Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) told Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat on Monday that he hoped President Trump would continue the U.S.’ current foreign policy, but said he assumed that America would increasingly make decisions based on its own particular interests.
Mikser said that he disagreed with any kind of discrimination or any other step that had the potential to damage America’s international position or security. He also expressed hope that the American troops sent to Europe by President Obama would remain here. “We assume that the United States will be consistent in its policy,” Mikser said.
The debate surrounding NATO members’ contribution to defense spending in the alliance had been a topic in Estonia already years ago, long before Trump had taken it up during his campaign.
Estonia met the goal of spending at least the equivalent of 2 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense even at the height of the financial crisis, in a time when the other Baltic states all cut their defense spending, and the new government is continuing on the same course.
Mikser, on a working visit to Finland, said that Estonia and Finland shared the same interests concerning the security situation in the Baltic Sea area.
“Russia’s more provocative and aggressive politics has increased the pressure on the Baltic Sea area,” Mikser said, pointing out that this same Russia had started two wars in the past ten years, against Georgia in 2008, and against Ukraine in 2014.
There was still a chance to influence Russia in a way that the situation didn’t get even worse, Mikser said. “In Estonia, we don’t consider Vladimir Putin to be irrational. He is very rational, calculates coldly, and because of this he can be influenced with a deterrent,” Mikser opined. In the Baltic Sea area, this deterrent was NATO.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn