Estonia suspects that Russia is preparing for an armed conflict in the west, said Estonian Defense Minister Jüri Luik at a memorial conference in Tallinn for former Estonian president Lennart Meri.
His conclusion is based on the fact that Russia has reinforced its Western Military District, establishing seven new regiments and stationing them less than 50 km from the state border.
“This demonstrates that the Russian Armed Forces are preparing for an armed conflict to the west,” RBC news agency cites Luik as saying.
The minister is convinced that Russia is waiting for NATO to weaken in the coming years. He also expressed concern regarding the Council of Europe’s decision to give Russia back its voting right in the organization. He also considered it possible that the lifting of EU sanctions on Russia will soon be put on the agenda.
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid visited Moscow on 18 April and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Estonian leader commented that it is hard to negotiate with Moscow, since the two countries have such different values. She admitted that she had been unable to find any common ground with the Russian leader.
The Council of Europe has decided to restore Russia’s voting right and make preparations to restore its membership status. Russia’s right to vote in the organization was removed after it annexed Crimea in 2014.