The Russian bear is back in a big way. After experiencing repeated illegal incursions into Finnish and Swedish airspace, the two Nordic nations have signed a deal with NATO providing basing rights for NATO troops and equipment on their soil. These agreements should not be taken lightly as the two nations have historically resisted such measures in order to not provoke Russia. Finland and Sweden both have a history of warfare with Russia. Finland at one point in time was part of Russia. These agreements were signed because these countries are scared. The violations of their sovereign airspace was deliberate and repeated over and over again. There can be only one conclusion: Moscow is threatening these nations.
There have been repeated violations of Baltic airspace as well. Latvia and Estonia have launched their Russian made fighters multiple times to intercept Russian planes as they probe NATO defenses. All three of the Baltic nations are former Soviet republics and are the countries that are screaming the loudest for NATO to permanently station troops on their soil as a deterrent to Moscow. They are worried about little green men showing up on their territory to protect their Russian speaking population, which in Estonia numbers around 40 percent.
The Finnish government views the incursions as “extremely unfortunate incidents” that must be “taken very seriously,” Defense Minister Carl Haglund told reporters in Helsinki yesterday. “Three airspace violations within a week is a lot and unfortunately they don’t really have a good explanation. What we know is they are done somewhat on purpose. We don’t know what that purpose is.”
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I think it is perfectly obvious what the purpose is. Putin is out to destroy the North Atlantic Defense Organization from within. He sees a chance, due to American and European weakness, to right a wrong which was the West’s victory in the Cold War. Do not underestimate this man. He is dangerous.
Photo Credit: UK Ministry of Defence (Flickr)
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