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Estonia Fears Russia
December 9, 2006 14:31

Tallin has never uttered so frankly about military confrontation with Russia before; to be precise – it has never uttered about it at all. There is no need to deny that there were disputes over the problems of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia, or boundary treaty, Soviet symbolic and SS veterans` marches, but as for pronouncing the word “war” without quotation marks – this is something fundamentally new in Russia-Estonia relations.

And now the freshly appointed commander of the Estonian Defence forces major-general Ants Laaneots has claimed that it is Russia to pose the primary threat to the country. “To put it mildly, our neighbour is an unfriendly state. Relations with Russia are the main problem of our security”, he said in an interview published by the Eesti Paevaleht newspaper on Wednesday, December 6. However, what if not put it mildly? What state is Estonia neighbouring with then? Maybe enemy? It is natural to fight with enemies, and the major-general already has a formula: “to increase the abilities of self-defence in the areas where we have any shortcomings. This implies adequate activity both in case of natural disasters or terrorist and military threats. We are a border state – a member of NATO and the EU. Our situation of security cannot be compared with that of Denmark’s or Belgium’s”, Mr. Laaneots clarified.

 It is obvious what was meant by “cannot be compared” – Denmark and Belgium do not have dangerous neighbours in the east, while Estonia, as it has recently become known, is not so lucky. The major-general has no doubts that a war with Russia is more than theory: “If any crisis breaks out in our region, we must create a backing system for the NATO states which will come to help”.

Meanwhile, in Baltic States they draw a more and more surreal image of a virtual enemy. Russia is nothing compared to what Latvian president Vike Freiberga admitted at the NATO summit in Riga: she relies on NATO if Latvia is attacked by… space aliens (Martians in particular).

A brief inquiry

The military establishment of Estonia numbers 6 thousand soldiers and officers approximately. Estonian subunits participate in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The incidence of troops` contingent is not considerable: by several dozens people.

 Russian Minister of defence comments

  “Diplomatically speaking, such statement causes astonishment and worry. We are aware of the NATO`s position repeatedly expressed by the official leaders of the organization. As for the threats, you remember the recent NATO summit in Riga where the leader of another Baltic state expressed their concern with some other menace – space aliens. I think Russia and space aliens have little in common”. The Minister of defence of Russia also advised his “colleague” he wasn’t personally acquainted with to draw attention to “fascism glorification” in Estonia and Latvia.



Translation: Lavrentyeva Natalya

Tags: Russia International     

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