- It is estimated that boosting troops costs the alliance $27bn a year. Do you believe that despite of that they will definitely be willing to increase the presence?
All such calculations are theoretical. Surely the level is lower than during war.
- Do you believe that the allies furthest from us see the problem around here just as we see it?
This is a matter of decision, but I believe the decision will be without major discussions. I saw that at the Wales summit and surely this time the discussions are bigger as Europe has other problems as well.
As a NATO member, Estonia has always taken all concerns of the allies seriously. We have been in Mali with the French when they asked us; with the Germans in Djibouti when they asked us; with the Italians in Kosovo. It is for this very reason that our peacekeepers have fulfilled this mission all over the world that when we have a need for help, we will be able to tell Italy or France that, friends, now’s the time.
- For the ordinary citizen, what does the ICDS advice mean talking about forceful military presence on the Baltic Sea?
«Forceful presence» in the meaning of that report is vessels on the sea. Currently, navies are operating on Baltic Sea at mine countermeasures and other capability. Real major navy powers are Poland and Sweden, and naturally Russia.
The US military vessel USS Donald Cook, much talked about at the moment, carries a Tomahawk rocket and is able to project great military force to any part of the Baltic Sea region. The movement of such vessels and subs maintains the balance.
- Russia surely likes such movements not and the sceptics say we are provoking.
Russia cannot be provoked any stronger. They have increased their military force and exercises, continuous military presence in our immediate region to such an extent that I do not believe they will change anything if a battalion or more is added here.
- How does the alliance react anyway, to Russia’s nuclear rhetoric?
For themselves, the three NATO nations with nuclear capability have thought these things through. In the USA, they have clearly detected the nuclear threat and measures to deal with nuclear threat and deterrence are in place.
The UK decision to acquire new nuclear carting subs clearly shows that allies do take the nuclear deterrence seriously.
- How to look at the concern in people that the superpowers actually want to wage the wars between them on territories of the smaller ones?
I’d call all to calm down. Bringing forth the dark scenarios before summits is the usual procedure. At the moment, though, a conflict in Estonia is of little likelihood, as we are a NATO member. But we need to do all on our part for it to also remain of little likelihood.
The more we calm down, the better the overall backdrop, and as crises subside, perhaps even in Russia they will realise that they need to calm down.
In Europe, there have been conflicts after every ten years – if we remain calm, we will be able to stay above them. Towards that, our soldiers do daily toil.