Estonian secret services warn: “Russia is preparing for a military confrontation with the West”

Russia is preparing for a military confrontation with the West in the next decade, but it could be deterred by a build-up of allied armed forces, Estonia’s foreign intelligence service said on Tuesday.

“Russia has chosen a long-term confrontational path and the Kremlin is probably anticipating a possible conflict with NATO in the next decade or so,” said Kaupo Rosin at the publication of the report on threats to Estonia’s national security.

A military attack by Russia is “highly unlikely” in the short term, he said, in part because Russia must maintain troops in Ukraine, and would remain unlikely if the build-up of Russian forces was matched in Europe. we are not ready, the probability (of a Russian military attack) would be much higher,” added Rosin, according to Reuters, quoted by News.ro.

Estonia and the other Baltic states increased their military spending to more than 2 percent of GDP after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and NATO allies increased their presence in these countries.

A growing number of Western officials are warning of a military threat from Russia to countries on NATO’s eastern flank, urging Europe to prepare by building up its armed forces.

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What is Estonia’s assessment based on?

Estonia’s intelligence chief said his assessment was based on Russia’s plans to double the number of forces stationed along its border with Finland, NATO’s newest member, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia .

Germany plans to have 4,800 combat-ready troops in the region by 2027 in its first permanent foreign deployment since World War II, and Rosin said NATO and its allies are moving in the right direction to counter the threat Russian.

On the other hand, Rosin does not expect any Russian progress in Ukraine before the presidential elections in March, as he would have to mobilize many more troops to achieve this goal.

Regarding comments from Donald Trump, who said he would not defend allies who do not spend enough on defense, Rosin said: “Such statements are never helpful.”

Russia’s ability to supply ammunition to its troops continues to outstrip Ukraine’s, and unless Western support is sustained or increased, Ukraine is unlikely to be able to turn the tables on the battlefield, he added.

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