Ratas: Estonia doesn't have to be directly concerned by tensions in Syria

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Estonian residents do not have to be immediately concerned over tensions between Russia and the U.S. which have increased in the wake of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Thursday.

"Should residents of Estonia feel threatened or concerned now? No," Ratas said at a press conference following Thursday's government meeting. "The situation in Estonia is peaceful."

Ratas said that he had spoken with Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (IRL) about the tensions surrounding Syria in the morning.

"These events are very complex," the prime minister said. "We are keeping an eye on it and are being updated by our partners."

Referring to the state budget strategy negotiations taking place this week, Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu stressed that Estonia's security continues to be ensured.

"On June 10, 1940 the French government abandoned Paris in World War II; on June 14, Hitler entered Paris with his troops," Reinsalu recalled. "On the same day — June 14, 1940 — Soviet forces occupied Estonia. And all over the world, nobody wrote in newspapers that Estonia was occupied because the news was that Paris was taken. When it comes to the question of the environment and the tensions originating in Syria, this definitely means that security is indivisible. And when there is a conflict situation somewhere else in the world, or tensions grow, and our allies may be more connected to it, this will directly affect our security situation."

Consequently, Reinsalu concluded, security must remain a priority in the national budget strategy being compiled — both in ensuring constitutional order in order to handle domestic threats as well as the defense capability of the state.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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