Estonia – On Sunday, June 12, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, from the liberal-conservative Estonian Reform Party, told his party members that NATO troops’ permanent presence on Estonian territory should become a new reality for this country.
As tension is rising between NATO and Russia, especially in the Baltic region, Taavi Rõivas announced one month ahead of the NATO summit which is to be held in early July in Warsaw, that due to “unstable and unpredictable” security environment, the will for defense and allied relations must be strengthened. According to the Primer Minister, “Russia behaves like an aggressor capable of changing borders forcibly, international law for it is wastepaper”.
“The presence of NATO troops is a new reality. It should increase not only as a potent political signal, but also as a means of making our Defense Forces more competitive to repulse any enemy,” told the Estonian Premier, Taavi Rõivas. NATO troops should be in Estonia “not for war or inciting war,” he said. “These forces are in Estonia to send a clear and unequivocal message to the adversary: do not quarrel with NATO,” Rõivas said.
Interfax.com reported that the Estonian Premier explained that he will aim to ensure the allies’ presence in Estonia becomes a constant NATO policy at the next NATO summit on July 8-9. He added that he will pledge for an increase of NATO countries’ defense spendings. Currently, NATO countries shall spend 2% of their gross domestic product. But only five members meet this target, including Estonia.