Pence sketches possible Patriot deployment in Estonia, vows US support

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TALLINN: US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday (Monday in Manila) raised the possibility of deploying the Patriot anti-missile defense system in Estonia, one of three NATO Baltic states worried by Russian expansionism, Prime Minister Juri Ratas said. “We spoke about it today, but we didn’t talk about a date or time,” Ratas told state broadcaster ERR after Pence began a visit to the tiny frontline state. The Patriot is a mobile, ground-based system designed to intercept incoming missiles and warplanes. “We talked about the upcoming (Russian military) maneuvers near the Estonian border… and how Estonia, the United States and NATO should monitor them and exchange information,” Ratas said.Relations between Moscow and Tallinn have been fraught since Estonia broke free from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991, joining both the EU and NATO in 2004—a move that Russia says boosted its own fears of encirclement by the West.

AFP

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