The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service warned in its new annual report "International Security and Estonia" that “The only serious threat to regional security, including the existence and sovereignty of Estonia and other Baltic Sea states, emanates from Russia.” The Service came to that conclusion after analyzing Russia's military exercises.
Estonian intelligence noted that last year “Russia continued the military build-up along its western border.” According to Estonian intelligence, Russia has been developing and training its armed forces for large-scale war against NATO.
“The Russian armed forces are consistently practicing for an extensive military conflict with NATO. All the scenarios for command-post exercises from the last two decades describe conventional warfare against NATO and its member states,” the document emphasized.
At the same time, Estonian Intelligence notes that “the general structure of the Russian exercises and scenarios has remained similar throughout the period, regardless of the wars in Ukraine, Georgia and Syria, and despite Western sanctions or the deployment of NATO forces in the Baltic States and Poland.”
The Service also offers insight into how the Russian armed forces perceive the situation. Apparently, Russians see a military conflict with NATO sparked by a “colored revolution” in one of Russia’s neighboring countries. “Russia’s leaders fear that democratic regime changes may escalate into a wider, regional war. In light of this, the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service continues to monitor the political situation in Belarus.”
They warned that should any ill fortune befall President Alexander Lukashenko or his regime, there would be a great risk of swift military action by Russia, ostensibly to prevent Belarus from becoming a pro-Western democracy.
The report emphasizes that “Estonia is the part of NATO that will be easiest for Russia to attack in a crisis, to shift the balance of military power on the Baltic Sea in its favor. In terms of military planning, Russia does not look at Estonia as a separate target, but as a part of NATO. Therefore, Estonia must be prepared for a military incursion from Russia even if the conflict between Russia and NATO is sparked by events elsewhere in the world.”
Earlier, Mikk Marran, Director General of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service accused Russia of trying to separate the EU and NATO. He warned that that action was a “direct threat to Estonia.”