NATO Troops in the Baltics Draw a Red Line for Kremlin, Says Laaneots
Increasing NATO's presence in the Blatic states is a signal to the Kremlin and indicates where the border between the West and Russia stands, said Gen. Ants Laaneots, former commander in chief of the Estonian Defense Forces.
“Putin brought sense back to European minds on [military] dangers. I am happy that NATO and foremost EU members have woken up after 20 years of self-deception in the field of security,” Laaneots told ERR radio today, commenting on the decision by the US to station 150 soldiers in each Baltic nation until the end of the year.
Current chief of the Defense Forces, Major General Riho Terras, said the upcoming Kevadtorm military exercise will help drill cooperation. He said the US troops will take part in the month-long exercise and besides training alongside professional Estonian soldiers, the troops could also train with Defense League members and conscripts.
Terras said the 150 soldiers would, in case of war, prepare for the speedier arrival of more US troops.