Estonia's contributions to the French-led anti-terrorist Operation Barkhane in Mali are widely noticed and highly appreciated, said Barbara Kunz, research fellow at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).
"France's 2017 'Strategic Review' is unequivocal about Russia," Kunz, who is schedued to take part in the Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn at the beginning of June, told BNS in an interview. "It for example says that Russia seeks to weaken the transatlantic link and to divide the European Union."
She said that this indicates that Paris takes Russia seriously.
"On the other hand, I would argue that the increased attention on the eastern EU and NATO members under [French President Emmanuel] Macron is also an element of a more transactional approach: you support us in the south, and we support us in the east," Kunz explained.
Estonia's contributions to Operation Barkhane in Mali are widely noticed in that context — and highly appreciated, she added.
Editor: Aili Vahtla