Estonia preparing for fallout of possible Russian invasion of Ukraine
Estonia is working on a plan to prepare the country for any possible fallout of a potential further Russian invasion into Ukrainian territory, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at a press conference following an Estonian cabinet meeting on Feb. 3.
“There is no direct military threat to Estonia, but every person and organization must be ready for the aftermath of the expansion of hostilities in Ukraine,” she stated.
The Estonian prime minister emphasized that the concentration of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine and Russia’s aggressive behavior toward the security of the whole of Europe “makes us thoroughly prepare for the crisis that accompanies the increase in military activity.”
Kallas also pointed out that it will be necessary for European governments to prepare for refugees from Ukraine, a possible energy crisis, cyber-attacks, as well as economic repercussions.
As a result, Kallas explained, the Estonian government has allocated an additional EUR 380 million for defense.
The government has also instructed local authorities to be prepared to provide for basic services in case of a crisis.
Russia has been massing troops at the Russian-Ukrainian border since late October.
More than 130,000 Russian troops and offensive weapons have been deployed near Ukraine’s borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation. U.S. President Joe Biden in December declared that the White House was working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”
The proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.
On Jan. 14, the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper and the U.S.-based CNN news channel reported that Russia had positioned covert operatives in Ukraine to carry out a “false flag” operation to use as a pretext for a Russian attack.
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