The Prime Minister, Charles Michel, paid a short visit on Thursday to the military air base in Estonia. Four Belgian F-16 fighters have been defending airspace above the Baltic states since September, as part of a NATO operation.
Estonia and the two other Baltic states have no combat aeroplanes. Since they entered NATO in 2004, their airspace has therefore been defended by other member states. Belgian F-16s were the first to shoulder this burden thirteen years ago. Hence, this is the seventh time they have participated. Four fighters and around 50 members of the military are taking part in this four-month mission.
Charles Michel stressed, “This is proof of Belgium’s loyalty to ensure European security and stability.” He went on, “It is highly important for Europe’s future to have stable relationships with Russia, but we should always remain vigilant and not be naïve. An important fact is that Russia has not respected Ukraine’s sovereignty.”