Full-Scale Conflict Unlikely, Say Estonian Military Ex-Commander ({{commentsTotal}})

Gen. Ants Laaneots
Gen. Ants Laaneots Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Retired General Ants Laaneots said Russian President Vladimir Putin will pressure the interim Ukrainian government to step down, but does not want war or bloodshed.

“Russia has no ambition to turn the Crimea into an independent nation, nor to add it to its own territory,” Laaneots, who is now an adviser to the Estonian Prime Minister on defense matters, told Postimees on Monday.

He said that Putin will use delaying tactics to exhaust the public, adding the Ukrainian state has no funds to pay public servants, let alone the mobilized soldiers.

In a separate interview, he told Eesti Päevaleht that the conflict in Georgia brought no repercussions for Putin and he is now more fearless.

“If the venture into Ukraine proves successful then there is little doubt that the expansion will continue, and a move towards the Baltic states in the future can not be ruled out,” Laaneots said.