TALLINN – In a post published on social media, the commander of the Estonian defense forces Lt. Gen. Martin Herem notes that Estonia has no right to underestimate Russia's aggressiveness in the future and there is also no reason to believe that Russia's defeat in Ukraine would mean the end of the danger we are facing, the daily Postimees writes.
"Today, we are all waiting for the end of the war between Ukraine and Russia. The common understanding is that in order for this war to end, the Russian Federation must withdraw its forces from the territory of Ukraine. Including from eastern Ukraine and Crimea. That is what we all want and hope for. Let us imagine that is what happens. But what will our situation be then? There are some circumstances that do not allow to see the future in a too positive perspective. For now, let us put aside the scenario where the troops have physically left the territory of Ukraine, but Russia still has the ability to bomb from a distance. Let us imagine that the war will at least 'freeze' for some time at the state borders of 2014," Herem said.
"First, the Russian Federation has officially and publicly declared a large part of Ukraine as its territory. No matter how wrong it is according to international law, the Russian Federation has repeatedly and publicly declared it: 'This is part of Russia and we intend to defend it if necessary'. It is hard to imagine what excuse the Russian Federation will give for ending hostilities in a situation where it no longer controls these territories. How would 'powerful Russia' explain such behavior to its own people and demonstrate it to the West -- its competitor? If the Russian Federation does not give up these demands, and today it is unlikely, then peace will be built on very weak ground," the defense chief added.
According to Herem, Estonia has no right to underestimate Russia's aggressiveness in the future and there is also no reason to believe that Russia's defeat in Ukraine would mean the end of the danger we are facing.
"This is just one important step. There is no single silver bullet against such a threat. But it is possible to fight back. And probably, by preparing for it, it can also be prevented. In any case, the defense forces will do its best for this," he added.