"The main goal of deterrence is to send the potential aggressors a message that there’s no point in testing NATO’s collective defence," Mikser said.

"Russian units have become more professional, and as a result the response capability of allied units must be developed," Mikser said at a meeting with Bartels.

Bartels confirmed that Germany considers the Baltic states’ security to be just as important as Germany’s own security.

Mikser and Bartels agreed at the meeting that Europe had to engage in a closer cooperation on security matters, and use resources more effectively. They stressed that collectively, NATO’s defence spending is greater than Russia’s. Bartels cited the increasingly deeper defence cooperation between Germany and the Netherlands as an example of more effective use of resources.

Estonia enjoys comprehensive cooperation with Germany, one of the most important NATO allies. Four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from the German air force began policing Baltic airspace in early September, and are based at Ämari Air Force base in Estonia.