UK Stands With Estonia Against Russian 'Malign' Activity, Raab Says

The Foreign Secretary has said the UK will continue to stand with Estonia and its partners in tackling "Russia’s malign activity" in the Baltic region.

Dominic Raab was in Estonia to mark a century of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as discuss regional security threats posed by Russia and climate change.

In a statement at a press conference on Thursday, Mr Raab said the presence of 850 UK troops in the country was testament to Britain’s commitment to Estonian security, saying "they [the soldiers] are not going anywhere".

British troops are in Estonia as part of NATO's presence across the Baltic region and Poland. 

Mr Raab said: "In 1921, the UK was among the very first countries to recognise Estonia’s independence, establish diplomatic relations, and cement a friendship born from our Navy’s support in the 1918-20 War of Independence.

"The British servicemen who gave their lives in that struggle are still commemorated in the Church of the Holy Ghost here in Tallinn."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks to his Estonian counterpart during a press conference (Picture: Estonian Foreign Ministry).
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks to his Estonian counterpart during a press conference (Picture: Estonian Foreign Ministry).

The Foreign Secretary stressed the relationship is about more than just history, saying that despite the UK’s departure from the EU, "our commitment to our European friends and our neighbours is undiminished."

Mr Raab also emphasised the importance of deepening and broadening UK-Estonia cooperation, in areas such as human rights, trade, climate change and using the common membership of the UN Security Council.

He said: "We truly value the relationship we have developed over the last hundred years.

"And we look forward to nurturing it further over the next 100 years."

Mr Raab has since travelled to Oslo for talks with the Norweigan Foreign Minister.

He signed a memorandum of understanding with Norway to drive forward future science and research cooperation on the polar regions.

He is also expected to speak to foreign ministers from the other Nordic nations - Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence announced the Royal Navy is leading an international task group of warships on a security patrol through the Baltic.

Frigates HMS Lancaster and HMS Westminster, plus ships from all three Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - make up the task group.

Recently, hundreds of British soldiers deployed to Estonia underwent intense training in freezing conditions.

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