Experts: More weapons for Ukraine needed post haste

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Rainer Saks.
Rainer Saks. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Security expert Rainer Saks finds that giving Ukraine more anti-aircraft weapons following Russia's massive missile attack on Tuesday and the rocket incident in Polish territory would constitute a logical response.

"Had these weapons been made available to Ukraine in proper quantities and at the right time, the incident would probably not have happened. Newer weapons given to Ukraine proved their worth also in this recent barrage. There simple aren't enough of them," Saks said on the "Vikerhommik" morning show.

Arming Ukraine with other types of weapons makes for a separate topic, Saks suggested.

"The longer this war goes on, the bigger the risk it will escalate into something more. While Russia does not have the strength to wage conventional war using conventional arms on other fronts, a potential Russia-NATO conflict would quickly escalate into nuclear war. It is not something anyone is seriously considering," Saks said. The security expert added that once matters escalate, they will be much harder to calm back down.

"I believe that arming Ukraine post haste is the only way out of this situation. Ukraine's sponsors are set to meet to discuss this matter as part of the Ramstein format today. I hope there will be swift progress."

Commenting on Tuesday's missile incident on the Ukraine-Poland border on which official information is still in short supply, Saks said that the recent wave of missile attacks saw Russia use so-called dumb munitions or non-precision weapons.

"At the same time, some of them were quite accurate in hitting their intended targets. While some were not. Many were shot down but intercepted missiles can also fall down somewhere not indended. But all of these are merely possibilities. We cannot say what exactly happened near the border."

Whatever the case, NATO needs to clearly demonstrate that it is prepared to deliver a military response while refraining from rushing into it, Rainer Saks remarked.

"But the intent of readiness should be very clearly communicated," he emphasized.

He said that NATO members have reaffirmed their support for Poland, while it is largely up to the latter to determine how events will unfold from here. The Polish president has convened the country's national security council for noon today to be followed by NATO Article 4 consultations in Brussels. "An immediately military response is not a goal in itself at this time," Saks said.

Terras: The incident will not result in WW3

Former Estonian Defense Forces commander, MEP Riho Terras echoed the need to send more weapons to Ukraine, which decisions he expects from the G20 summit in Bali and the Ramstein conference in Germany.

Terras said that Russia's Tuesday missile attack demonstrated that Ukraine's air defenses are not enough. "NATO should seriously consider ramping up air defense on its eastern border in light of such incidents. In truth, I have believed from the first that countries supporting Ukraine should create an air defense bubble that also controls the Ukrainian air space," Terras suggested, adding that there are no legal obstacles stopping NATO from defending Ukraine's airspace following a corresponding request.

Talking about NATO's reaction to the missile incident on the Ukraine-Poland border, the MEP said that it is important to get to the bottom of what happened. While NATO Article 4 consultations have been scheduled for Wednesday morning, Terras does not believe the incident could lead to the execution of Article 5 as it is still unclear where the missiles that fell down in Poland killing two people came from.

"An investigation will determine whether the missile that came down in Poland was Ukrainian or Russian. What we know for sure is that there would be no missiles in Polish or indeed Ukrainian airspace if Russia was not attacking. The incident's cause is still Russia," Terras said of Tuesday events.

He added that the incident will very likely not spark WW3 as it is clear no Russian missile would be deliberately aimed at such a target in Poland. "If it was a Russian missile, it had gone astray, which would also be the case if it was a Ukrainian missile. So we will not see WW3 as a result of this."


U.S. President Joe Biden has suggested the missile hit Poland via a trajectory that makes it "unlikely" it was fired from Russian territory, The Guardian reported. It is believed possible that a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile might have fell down in Poland.

The article was updated to add comments by MEP Riho Terras.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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