He expressed this opinion in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
According to the President of Estonia, he is concerned about the growth of Russia’s military might and “threatening rhetoric” from Moscow. He stated that in order to maintain the necessary level of security for his country, the alliance must deploy there at least a brigade instead of 150 personnel that are currently in the country. At the moment, in Estonia there is only an armored infantry company from the 1st Cavalry (tank) division of the US Army on a permanent basis.
“We are carrying out border mimic warfare involving 40 to 80 thousand people. And we are also, along with the United States, are being accused of escalating the situation, and Russia is threatening to take counter-measures,”- complained Ilves.
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According to the president, last summer at the NATO summit in Wales, Tallinn was promised in the event of an emergency to get military force of rapid reaction force of about five thousand people, but this is totally inadequate. “And how fast will they get here? In a week, in five days? If you look at the [Russian] mimic warfare, they always begin suddenly. Everything would be over in four hours, “- said the president of Estonia, adding that if NATO fails Estonia, it would mean the death of the North Atlantic Alliance.
Ilves also noted that NATO has changed since the Cold War years in that it has lost its “moral purity.” As an example, the president cited the cooperation between the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with the Russian company Gazprom, which, according to him, was absolutely impossible before 1991.
The Baltic States, not excluding Estonia, in recent months have repeatedly issued statements with regard to their concern about the active military exercises of the Russian armed forces in the North West. In particular, the Baltic States have a very negative reaction to the increased frequency of the Russian Air Force flights over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea in the vicinity of their borders.