Estonian Defense Chief warns of Putin's intention to invade Baltics

The threat of a nuclear response or losses will not deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from potentially invading Baltic countries, according to the Chief of Defence of the Estonian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Martin Herem, as reported by Voice of America.

General Herem stressed the urgent need to strengthen the nation's defenses in case of a possible Russian invasion. He stated that a significant increase in the defense budget is necessary to achieve a decisive victory over any potential aggressor. Herem made these remarks during his visit to Japan, where he discussed security issues with representatives of the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

"If you merely show your face at my border, the decisive victory must come very quickly—not in months or years, but in days or weeks. If we think this could happen in three years, then the decision must be made today," said Herem. During his talks with Japanese colleagues, Herem also discussed the possibility of acquiring components for defense purposes. He pointed out that Japan has fewer restrictions on the export of commercially available components that can serve defense purposes, including various sensors like earthquake sensors, which could be useful for detecting the approach of military equipment, including tanks.

Estonia has already raised its defense budget to 3% of GDP, making it a leader in defense spending among NATO members. Nevertheless, Herem emphasized the need for further efforts and a swift response to threats from Russia.

On March 26, the former Commander of US forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, stated that Russia would attack Europe in 2-4 years if it claimed victory in Ukraine. According to Hodges, the West had been in a "slumber" since 2008 when Russia's invasion of Georgia began. It is now vital to prevent "escalation to the next level," and NATO needs to start preparing immediately.

On March 22, German General Carsten Breuer said the West has five years to prepare its defenses. He mentioned that the current military situation in Ukraine does not allow for talks of "freezing" the conflict and suggested that Moscow might be preparing new aggression against NATO countries.

  Baltics, Putin, Estonia