On Wednesday the Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Mati Raidma met with the Chief of Defence of Norway Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, who confirmed his readiness to bring the members of the Norwegian defence forces to Estonia.
Mati Raidma invited Norway to send its ground forces units to Estonia, in addition to contributing to the Baltic Air Policing Mission with its planes in 2015. At the moment there are about 200 members of the Norwegian Armed Forces in Latvia.
At the meeting it was admitted that both countries are facing similar challenges. “We both are on the eastern border of the European Union and NATO, where we create real security to ourselves as well as, more widely, to the region with our confident, visible and socially inclusive national defence,” said the Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Mati Raidma.
„The structure of our national defence is similar in many ways, for example, both countries value the importance of general compulsory military service. At the meeting we found several ideas which we could take over from each other to use in the future development of our defence forces,” Raidma said.
In Norway the attitude of people towards compulsory military service and the percentage of young people completing the military service are similar to Estonia. While in Estonia the number of women voluntarily joining the military service is increasing, Norway, for example, will next year hold a separate conscription to military service for women.
The Admiral admitted that since his last visit to Estonia in 1995, the country has undergone a huge change.
Bruun–Hanssen is the second Chief of Defence of Norway to visit the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu after General Sigurd Frisvold, who visited the National Defence Committee in 2002.
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