Prime minister blasts MP's call to initiate NATO Article 4 consultations

NATO battle group's military parade at Tapa Army Base. April 20, 2017.
NATO battle group's military parade at Tapa Army Base. April 20, 2017.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) pushed back on statements made by former defense and foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), who said on Wednesday that NATO's article 4 should be invoked by Estonia to start discussions about additional forces in the Baltic states and Poland. Kallas said Reinsalu is just looking for political attention.

"Article 4 means consultations between allies, these consultations have taken place for a long time. Imagine a situation, in which these consultations have been ongoing ongoing and then someone says we should start consultations, because a former foreign minister demands it. That is just silly," Kallas said at a government press conference on Thursday.

"There is a principle in foreign policy that you do not listen to the loudmouth, but the silent one is also not noticed and we have all been very balanced. We are asked for advice, we are called, we get questions. Consultations are clearly ongoing between NATO allies and we are active participants," the prime minister added.

"I would say the former foreign minister wants to stand out politically, which he has done with this statement. But does that help Estonia? No. That does not help Estonia. Us working on actual solutions helps Estonia," Kallas quipped.

The prime minister emphasized that there are no negotiations ongoing with Russia and it is currently a matter of dialogue.

Reinsalu wrote to Kallas earlier this week and said Estonia should invoke NATO Article 4 and called for like-minded countries to invoke the clause together and "without delay".

"This is not an ordinary diplomatic conflict situation between countries, but from a neighboring country with nuclear weapons, which ultimately threatens to use military force if NATO is not essentially dismantled in Eastern Europe," the former minister said.

He called for new sanctions to be imposed on Russia to discourage large-scale military activities in Ukraine.

NATO has scheduled a special meeting with Russia for January 12.

Last month, Russia issued a series of demands to the U.S. that NATO should roll back its presence on its Eastern flank and, including in the Baltics, and rule out Georgia or Ukraine joining the alliance in the future.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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