Estonian foreign minister views Russia as a dangerous neighbor

Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand warns that Russia's actions are unpredictable at the moment.

Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand warns that Russia's actions are unpredictable at the moment.

"Russia is unpredictable now, this is a fact. Russia has behaved provocatively, [including] flights without transponders and airspace violations. The reaction to them now is not like it ever was before," Kaljurand said in an interview published in the Sept.3 issue of Maaleht.

Asked whether a military conflict with Russia is possible, Kaljurand replied, "Based on the information that I have as a minister, I'll say that Estonia's security has never been ensured as well as it is now, although the situation has never been as complicated since the restoration of independence as it is at the present time."

"Certainly, provocations can't be ruled out," and what is important is a reaction to them, "and there are no doubts that a reaction will be very quick and very resolute," Kaljurand said.

The minister pointed out that the incident involving Estonian Internal Security Service officer Eston Kohver, whom Russia recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for spying, was one of Russia's possible provocative acts. Estonia believes Kohver was abducted by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on Estonian territory, while Russia contends that he was detained on Russian territory with weapons, a large sum of money and special equipment.

"Eston Kohver's abduction was a provocation in a certain sense," Kaljurand said.

Kaljurand vowed that the issue of Kohver will be raised at Estonian, EU and U.S. officials' meetings with Russian ones. "This won't allow Kohver to disappear in a Russian jail," she said.

Kaljurand said she considered top-level meetings between Estonia and Russia impossible. "Taking into account Russia's behavior in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine, the European Union has taken the course towards ruling out high level visits," she said.

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