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Estonia's FM warns Baltic states have 3 to 4 years to prepare for Russian 'assessment' of NATO capabilities

by Olena Goncharova February 15, 2024 6:24 AM 2 min read
A Polish soldier sits in a tank as a NATO flag flies behind during the NATO Noble Jump military exercises of the VJTF forces on June 18, 2015, in Zagan, Poland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Estonia's foreign minister emphasized on Feb. 14 that NATO has a timeframe of approximately three to four years to enhance its defensive capabilities as Russian leader Vladimir Putin ramps up his nation's military activities, AP reports.

During a visit to Poland's capital, Margus Tsahkna said at a news conference that Estonia, along with Lithuania and Latvia, does not perceive Russia as an immediate threat, attributing this stance to Moscow's current focus on its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"But we must understand the Russian war machine has started in the full scale, the capabilities for production and the mentality as well, because Putin is controlling now everything," he said.

Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are regarded as prime targets should Russia ever contemplate an assault on the military alliance. Poland, despite its larger size, also shares a sense of vulnerability. All four nations staunchly support Ukraine.

Amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West due to the war, reports surfaced on Feb. 13 revealing that Estonia's Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, has been put on a wanted list in Russia due to her initiatives to dismantle Soviet-era World War II monuments. Kallas brushed off the development as a "common scare tactic" employed by Moscow.

Ukraine war latest: Ukrainian forces sink another Russian warship off Crimean coast
Key developments on Feb. 14: * Russian landing ship sinks in Black Sea; Ukraine says it was hit with naval drones * Stoltenberg says 18 of 31 NATO members expected to meet 2% defense spending goal * Kremlin denies Reuters report that Putin proposed ceasefire to US * Canada allocates $44 million…
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