Former Commander in Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces, retired general Ants Laaneots, has said that Moscow is frightened of NATO forces being deployed near its borders and the possible collapse of the nation.
Speaking on ETV's “Välisilm” program, Laaneots said that the Baltic states are the weakest link in the NATO defense system, as the three nations are effectively a peninsula cut off from the west and north by sea.
Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu, who recently said that he would welcome a permanent US military presence on Estonian soil, said that the Baltics is the only NATO region where the military balance is against the organization.
Any US or other NATO troops stationed in Estonia would only be symbolic as there would not be enough of them to have a real military meaning.
Russia fears the departure of former Soviet states from its sphere of influence, but also an internal collapse of the nation, Laaneots said.
He said that Russia's doctrine is neo-imperialistic as President Vladimir Putin and his team have set the goal of restoring control over former Soviet states and, in the long run, replacing USA as the global administrator.