TALLIN, Estonia – An important news channel in Estonia has published an article suggesting that the country acquire a “missile system” that could reach the Russian city of St Petersburg as a means of “deterrence”. Russia has criticized the idea as a provocation.
Apparently obsessed with a hypothetical “Russian aggression” against his country of origin – an Estonian journalist Vahur Koorits drew up a bizarre National Defense plan in an article he wrote for Delfi – one of the leading online media outlets in the Baltic countries.
In his article, Koorits argues that some traditional means of defense, such as tanks or air defense systems, would not be enough to protect Estonia from its large eastern neighbor who supposedly dreams of launching a “splendid little war” against the small Baltic country. Instead, Estonia desperately needs missiles capable of targeting sensitive Russian targets in the event of conflict, he said.
However, he not only stopped by simply suggesting what he calls an effective means of deterrence, but proceeded to designate possible targets for a hypothetical strike, which involved some frightening options. In addition to the military barracks and the headquarters of the Russian Navy and the Western Military Command, its list included the central districts of St. Petersburg – Russia’s second most populous city, which is located not far from the Estonian borders.
St. Petersburg is a city “where many people live, so only a few limited [targeted] attacks on the city center can have a tremendous impact on public opinion,” Koorits writes in his article. Other options suggested by the report include the purchase of enough military ships to cut Russia’s trade routes across the Baltic Sea or to disrupt Russia’s oil trade with Europe.
“You can hijack cargo ships, attack them or sink them to stop the [Russian] maritime trade,” he continued. “The aim is to discourage shipowners from sending their ships to Russia,” he added, apparently implying that it is not just Russian ships that could be attacked in such an “operation.”
The journalist’s speech did not go unnoticed in Moscow, who said that such “irresponsible statements” would hardly contribute to any “normal relations.”
“Vahur Koorits, who calls for sending missiles to his country that are capable of reaching St. Petersburg, cannot be seen as a journalist […] he is a real provocateur,” said the deputy head of the Defense and Security Committee of the Russian Senate, Franz Klintsevich, in a Facebook post, adding that the man apparently “does not even realize what his proposals can lead to.”
“I hope that Estonian decision makers realistically assess the situation,” he said. Meanwhile, the deputy head of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Krasnov, went even further and assumed that the Estonian might not be in the right sanity.
“The journalist must undergo a medical screening,” the Russian deputy said, adding that “it remains to be seen if he is able to perform his professional duties.” He also said that such “frenetic ideas” involve the “destruction of St. Petersburg” is the result of fervent anti-Russian hysteria, which is prevalent in some parts of elites and society in the Baltic States.
This is not the first time that some Estonian public figures have launched bizarre insults at Russia. In July, the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces said that Russian troops “will die in Tallinn” if they ever dare invade. The man then confessed to having fought with “bloodthirsty Russians” in his dreams.
NATO and its members – in particular the Baltic countries – have repeatedly labeled Moscow a “threat”. The alliance then used this pretext to build forces and carry out large-scale exercises on Russian borders. Moscow rejected all accusations, arguing that it had never sought a confrontation, but only had to respond to NATO’s actions.