Great Britain

'Last time I was here they let me drive a tank': Boris Johnson serves Christmas dinner to British troops during visit to Estonia

Boris Johnson has served Christmas dinner to British troops in Estonia during a flying visit to the Baltic state.

The prime minister dished up turkey and Yorkshire puddings to soldiers at the Tapa military base near Estonian capital Tallinn, home to 850 British troops.

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However, he risked offending his hosts after describing the setting as "bleak".

Wearing a red apron and posing for selfies, Mr Johnson asked soldiers: "Who wants turkey?"

After asking one soldier if they were enjoying being in Estonia, Mr Johnson added: "It's quite, sort of bleak, isn't it?"

He also joked: "Last time I was here they let me drive a tank. That didn't seem to be on the agenda today.''.

The prime minister

"I'm a big supporter of our armed forces - I think they do a massive amount of good around the world.

"We're the second biggest player in Nato, we're the biggest military in Europe - we believe in supporting our armed services.

"Obviously we do that in an efficient way but as you know we're increasing our budget by £2.2 billion - you know about all the investments that we're making in our armed services. Those will continue."

The prime minister said the troops were the "most vivid and powerful possible symbol and expression" that Britain is committed to the security and stability of the whole of Europe.

Mr Johnson had earlier held talks with Juri Ratas, the Estonian prime minister.

The British troops in Estonia form part of a Nato force that also includes personnel from Estonia, France and Denmark. The role centres on defending the Baltic from Russia.

Mr Johnson hosted the Nato summit in Watford earlier this month.