On Pre-Wales Oslo Visit, Ilves Calls for Permanent NATO Bases in Estonia (2)
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said during his state visit to Norway today that the nation wants permanent NATO military bases on its soil.
He told journalists that the bases would protect Estonia and decrease fears that after Ukraine, the Baltics will be turned into a conflict zone, Reuters reported.
A two-tier NATO, where some members have NATO military bases and others do not sends a wrong message to potential aggressors.
Top EU and US politicians have been sending mixed messages on the topic of NATO bases in the Baltics, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposing the idea while others proposing the cancellation of NATO-Russia agreement on bases near the Russian border as one step, or the pre-positioning of military equipment.
A White House official, Charles Kupchan, also recently cited the 1997 Founding Act between NATO and Russia as an obstacle to permanent bases and favored use of the word "persistent."