Participation in the mission in Afghanistan has been very important for Estonia, as it strengthens the defense of Estonia, MP Juri Luik, former longtime minister of defense, told ETV's evening news program "Aktuaalne kaamera" in an interview on Thursday.
Luik (Isamaa), deputy chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said that Estonia went to Afghanistan not to bring democracy to that country, but to support allies, acting on the presumption that the allies will support us if necessary.
"We have to take it into consideration that the intrusion into Afghanistan took place after the United States had been attacked from the territory of Afghanistan - the well-known 9/11 terror strikes on New York and Washington - and it was absolutely natural that the United States will strike back. And it was also absolutely natural that the United States will invite their NATO allies and other partners to join them. Let me remember that this also was the sole occasion where NATO has evoked its well-known Article 5 for the defense of one ally, the United States in the case in question," the former minister said.
"Indeed, we brought into Afghanistan very many of the notions which influence and shape Western societies. And definitely the Afghanistan we have today is more similar to a state as we imagine a state would be. It has its own government, organizations, laws, Constitution. We brought a lot there that we thought is important," Luik said.
Regarding the situation of Ukraine, Luik described it as very worrying.
"The situation is very worrying. Big numbers of Russian troops have been concentrated there. For what scenario there's exactly enough of them is a matter of dispute. But the possibility that Russian troops will start military action continues to be very strong, We can also see President Putin's blanket refusal of diplomatic solutions, he has been very ironic also over a proposal of the president of the United States to meet in the summer. So the situation is very worrying and of course Estonia must keep a very close eye on it," the MP from Isamaa party said.
Editor: Helen Wright