IRL Tallinn councilman and security expert Eerik-Niiles Kross said if western powers draw a mental line they are prepared to physically protect only to Poland, Estonia will lose investments, tourists and in the end, its identity.
Despite Estonia, the United States, the UK, Germany and even NATO itself saying its famous Article 5 for a member's collective defense will be applied if Russian troops enter Estonian territory, many foreign and Estonian analysts have questioned the pledge, Kross said in an opinion piece published in Äripäev today.
“If Estonia reacts in similar fashion to the Ukraine in Crimea, without a shot fired and Tallinn abandoned, then negotiations will begin (instead of NATO forces engaging Russia in battle),” Kross said, adding that the million dollar question is whether defending Estonia is mentioned alongside Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, in the risk group, or in the same category as Sweden, Denmark and Ireland – nations that must be defended at all costs.
“If an attitude emerges in the western societies that seeing the Baltic nations invaded would be sad, but the mental line where nations must step-up lies in Poland, then sooner or later this mindset will have an affect on western governments,” he said, adding that a large company planning investments in Estonia recently held an emergency meeting to discuss freezing the project until the security situation has cleared up.
“The task for Estonia, is to do all it can […] to promote an image of a nation that must be protected not only in Tallinn, but in all western capital cities and in Moscow,” Kross said.