dimanche 18 octobre 2009

What guarantees our security

I wonder in what a world live our president Ilves and our former prime minister Laar. The former launches a passionate appeal to NATO to conduct military exercices in the Baltic states, the latter says that the European report on the causes of Russian-Georgian August war was flawed falsely accusing Georgia of initiating the conflict. I think that teasing the Russian bear is not the most intelligent thing an Estonian politician can do. Declaring that the enemies of Russia are nearly automatically our friends and allies is not an example of political wisdom. We must ask why do the Russians not react more aggressively to such militant rhetoric. Because Estonia is a member of NATO, is the common answer, and most people seem really to believe it. I don't. I think that the Russians are pragmatic, and the main reason for their moderation is just the fact that they do not consider Estonia to be a military threat. Although St Petersburg is only about 200 kilometres from Estonian border, the Estonian armed forces as well as the armed forces of our two Baltic neighbours are not something to be taken seriously. So far, NATO is not much of a presence here, and Russians have more important concerns elsewhere. Thus, our security is better guaranteed by the absence of NATO forces than any military exercices on our soil. Any real military moves in the Baltic region would change the situation, and in no sense increase our security. Let's hope there will be no US or NATO bases here. My sources indicate that the red line for the West lies in the Botnia bay, not further East. And our politicians should perhaps try to compare the developments in the Caucasian and Central Asian region with the "Big Game" between Britain and Russia a hundred years ago. We have no reason to rush into the big games of big powers for the domination of oil, gas and pipeline regions.

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