TALLIN, Estonia – Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas hopes to improve relations with Russia, the Estonian government’s press service said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“At the meeting today with Russian ambassador Alexander Petrov, the prime minister expressed the hope of improving bilateral relations. Ratas thanked the ambassador for the New Year’s wishes from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, noting that he also sent a card to his Russian counterpart,” said the statement on Facebook.
In addition, Ratas expressed his concern about the fate of the Ukrainian seamen and ships detained during the Kerch Strait incident, adding that he awaited their release.
On November 25, warships Berdyansk and Nikopol of Ukraine and tugboat Yany Kapu illegally crossed the Russian sea border as they sailed towards the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov.
Russia seized Ukrainian ships and detained 24 crew members after they did not respond to a lawsuit to stop. Following the incident, a criminal proceeding over the illegal border crossing was opened in Russia.
Estonia has always been a front line state against Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and with recent events between Tallin and Washington, it does not appear that Estonia will stop being a NATO puppet.
Soldiers from the United States and Estonia are undergoing two weeks of training in northern Finland to be able to conduct combat operations in the snow.
Information on joint military drills was released by state-owned radio and television company YLE .
“The US and Estonian Armed Forces practiced fighting in snowy winter conditions in northern Finland in Sodankyla this week. During the training, soldiers learned, for example, how to get out of holes in the ice in complete combat and skiing equipment. The course of winter military operations begins on Monday and lasts until January 20,” he said.
It is worth noting that the US military has participated in exercises in Sodankyla since 2014, while Estonian soldiers take part in this event for the first time. Thus, about a dozen American soldiers and four Estonian soldiers train combat techniques in the snow, with negative temperatures.
Together with foreigners, the training covers military personnel from Finland’s defense and border guards as well as Finnish reservists.
Lately, politicians in the Baltic countries have been denouncing the alleged growth of the Russian “threat.” In 2016, during the NATO summit in Warsaw, the decision was taken to position Alliance military contingents in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.
Moscow has repeatedly denied this “threat,” stating that it does not intend to attack any NATO country, but that the Alliance takes advantage of the misinformation to increase its presence near its eastern borders.