

The Ministry of Defence says these troops are part of a pre-planned rotation and will replace others coming to the end of their deployment.

They do not represent the additional support announced last week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which remains under consideration.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the soldiers from the Royal Welsh are due to head to Estonia as part of a "pre-planned rotation of UK troops already deployed there as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence". 

"[The] UK is considering a range of possible options to bolster our offer to NATO in Europe.

"No decision has yet been made and we continue to discuss options with our allies."