Moscow (Times Of Ocean)- Russia would take (military) measures in the Baltic if Sweden and Finland join NATO, according to Russian Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev.
The comments come after Estonia’s permanent secretary for defense, Kusti Salm, said NATO should beef up its presence in the Baltic States in order to warn Russian President Vladimir Putin against further invasions.
The threat posed by the Russian Federation is now as clear as it can get, said Salm, describing it as a murderer of historical proportions. Baltic
“There’s not enough words of thank you for Britain. Britain has definitely done a lot, so we are extremely grateful. There has been no hesitation in its commitment to the allied principles. But everyone can always do more,” he added.
“We need to make sure that the deterrent message the allied forces are sending to Russia is that they shouldn’t even have a thought about invading NATO or attacking NATO.”
As part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Britain has doubled its number of soldiers since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Salm urged NATO member states to double the number of troops deployed to the country, raising the total to around 4,000 if his request is granted.
Among the 1.3 million citizens of Estonia, 25,000 serve in the reservist military, while 3,500 serve in its regular military.
“I think this is what NATO needs to do to in order to face the threat coming from Russia,” Salm declared.
“As the heads of states agreed in Brussels, the plan is to significantly increase the force presence of the eastern flank.”
“On the eve of a war, NATO would be able to come up with a divisional level land force, air superiority and also maritime command.”
“This is the credible level of war fighting at a minimum that would deter the Russians not to come.”
“It would be ridiculous to state that somehow [Russia] the second biggest non-commissioned military in the world, one of the top three military forces in the world, would somehow be deterred by a lesser-manned force than a division,” he added
Officials in Estonia do not believe that being a NATO country would be enough to stop an invasion by Russia. “The threat [to Estonia] from Russia is as clear as anything can be, Salm stated.
“Russia has revealed itself to be a historic-level murderer.”
“They have made no secret about their intent to eventually dismantle NATO.”
According to Salm, NATO has been the most successful military alliance in the world and the current situation will be its defining mission.
Sweden and Finland took major steps toward joining the organisation on Wednesday despite Russia repeatedly warning that such a move would be seen as a provocation amid growing tensions regarding security on the continent.
When asked what keeps him awake at night, he answered, “It is the question of if we have done enough to help Ukraine? Is our strategy right and up-to-date? Are we doing enough?”
“I think we need to do more.”
More sanctions are needed immediately, particularly against Russian energy, which he said earns the country around 800 million euros a day and finances its war machine.
Veiko-Vello Palm, Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, backed Salm’s request and stressed the need for NATO allies to mobilize quickly and provide long-range missile equipment to the Baltic States.
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Els of the Danish contingent, which is in Estonia with their Viking Company battle group, believes Mr Putin will not risk attacking a NATO country because “he knows he won’t win”.
“I don’t think that Putin has the will nor the desire to engage NATO. He knows he cannot win and he knows the only outcome would be nuclear war,” he said.
Currently, the UK’s Royal Welsh Battalion is leading a 1,200-strong NATO battle group – which includes French and Danish soldiers and is based in Tapa.
Another 800 soldiers from the Royal Tank Regiment are still in the country to provide additional support.
According to reports, Estonia has sent Ukraine 200 million euros in military aid, a third of the country’s defense budget last year.
In the nation, many fear a potential conflict with Russia, and some have already moved west in response.