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Times: Europe has three-five years to prepare for Russian military threat, Estonian PM says

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasized the importance of maintaining unity and a strong stance on Ukraine, arguing that any pause would allow Russia to gather resources and strength.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas during her visit to Ukraine on 24 April 2023. Credit: Ukraine’s Presidential Office
Times: Europe has three-five years to prepare for Russian military threat, Estonian PM says

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas warns that Europe has three to five years to prepare for a potential military threat from Russia on NATO’s eastern flank. In an interview with The Times, Kallas cited Estonian intelligence estimates suggesting that, in the event of a hypothetical ceasefire in Ukraine, Russia would need three to five years to rebuild its military threat at the borders of NATO’s eastern members.

Prior to this, Bild reported that it had access to a secret Bundeswehr document – a training scenario detailing step-by-step how a military conflict between Russia and NATO could unfold. The scenario describes the actions of Russia and the West month by month, culminating in the deployment of hundreds of thousands of NATO soldiers and the inevitable start of a war in the summer of 2025.

Kallas emphasized the importance of maintaining unity and a strong stance on Ukraine, arguing that any pause would allow Russia to gather resources and strength. Weakness provokes aggressors, so weakness provokes Russia, she stated.

This perspective underscores the importance of Western military aid to Ukraine, with Kallas advocating for increased support to enable Ukraine to deliver a decisive blow and diminish Russia’s ability to threaten its neighbors for years to come.

In the long term, Kallas believes NATO must adopt a strategy of “containment” towards Russia, mirroring Cold War tactics. This strategy would involve increasing the defense spending of each NATO member country to at least 2.5% of their GDP. She emphasizes the need for Russia to be held accountable for its actions, a factor she considers crucial in breaking the historical cycle of aggression.

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