Expert: Opposition between interior, defense ministries is odd

The Ministry of the Interior drew up a draft for the establishment of a crisis reserve of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and sent it to a round of coordination from where the Ministry of Defense sent it back with words of criticism, but the confrontation has become political, which internal security expert Erkki Koort said he finds this odd.

In an interview with the Kuku Raadio radio channel, Koort said when it comes to the idea of setting up a reserve, there is a smidgen of truth in what was said by Defense Minister Juri Luik (Isamaa), who called what is happening a political ball game, as well as Interior Minister Mart Helme (EKRE), who saw departmental jealousy in the opposition by the Ministry of Defense.

He was somewhat surprised by the scepticism of the Ministry of Defense, as in the past, both the ministry and the defense forces have expressed support for the idea of creating a reserve to support internal defense.

"True, the devil is in the details, after all. It may not have been in this form at the time, because the options on the table have been discussed in very different forms," Koort said.

According to him, the project of extensive national defense led by the Ministry of Defense has developed a crack with this opposition. The claim of the Ministry of Defense that in a crisis situation, the police can rely on the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps is not valid because Kaitseliit is not equipped or trained for internal defense functions.

Koort said he sees the establishment of an internal defense reserve as necessary, but its exact form is a place for discussion.

"The fact is that due to the shrinking population and the shrinking of the number of officials, the area of administration of the Ministry of the Interior has decreased by more than 2,500 people since the Bronze Night riots. Fewer border guards, fewer police officers. The hope of being able to cope with major crises is a bit naive," he added.

According to Koort, it would be an exaggeration to think that all the people in the reserve should leave their current work entirely at the whistle of the director general of the PPA, which is what has been highlighted by the critics of the draft.

Koort drew a comparison with the mobilization of the defense forces, which cannot, for example, call in police officers. "It appears from the draft that the reserve is to be used for border protection, control of mass disorder and protection of objects," he added.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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