Defence Co-operation

Since Spring 2017 Italy is covered by defence attaché lieutenant colonel Mark Trubok, who resides in Berlin. The Italian defence attaché in Estonia is colonel Davide Di Bartolo, who resides in Warsaw.

Italy participated in the NATO Baltic air policing mission for the first time from January to April 2015 from Šiauliai, Lithuania. Italy is one of the founding members of the NATO Cyber Defence Centre and contributes to the centre’s work with one training and doctrine expert and one legal expert.

Contacts with Italy’s defence structures began in 1995. A defence co-operation agreement was signed in 1998 and became effective on February 2001. Co-operation related to peacekeeping has been very good, as Estonian peacekeepers served together with Italian carabinieri from November 1999 to December 2006 within the NATO KFOR Multinational Support Unit in Kosovo.

Many reciprocal visits have taken place. In January 2014, while on a visit to Italy, the Undersecretary for Defence Investments Ingvar Pärnamäe signed a memorandum of understanding concerning cooperation with his Italian colleague General Enzo Stefanini, which will make it easier for Estonia to order from the Italian defence industry.In June 2013 the Italian Director National for Armaments of the Ministry of Defence Gen. Claudio De Bertolis visited Estonia. In May 2011 Undersecretary for Defence Planning of the Ministry of Defence Lauri Tumm was in Rome and Chief of Staff of the Italian Army Lieutenant General Giuseppe Valotto was in Estonia. In June 2011 four cadets from the Higher Military Academy participated in the military parade dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the Republic of Italy.

In June 2011 45 Italian officers were also in Estonia for a study visit, during which they visited the Riigikogu, the International Centre for Defence Studies, the Ministry of Defence, and the Cyber Defence Centre.

In March of 2010 the Estonian Aviation Museum received a gift from the Italian Air Force – a fighter F-104S ASA Starfighter.