Appearing today before the Riigikogu in a matter of national importance – the discussion of the report regarding NATO Deterrence in the Baltic Sea Region: Current Situation and Perspectives – Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso provided an overview of the defence and deterrence posture, which Estonia is earnestly trying to achieve prior to the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
“We are confronted with a situation in which Russia sees NATO and the West as its primary enemy," said Minister of Defence Hanso. “The Putin regime's unpredictable behaviour, significant military presence beyond our borders, complex training exercises and growing military capability is under scrutiny in Estonia as well as the capitals of our allies. It is evident that Russia’s aggressive steps and actions directed against European and democratic values will continue on for a long time.”
Hanso stated that Estonia and the Western world in general must cope with growing extremism, terrorism and other dangers. The security environment has clearly become strained over the past few years and there are no signs indicating that the situation may recover anytime soon. In place of measures improving the security situation of individual regions, Estonia needs a comprehensive and long-term solution.
According to Minister of Defence Hanso, the defence and deterrence posture being advocated by Estonia is comprised of four parts.
The first of these is comprised of independent defensive capability – primarily well-equipped and combat ready Defence Forces and Defence League.
The second component is the permanent presence of combat ready Allied Forces on Estonian soil. The units of our Allies must be of sufficient size and combat ready, and possess clear combat plans and command lines.
The third element is comprised of those Allied Forces that will come to Estonia’s aid when necessary. In order for this to function, contributions must be made to these forces, infrastructure and training.
The fourth component in an efficient deterrent is NATO’s nuclear deterrent. Our actions must be credible and convince possible aggressors that Estonia will fight for its freedom in any case, and that NATO protects its allies with all of its political and military strength.
Next week, NATO Ministers of Defence will meet in Brussels and discuss preparations for the NATO Warsaw Summit.