11:47 13.06.2016

Permanent presence of NATO troops should become norm for Estonia

2 min read
Permanent presence of NATO troops should become norm for Estonia

NATO troops' permanent presence on Estonian territory should become a new reality for this country, leader of the ruling Reform Party and Prime Minister Taavi Roivas told his party members on Sunday.

The will for defense and allied relations must be strengthened, because the security environment has grown "unstable and unpredictable" and many earlier signs of a threat have become a reality: "Russia behaves like an aggressor capable of changing borders forcibly, international law for it is wastepaper," Roivas said.

"The presence of NATO troops is a new reality. It should increase not only as a potent political signal, but also as a means of making our Defence Forces more competitive to repulse any enemy," the party leader said.

NATO troops should be in Estonia "not for war or inciting war," he said. "These forces are in Estonia to send a clear and unequivocal message to the adversary: do not quarrel with NATO," Roivas said.

He said that at the NATO summit in Warsaw on July 8-9 he will seek to ensure that the allies' presence in Estonia becomes a constant NATO policy.

He also said that at the summit NATO countries should support an increase of the defense spending target for NATO members, currently at 2% of the gross domestic product. At present, only five members meet this target, including Estonia.

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