Q: With regard to sending French troops to Estonia and Romania, what are the criteria for choosing these countries? And what is the official name of the mission? Are NATO’s assurance measures the only framework for such troop movements?
A: France is participating in NATO’s assurance measures within the framework of its Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). Since 2016, this collective force has been deployed in Poland and three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in response to requests by those allied countries. The current French mission, Lynx, which numbers more than 300 troops and a dozen Lecler tanks, is part of that mission in Estonia. It participates in the Alliance’s deterrence and defense posture, contributes to the security of the eastern allies, highlights the NATO allies’ cohesion and demonstrates the Alliance’s ability to defend its territory.
President Macron expressed our readiness to contribute to NATO’s new assurance measures in Romania, in a framework to be defined collectively with our allies and which is currently the subject of consultations within the Alliance and with Romanian officials. The Minister of the Armed Forces will have the opportunity to discuss this point during her visit to Bucharest on February 2 and 3.