3 May 2024 19:14

Estonia's defense commander calls for Baltic Sea blockade along with Poland, Sweden, Finland

TALLINN. May 3 (Interfax) - Estonia favors the Baltic Sea's possible blockade and would wish to act jointly with Poland, Sweden, and Finland to attain this objective, Estonian Defense Forces Commander Gen. Martin Herem said.

"We have considerably improved our naval capability. The Navy currently has both marine mines and anti-ship missiles. Along with Poland, Sweden, and Finland, which have just joined NATO, we should be able to attain one of our key objectives, the possible blockade in the Baltic Sea," the Defense Forces quoted Herem as saying in its annual bulletin published on Friday.

"This makes it extremely unlikely for an aggressor to be able to deploy naval and air defenses in the Baltic Sea, which enables us to provide allied aerial and naval support," he said.

"Our land forces are also developed well," Herem said. "The Estonian division set up slightly more than a year ago has proven effective in all respects during exercises. This provides commanding potential for NATO forces that are stationed here and will arrive as reinforcement in line with the alliance's new defense plans," he said.

Estonia has doubled the strength of its land defense and upgraded its antitank and air defense capabilities, Herem said.

Estonia has also started procuring large-caliber munitions and plans to commission more self-propelled howitzers, armored personnel carriers, medium-range air defense systems and multiple rocket launchers within the next two years, he said.

However, Herem warned that these measures might be not enough to deter a potential threat.

"Our capabilities and capabilities of our allies can prevent occupation, but they may be unable to deter routine military aggression aimed at destabilization. We should continue our adaptation and make hard decisions," he said.