“We will combine our missile defense systems”: Estonia proposes to block the Gulf of Finland for Russian ships

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said in an interview with the Finnish edition of Iltalehti that the Estonian and Finnish authorities are negotiating the creation of a combined missile defense system. According to him, both countries have the necessary skills for this.

“We need to consolidate our coastal defense. The range of Estonian and Finnish missiles exceeds the width of the Gulf of Finland. This means that we have consolidated our missile defense. “We will unify our missile defense system and share all the information with each other,” he said.

Pevkur noted that the combination of Estonian and Finnish missile defense systems will make it possible to close the waters of the Gulf of Finland to Russian warships.

“When Finland and Sweden join NATO, the Baltic Sea will become NATO’s inland sea. The situation will change compared to today,” he said.

He stated that the Baltic Sea region is also there. “common defense zone”. In this regard, Pevkur believes that it is impossible to draw up a plan for the defense of Estonia without taking into account the defense of Finland. Tallinn plans to develop a new defense plan between autumn 2022 and early 2023. The project should be integrated with Helsinki’s similar plan.

The head of the Estonian Ministry of Defense noted that after Finland’s full accession to NATO, it will be possible to implement the initiative on a unified missile defense system.

Estonia is armed with Blue Spear anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of up to 290 km. This means that Estonians can target them anywhere along the Finnish coast in the Gulf of Finland. Finland has MTO 85M anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 100 km.

NATO Inland Sea

HE The Baltic Sea will become an internal “pool” of NATO, Polish President Andrzej Duda said in July. He was then supported by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Polish Government, the Minister of National Defense of the Republic, Mariusz Blaszczak.

In response to this statement, the governor of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, offered to give a map to the President of Poland. “I can even give Duda a card, our Crimea is there,” said Alikhanov.

In turn, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commented on the position of the Polish president, saying that “dreaming is not harmful”.

“The Baltic Sea is surrounded not only by the territory of NATO member states, but also by Russia. By definition, it cannot be considered “internal” to the alliance. “The accession of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic bloc does not affect this fact in any way, no matter how much they want it, in Poland or elsewhere,” he said.

military cooperation

The head of the Estonian Ministry of Defense welcomed Finland’s entry into NATO, noting that this changed the Baltic Sea region’s potential battlefield.

“The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO significantly supports the security and stability of the entire Euro-Atlantic region,” Pevkur said.

He also described the joint development of long-range multiple launch rocket systems as the most important element of military cooperation in the region.

Pevkur urged Finland to consider joining NATO “as a whole, that is, as a logical continuation of the region’s defense plans”. Bilateral military cooperation between Estonia and Finland was established in the 1990s. In addition, the armies of the two countries made joint arms purchases. Sweden and Finland decided to join NATO in May, in the background of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

On 10 August, Finnish Parliament member, former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said that Finland and Sweden could join NATO by June 2023 at the latest. He reminded that the time it takes to confirm their participation by other members of the alliance is between four and 12 months.

The United States ratified the Scandinavian accession protocols on August 9, becoming the 23rd country to ratify the NATO membership of Helsinki and Stockholm.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the NATO membership of the Nordic countries does not bother Moscow. According to him, they must understand clearly and unequivocally that “if troops and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond like a mirror and create the same threats to the lands that threaten us.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that as a result of NATO enlargement, the Baltic Sea region would “definitely turn into an arena of military rivalry, if not a military conflict”.

Estonia and Finland agreed to integrate their coast guard systems. The countries are negotiating the creation of a unified missile defense system. As the head of the Estonian Ministry of Defense Hanno Pevkur noted, the joint missile defense system will allow the closure of the Gulf of Finland for Russian warships.



Source: Gazeta

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