Estonian Minister of Defense Sven Mikser said in an interview to the BBC that he agrees with the recent British National Defense Commission’s report on the growing Russian threat. He also applauds the effort that NATO member states have put into the integrity of the alliance.
The United Kingdom’s Defense Committee of the House Commons stated in its report that NATO is ill-equipped to react to Russia’s unconventional methods of war against an alliance member.
MPs of the UK's House of Commons recommended to NATO to dispatch permanent troops and military equipment to the Baltic states. NATO Article Five, the collective defense clause, was deemed insufficient, taking into account recent developments in Ukraine – obligation of immediate help to alliance members in case of insurgents and cyber warfare was proposed. In addition, members of parliament pointed out that NATO should focus more on rapid deployment units by organizing large-scale military exercises, which would include every alliance member.
Mikser said that although international relations in Europe are currently strained, there is no panic in Estonia – not on the streets nor among politicians.
“We have invested significant amounts of funds into our defense and security capabilities over the years, as well as contributed to strengthening relations between alliance members in Europe and in the Americas,” said Mikser, although he expressed concern in the fact that Russia has recently been converging its armed forces in the eastern region of its territory.
Mikser said the Baltic states do need a better defense plan – particularly in bettering their situational awareness and reaction time. He stressed that collectively NATO is far more superior in warfare, although Putin’s regime seems to think they have an upper hand in this matter.
"There is time. Russia has heavily been focusing on rapid deployment of troops. In essence, Putin is able to lead his armies from home,” he said.