Estonian analysts: Russia’s new military doctrine predicts its own behavior
In face of the Russia’s new military doctrine that lists NATO and US as major foreign threats, and regards bordering countries hosting foreign troops as a potential threat to national security, Estonian politicians and political analysts played calm.
Russia adopted an updated version of its military doctrine last Friday when it was approved by President Vladimir Putin. In the new military doctrine, NATO expansion is named among key external risks, just as Ukraine is making a new attempt to join the Atlantic military alliance.
The former Estonian foreign minister and now MEP Urmas Paet said that with a renewed military doctrine, Russia is continuing its previous stance, according to which the strength of NATO is a major threat to Russia.
“The timing of the new doctrine is logical, if we look at Russia's recent behavior in Ukraine. With this, Russian authorities are attempting to justify their motives, both to internal and external audience. Their justification is that everything they do is done in order to “protect” Russia from foreign threats,” Paet said to ERR.
Marko Mihkelson, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Estonian Parliament, added that the new Russian doctrine carries a Cold War spirit and clearly demonstrates an anti-Western attitude.
“I think that it is important to take a note of the fact that the “threats” Russian military doctrine describes, concern the allied presence in the Baltic region and Poland. On the other hand, the way Russia depicts modern warfare in the doctrine, is like a copy-paste from their own actions in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine,” Mihkelson said, referring to the non-transparent way Russia has conducted its affairs there.
Political analyst and Russia expert Karmo Tüür suggested that, to understand the new doctrine, it ought to be turned “upside down”.
“By describing the potential threats, Russia indicates how the country itself is planning to act in the neighboring states – less with conventional, military power, more with propaganda and soft power, let it be political or economical,” Tüür said.