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Statement by Minister of Defence of Estonia, Kalle Laanet: The security situation in our region is volatile

8. November 2021 - 18:45
The most volatile security crisis of recent 30 years is currently unfolding on the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian border. Since the beginning of the hybrid attack, we have been monitoring the situation with great attention and have contributed to resolving the situation by sending Concertina barbed wire, Unmanned Air System crews and, most recently Military Police team. Estonia's internal security forces have also made a significant contribution to resolving the situation. Unfortunately, there are no signs of de-escalation by the Belarusian regime. Over the past month, the number of attempts to cross the border at the Belarusian-Polish border has risen sharply again.
Lukashenka's recent order by which all Belarusian airports are open to international flights, and at the same time new countries of origin are constantly being sought and new migration corridors negotiated, does not add any certainty either. The situation is becoming even more severe due to the recent escalation of tensions and Russia's actions toward Ukraine. Taken together, this is the most difficult security crisis for our region, NATO and the European Union in decades.
The following actions are a priority to address the current situation:
1) Ensuring situational awareness among Allies. Continuous exchange of information is nessecery to prevent escalation due to misinformation or erosion of Allied determination. We will discuss the issue immediately with our Baltic colleagues.
2) Demonstrating the unity and determination of the Allies to ensure that the Lukashenka´s regime fails to achieve its goal of destabilizing the Baltic countries and Poland as well as the wider European Union. Both joint statements of support and real contributions to help Poland and Lithuania are important here. The Ministry of Defence of Estonia is putting together proposals for additional support to Poland and Lithuania.
3) Additional European Union sanctions against Belarus are important and we fully support their immediate imposition.
4) The wider escalation of tensions in the region calls for a review of NATO's capabilities and deterrence in the region.
The current situation requires a confident but vigilant posture. We must fully support our neighbours and ensure that no move by Belarus or Russia is overlooked.
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