Defence Minister Hannes Hanso (SDE) stressed in his speech in the Riigikogu on Wednesday that political forces that incite hatred of foreigners were a clear security risk for Estonia.
The unity of NATO as well as the European Union could never just go one way, Hanso said. Estonia couldn’t just be a consumer of security guaranteed by others, but had to contribute as well.
“We need to be ready to participate in the solving of global as well as local problems, no matter if that’s the migration crisis, the fight against terrorism, or other critical situations,” Hanso said. “Without it, we can’t hope to have the consideration of other states and expect our allies to help us in a time of need.”
“Frankly, those political forces who incite hatred of foreigners, also here in this room, are a clear security risk for us,” Hanso added.
He went on to say that hatred and intolerance in the Estonian society directly served the purposes of the Kremlin. If Estonia was seen by its allies as a xenophobic, racist, and closed small state, Hanso asked, who would gain from it?
Estonia’s defense consisted of four major elements, the minister said. The ability to defend the country independently was the first, the presence of battle-ready allied troops the second.
The third element was the capacity of allies to come and assist Estonia if needed. This required investment in those forces, infrastructure, and training.
The fourth element, Hanso said, was NATO’s nuclear deterrent. The alliance’s actions needed to be credible, and a potential aggressor shown that Estonia would defend itself in any case, and that NATO would defend its allies with all its political and military power.
The alliance’s defense ministers will meet in Brussels next week to discuss preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw on Jul. 8-9.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn