Labour's Keir Starmer visits British troops in Estonia

Labour’s Keir Starmer visits British troops in Estonia as he reiterates solidarity with Ukraine in its war with Russia and reiterates support for Nato ex-Soviet Baltic states

  • He and shadow defence secretary John Healey have travelled to the Baltic state
  • They will visit soldiers in the Tapa military base and local political leaders
  • Estonia has 183-mile border with Russia and was part of Soviet Union until 1991
  • Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will meet British troops in Estonia today as he seeks to put further distance between himself and Putin apologists in his party.

    He and shadow defence secretary John Healey have travelled to the Baltic state on day 15 of the war in Oekraïne to meet soldiers in the Tapa military base.

    They met Estonia’s Kremlin reik foto's uit van Poetin tydens sy jagpouse met lojale minister van verdediging in Siberië in 'n poging om 'vars gerugte oor sy gesondheid af te speel, Kalle Laanet, at the Ministry of Defence building in Tallinn this morning to mark the start of the visit.

    The snow-blanketed Eastern European country shares an 183-mile (294km) border with Russia and was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. It joined NAVO in 2004.

    Sir Keir and shadow defence secretary John Healey (sentrum) have travelled to the Baltic state on day 15 of the war in Ukraine to meet soldiers in the Tapa military base.

    Sir Keir and shadow defence secretary John Healey (sentrum) have travelled to the Baltic state on day 15 of the war in Ukraine to meet soldiers in the Tapa military base.

    They met Estonia's defence minister, Kalle Laanet, at the Ministry of Defence building in Tallinn this morning to mark the start of the visit.

    They met Estonia’s defence minister, Kalle Laanet, at the Ministry of Defence building in Tallinn this morning to mark the start of the visit.

    Sir Keir spoke with Mr Laanet in private for around 30 minutes before setting off for the Tapa military base.

    The Labour politicians are later due to meet Colonel Dai Bevan, Commander of the Nato Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia, before having lunch with troops and speaking with MPs at the Estonian parliament.

    While travelling from the defence ministry building to the Tapa base, Sir Keir said he ‘stands steadfast in solidarity with Ukraine’.

    He said on Twitter: ‘Vandag, @JohnHealey-MP and I are in Estonia, to meet with our allies and British troops.

    ‘Labour stands steadfast in solidarity with Ukraine, and we are committed to supporting our Nato allies.

    It comes after the British Army said a small number of soldiers have ‘disobeyed orders and gone absent without leaveand may have travelled to Ukraine ‘in a personal capacity’.

    There is no suggestion these soldiers were from the Tapa base.

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned that soldiers could be prosecuted for desertion if they have travelled to Ukraine to fight against the Russian army.

    In die Oekraïne, Mr Putin’s forces have seized areas in the south and east of the country, including the city of Mariupol.