Prime Minister Kallas attends Defence Forces snap exercise ‘Quill 2021’

20.11.2021 | 00:00

Narva, 20 November 2021 – Prime Minister Kaja Kallas paid a visit to the Narva region on Estonia’s eastern border today, where she met with reservists and members of the Estonian Defence League taking part in the snap exercise ‘Quill 2021’ and inspected the installation of barbed-wire barriers along the Narva River.
    • Share

Prime Minister Kallas thanked the reservists for answering the call to take part in the snap exercise and for contributing to the reinforcement of security in our region. “Right here in Narva is where Estonia, the European Union and NATO begin,” she remarked. “Estonia’s defensive capabilities are only as strong as the cooperation that drives them, so I am grateful to see that there is such willingness to defend Estonia among the people of the country. My thanks go out to everyone taking part in the exercise in the name of our security – both the reservists themselves and their families and employers.”

The head of government was provided with an overview of the situation on the eastern border and of the course of the snap exercise by Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Martin Herem, Director General of the Police and Border Guard Board Elmar Vaher, Commander of the North-Eastern District of the Defence League Jaanus Ainsalu and Prefect of the East Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board Tarvo Kruup.

‘Quill’ is a textbook example of the strength, speed and flexibility of Estonia’s national defence, since a significant proportion of Estonia switched from the rhythm of peace time to wartime duties within the space of just a few hours,” explained Commander Herem. “What makes the exercise even more remarkable is that it gives the reservists the chance to practise their manoeuvres in real situations and to directly contribute to the current and future security of the country.”

Prime Minister Kallas also praised the outstanding cooperation between the Defence Forces and the Police and Border Guard Board. “Working with other state agencies and allies has such an important role to play in resolving hybrid conflicts,” she stressed. “Not only is this snap exercise a dry run for our police, border guards and armed forces in defending Estonia, but it also has practical value in that it is enabling the installation of temporary barriers.”

Elmar Vaher says that the Police and Border Guard Board rehearses working with the Defence League and Defence Forces every year and that a number of exercises smaller in scope have already taken place in 2021. “Previously we have run drills on getting the armed forces involved in maintenance of public order and large-scale control exercises, as well as guarding our borders,” he explained. “‘Quill” is the first time we have practised putting up temporary barriers so as to be prepared to respond promptly should pressure on the Estonian border increase.”

Prime Minister Kallas added that there is no immediate threat to the country’s borders and that Estonia is helping to respond to the hybrid attack being waged by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko where that help is most needed at present – in Poland and Lithuania, and on the diplomatic front.

Photo: Estonian Defence Forces

Government Communication Unit