Ilves at Lennart Meri Conference: Europe Must Know Price of Failure to Act (5)

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (right) (Courtesy of the Lennart Meri Conference)
4/28/2014 9:10 AM
Category: Politics

Speaking at the Lennart Meri Conference over the weekend, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said Europe must combat business corruption and eliminate money laundering on the continent, as part of a strong reaction against Russian aggression.

Video of the opening panel is available here.

He said if a number of nations worry about the effects on sanctions against Russia on their own economies, they must also weight to consequences of not reacting at all.

Dealing with millions of refugees from Ukraine would already have a great effect, Ilves said.

Defense Forces commander in chief Riho Terras said at the conference on Saturday that Russia was the only real military danger in the Baltic Sea region, and that Russia "understands best" when it is sees armored forces across from it.

US Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute said that the goal of NATO forces in the Baltics was not so much to influence Russia but give the Baltic states security. About 150 American airborne troops will arrive at Ämari Air Base today, part of 600 deployed in the region.

London  City Law School professor Alan Riley noted that Ukrainians should be aware of the pressure in gas pipelines from Russia. If the pressure drops, that could be a sign of imminent Russian invasion.

On the Sunday morning panel, NATO commander of Allied Land Command based in Turkey, Gen. Ben Hodges, said that politicians had to overcome their fear of calling threats to NATO by their real name  and that military forces should refrain from the practice of using simulated adversary names as a placeholder in exercises, instead of "Russia."


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