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TALLINN, January 9. /ITAR-TASS/. Deployment of U.S. military forces near the Russian border would not benefit good-neighborly relations but only bring about unnecessary tensions, the Estonian Prime Minister’s advisor, former commander-in-chief, Ants Laaneots, stated.
“This would be an unwelcome step,” he said.
The retired general added that Russia’s 2010 military doctrine described NATO forces’ approach to the Russian borders as the key risk for the national security.
“Figuratively speaking, this would be like slipping a red rag to the bull,” Laaneots said about Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu’s statement in favor of the U.S. permanent military presence in Estonia he voiced speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Laaneots believes the U.S. will not go that far.
The issues came up in the discussion of the situation in the Baltic region which, Reinsalu believes, is the sole region in NATO where strategic balance is not in favor of the organization. In particular, he cited the previous NATO exercise, Steadfast Jazz, with the participation of about 6,000 officers and men, comparing it to the Russian-Belarusian strategic training West-2013, which, according to the minister, involved up to 100,000 troops.