British PM reiterates commitment to maintaining European security



British Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated her country's ongoing commitment to maintaining European security in an address to British troops in Estonia on Friday.

May delivered the speech at the Tapa Army Base in northern Estonia where British and other allied troops are stationed.

May said that by stepping up the deterrence and defence posture of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the allies' collective commitment to NATO's common defense "remains as strong as ever," according to a statement from the British Prime Minister's Office.

At the Warsaw Summit in July 2016, 28 leaders of NATO member nations decided to establish an enhanced forward presence in eastern Europe, which comprises four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and other contributing allies.

Over 800 British servicemen and women are leading a multinational force in Estonia. This is one of the largest British deployments in eastern Europe in recent times, said May, who later on Friday attended the Tallinn Digital Summit hosted by Estonia, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU).

May reiterated Britain's commitment to meet the target of spending 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defence, adding that her country will remain at the forefront of the NATO alliance.

"And while we are leaving the European Union, as I have said many times, we are not leaving Europe," May noted, adding that Britain will continue to offer aid and assistance to EU member states that are the victims of armed aggression, terrorism and natural or manmade disasters.

Joining the British prime minister, French President Emmanuel Macron and Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas also visited the Tapa Army Base.

The NATO battalion battlegroup at the Tapa Army Base in Estonia started service in April. The allied soldiers led by Britain include a French unit of about 300 troops.