Former president: NATO-Russia Founding Act should be scrapped
Former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves finds that NATO should, effective immediately, repeal the NATO-Russia Founding Act according to which the alliance cannot establish permanent military bases in so-called new member states, even though the latter have been in NATO for 18-23 years.
European heads of government and political leaders keep phoning Moscow to talk to President Putin for whom it comes as confirmation that if he is being consulted, he is involved, and there is no isolation. You said before the war that this manner of running back and forth is inadmissible and should be stopped. Do you still believe that?
I am even more convinced it should not be done right now. I cannot fathom what it is they are seeking, other than a very slim hope of being the one who achieves a breakthrough. It is completely absurd.
I cannot respect something like that in the conditions of genocidal war where residential neighborhoods are being fired on, where soldiers are firing on evacuation buses full of kids, civilians; where evacuation routes the sides have agreed on are being attacked. We are dealing with a war criminal. Did they phone up Hitler to ask him whether they could be a little nicer over there? Absurd!
Another thing that is merely spoken about, without any action taken, is a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Yes, and being a realist, it will not happen. Even though I am greatly disappointed that forces considerably stronger than Russia have taken seriously its (Russia's – ed.) stance of controlling the Ukrainian airspace – a country that it is presently conquering. But it won't happen, so there is no sense in even discussing it.
What could change or should happen for the war to end?
My fear is that they will continue to destroy Ukraine. Therefore, provided there is no courage to do something more, Ukraine needs to be given massive amounts of supplies. With bombing on the scale that we have witnessed, we need to help protect the Ukrainian people, give them arms so they could defend themselves.
What should NATO do, what could it do?
It should immediately, and I do mean right now, repeal the NATO-Russia Founding Act according to which the alliance cannot create permanent bases or permanently station troops in so-called new member states, countries that have been in NATO for 18-23 years now. A completely absurd move. The Russians are engaged in a genocidal massacre, while we're sticking to the founding act. It needs to be annulled now.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski