In remarks delivered at the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn on Friday, Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (IRL) said that Estonian residents consider terrorism a bigger threat than Russia's actions.
"For instance, the Estonian public sees terrorism as one of the main threats, and it doesn't have a lot to do with Estonia; it's related to what is covered in the media," Luik said. "In 2015, threat number one was Russia. Of course, public opinion concentrates on direct threats at the present moment."
At the same time, however, according to Luik, everyone agrees that Russia represents the biggest threat potential. This is also why the Ministry of Defence forcused on the joint Russian-Belarusian strategic large-scale military exercise Zapad held in September.
"If you look at what Russia has been doing during the past year, then of course our biggest focus was on Zapad," the defense minister said, adding that a lot of explaining was done to the public so that the latter could assess for itself the exercise's size and scenario.
"And the more we analyze that exercise, the more it seems that public pressure had an effect on the Russians and made them change certain aspects," Luik added.
Editor: Aili Vahtla