TALLIN – Yesterday, NATO’s Spring Storm 2019 military training began in Estonia. According to a Russian military expert, this Baltic republic represents a priority for the forces of the military block.
Troops and war materiel from NATO member countries have arrived in Estonia to participate in the large-scale military exercises Spring Storm 2019. According to data from the Baltic Defense Forces Staff, more than 9,000 troops from 13 countries will participate in training. In addition, it is planned to use about 200 units of war material, including British Challenger 2 and French Leclerc tanks, German and British fighter Eurofighter and Su-22 Polish ground attack aircraft.
In this connection, Aleksei Podberezkin, director of the Center for Political and Military Research of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), commented that in recent years it is possible to observe a accelerated militarization of the Baltic countries, including Estonia, to intimidate Russia.
“Estonia is trying to become a ‘great military power’, at least on the Baltic scale – not only Estonia, but also its neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania, have significantly increased their military spending in recent years to match GDP growth. This is an explicit militarization,” he assured.
At the same time, the expert pointed out that military exercises in Estonia are part of the preparations of the Atlantic Alliance to confront Russia.
“In the Baltic countries a NATO infrastructure is being prepared, and in this respect Estonia is a priority for NATO. And if we are talking about infrastructure development, here it is necessary to train the deployment of armed forces, the preparation of various facilities to receive armed forces, military equipment, the installation of communication centers and etc,” he said.
“It is about preparing a NATO infrastructure to confront Russia, and Estonia was chosen as a crucial direction in the event of a possible aggression against Russia,” he said.