New warning from Estonia on possible Russia-NATO conflict

The woman is wanted by the Russian police. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, as well as Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Keris and Estonian Secretary of State Taimar Pieterkop, were accused by Moscow on Tuesday of defacing monuments erected in tribute to Soviet soldiers.

A classic intimidation tactic, backfired on the head of government, who vowed that she would not be silenced by the threat of jail. Westerners see this as a new influence exercise by the Russians, on the day that Ukrainian secret services released a lengthy report on the war in Ukraine.

“The Kremlin likely expects conflict with NATO over the next decade,” observes the report, which carefully examines Russian military developments in response to the expansion of the Atlantic alliance and the stagnant war in Ukraine. . A challenge was also mentioned earlier in January by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who saw it happening in five to eight years.

Reorganization of Russian troops

Estonian secret services are analyzing in detail the effects of recent reforms by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who plans to increase the army’s strength from 1.15 to 1.5 million soldiers by 2026. An overhaul of the various command centers should make Russian air and naval operations more efficient. .

According to him, the creation of military districts in Moscow and St. Petersburg will specifically target Finland, a new member of NATO, which will soon be followed by Sweden. They also fear a doubling of Russian troop numbers on the Estonian border from 19,000 to about 40,000, imagining a scenario of direct confrontation between Tallinn and Moscow.

Three neighbors – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – also decided in mid-January to create a common Baltic defense zone on their borders with Russia and Belarus. About 600 bunkers should be built by Estonia along the line with Russia, with a budget of 60 million euros.

Russian Sanctions and Assets

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kaja Kallas has been one of Kiev’s most ardent advocates and has emerged as a fiercely anti-Putin voice. His fight goes beyond the military crisis, which was recently mentioned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Tallinn.

As the new NATO summit and Munich Security Conference open this Thursday, the Estonians want to focus on three axes. First to convince Europeans to prosecute Kremlin leaders not only for war crimes, but also for the crime of aggression.

Then, be more effective in combating evasion of the sanctions imposed on the Russians. And, finally, make progress on establishing mechanisms for the use of frozen Russian assets to benefit reconstruction in Ukraine. On all these topics, various alliances are being made with NATO member states as well as members of the European Union.

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