Security expert: Russia wants to influence NATO's new strategy

Meelis Oidsalu.
Meelis Oidsalu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Russia wants to delay NATO's new strategic concept and seeks to influence the new framework, security expert Meelis Oidsalu said on Friday while commenting on the recent meeting between the U.S. and Russian presidents' video call.

Speaking on ETV's breakfast show "Terevisioon", he said: "Our approach has obviously failed, the West has accepted its failure. We need to remind the West what this failure can lead to."

Putin dreams of turning Ukraine into the "near aboard", Oidsalu said, meaning it can remain within Russia's sphere of influence. 

"Automatically, if Ukraine is the near abroad, then so are we," he continued. "All three Baltic states have a land border with Russia."

Oidsalu said the actions of the United States, and especially President Joe Biden, in resolving the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been clumsy. He said it is possible Biden is confused.

"Biden's agenda did not include dealing with Ukraine. He wants a new START agreement, dealing with the influence of China, getting Iran back into the nuclear deal. To some extent, the United States needs Putin's support on all these issues," Oidsalu said.

Oidsalu said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) reacted very firmly to Biden's idea of ​​a meeting held only between Russia and bigger NATO allies. 

He said she gave: "A strong and clear signal. As a small country, there is no choice but to intervene loud and clear and to do so early."

On Thursday, Former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said Poland should be included if only the bigger allies are consulted, although this usually means Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

Poland, as an eastern flank country, would also represent the views of the Baltic states.

"Poland would have reason to ask for Article 4 consultations if it is seen that anything is being done with Russia outside NATO," Oidsalu said.

Article 4 means any NATO member can start consultations with other members of the council if it believes "territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened".


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Editor: Helen Wright

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