Mikser: Kremlin could test NATO’s limits during U.S. presidency transition period (2)
The Social Democrats’ Sven Mikser, who will be the new government’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Sunday that the coming months would be challenging in terms of foreign policy. The change of administrations in the United States could open a window for those who wanted to test NATO’s limits.
“The moment where the outgoing administration can’t or doesn’t want to make quick and radical decisions anymore, and the new administration is not yet in office, that’s the time where those who want to interfere might try and test [NATO’s] limits,” Mikser said. Provocative actions by the Kremlin had to be expected.
Thousands of officials were on the way out, and new ones coming in. Once the change had taken place, the Estonian authorities needed to get in touch with their new colleagues quickly, Mikser said.
Because of the difficult security situation, Estonia needed a strong diplomatic representation in bilateral relations as well as in international organizations, Mikser stressed. This was in the interest of Estonia’s security and defense as well.
The new coalition wants to strengthen Estonia’s foreign service. For this purpose they will allocate an additional €4m to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is an increase of the ministry’s budget of just under 10%.
According to their agreement, the coalition parties intend to work on the details of Estonia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, set for the second half of 2017. Another priority will be the effects of the United Kingdom’s steps to leave the EU, Mikser said.