Defense minister: Plan B to NATO has never been discussed by government
Defense minister Jüri Luik said on Tuesday evening that the government has never discussed a plan B to NATO following comments made by interior minister Mart Helme.
In an interview with Finnish newspaper Iltalehti publised on Tuesday Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) said the Estonian government, alongside Latvia and Lithuania, is preparing a plan B in case NATO's collective defense fails.
"Such stories are absurd; they only undermine NATO's unity and weaken deterrence. What more proof of NATO's operation is needed if we have British and French troops in Tapa and allied air security aircraft protecting our airspace?" said Luik (Isamaa) in a statement.
"Everything we do bilaterally with our allies is also based on our membership in NATO. Do we really believe that a US strategic bomber B-52 would fly through Estonian airspace if it were not part of NATO's collective defense?" said Luik, referring to a recent fly-over.
Luik pointed out that in Estonia the Minister of the Interior is not engaged in military defense planning.
"Those involved know that our direction is to strengthen NATO, not to plant doubts in the hearts of our enemies and friends. There is no alternative to NATO, and there will be no alternative," the defense minister said.
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Editor: Helen Wright