Estonia’s Top Diplomat: Stop Putin Now or Prepare for NATO-Russia War

2 months ago 169

SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW — With a mere 1.2 million citizens, Estonia is among NATO’s smallest members, but its contributions to Ukraine have led the pack by a wide margin. Estonia’s military aid to Ukraine has reached 3.6 percent of GDP; by that metric, Denmark is the second most generous donor, at 2.4 percent; the U.S., by comparison, has given the equivalent of 0.32 percent of GDP, according to the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker. There’s a reason for Estonia’s generosity; it was invaded by the Russian-led Soviet Union twice in the past century and ultimately won its freedom from Moscow in 1991. And given its small size and border with Russia, Estonia is likely to be among the first victims if the Kremlin widens its war on Europe beyond Ukraine. 

Margus Tsahkna, the country’s 47-year-old foreign minister (and former defense minister), has gained a reputation for speaking plainly about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his clearly-stated aim to rebuild the Soviet Union, or the Russian Empire of Tsar Peter the Great. Putin’s ambitions, Tsahkna says, are the reason why Russia must be defeated in Ukraine, before the war spirals out of control and moves to other parts of Europe.

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