Russia tensions lead Britain to cut troop numbers in Estonia by half despite NATO pledges

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Hundreds of British soldiers will leave their posting in Estonia by Christmas in spite of NATOS’s pledges. The Estonian Government had been expecting up to 2,000 troops to stay in the country with another few hundred joining them to make up a full brigade.

However, sources have revealed that the 700-strong battalion that has been in the Baltic state since February will be returning home in December.

There are currently no plans to replace it.

This will almost halve the number of British troops there, as the Kremlin continues to make disturbing threats as the invasion of Ukraine flounders.

One source told The Times that some European nations believe “the British army is now too small and doesn’t have enough soldiers to spare.”

They continued: “Getting troops out when Putin threatens to wipe half of Europe sends a bad message.”

Tensions between the West and Russia are once again simmering, with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warning of “catastrophic consequences” if the Kremlin attacks Ukraine with a nuclear weapon.

In February this year Britain announced it was doubling its forces in Estonia by about 1,000 soldiers as NATO increased its military presence across eastern Europe.

READ MORE: Men fleeing to Georgia to avoid conscription in Ukraine war

Some believe that a large NATO force in the Baltics is not necessary given Putin’s weak state, following a huge counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces.

However, in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania they wish to be fully prepared given Russia’s unpredictable behaviour.

The UK Ministry of Defence said: “The additional battle group was always a temporary deployment.

“Our commitment to NATO in response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is total.”



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