Estonian PM: ‘Putin’s aggressive behaviour made Russia a threat’

Vladimir Putin has made Russia into a threat for neighbouring states, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas warned in an exclusive DW interview.

“[If someone] thinks he can change borders of foreign countries by force, and who has done so in Ukraine and Georgia, there is no question his aggressive behaviour has made Russia a threat,” Roivas said.

In May 2016, Roivas had already advocated for Nato to show “solidarity” and station a Nato battalion in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The ultimate consequence would be that each Nato member state would have an “allied presence”.

So far, Nato’s permanent Force Integration Unit (NFIU) only has 41 soldiers in Estonia, 20 of them are Estonian troops. In the event of a Russian attack, it would take the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force up to seven days to get to Estonia, according to Nato. A war gaming exercise by the Rand Corporation showed that Russian troops could be there after 60 hours.

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