Helme says NATO temporarily paralyzed

Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE).
Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The US withdrawal from Syria and Turkey launching a military campaign there means NATO is currently paralyzed, Minister of the Interior Mart Helme said.

"NATO is temporarily paralyzed, and it constitutes a complicated problem for us," Mart Helme, chairman of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE), said in the capacity of the PM during Thursday's government press conference.

When it comes to defending Estonia, more creative solutions must be sought should the need arise to protect constitutional order, Helme said.

"Small countries' big allies could be busy. Donald Trump will be concentrating on the election campaign in the coming years. These are serious alarm bells for us," he said.

He added that international conflicts are often the result of local disagreements, which is something that should be kept in mind.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) added that he talked to his Turkish colleague and urged him to find a political solution instead of military action. Reinsalu said he will be visiting Brussels on Friday where he will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to talk about the situation in the Middle East and overcoming disagreements between NATO partners.

Reinsalu also recalled how he was assured of the validity of Article Five during his previous US visit. The article covers collective defense.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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