Estonia: we must “bring Russia and Putin to their knees”

Estonia: we must “bring Russia and Putin to their knees”
Estonia: we must “bring Russia and Putin to their knees”

Estonian President Alar Karis said in an interview with Finnish media that the most important thing today is to “stop the Russian war machine.”

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We cannot change where we are – as Russia’s neighbor we must prepare for the worst.

This is the unequivocal message from Estonian President Alar Karis, which he sets out in a interview with Finnish media portal Yle.

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Alar Karis, who survived the Soviet occupation, is convinced that Russia will not change in the near future.

“I don’t really believe in rapid change. Russia had a chance in the early 1990s, but things went wrong.”

Even getting rid of President Vladimir Putin will not necessarily lead to change, Karis believes. “We may have to go through many more Russian leaders before anything starts to happen“, declares the president of the small Baltic republic with skepticism.

He said pressure is needed, including from the West, to make ordinary Russians realize that something needs to change.

Stop the Russian war machine before thinking about negotiations on Ukraine

Unlike many other Estonian politicians, Alar Karis is in no hurry to accuse the entire Russian people of being behind Putin’s presence in power and the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

It refers to Estonia’s recent history as a country occupied by the Soviet Union.

“Let’s remember how we behaved in the clutches of a similar regime. Yes, some protesters were imprisoned. But most people were saying the right things out loud and just waiting for change.”said Mr. Karis.

The most important thing today, according to the president, is to stop the Russian war machine.

Finland, neighboring Estonia, closed its eastern borderbut the border between Estonia and Russia remains open despite border incidents.

According to Alar Karis, one of the reasons the border is open is because people have family on the other side.

“Boots on the ground”?

As for the possible sending of Estonian military personnel to Ukraine, the country’s president said he was not authorized to make such a decision.

“It is not my decision, nor even that of the government. It is Parliament which decides on sending troops,” Mr. Karis explained.

According to him, Kyiv does not need Western troops, but weapons.

“If that moment ever comes, the issue of sending troops should be discussed, not so much in Estonia as with our allies. But Ukraine itself does not yet see the need for this,” added the president.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated that the alliance did not intend to send troops to Ukraine, although statements about possibly sending troops to the conflict zone are periodically made by high-ranking European politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron. The Kremlin considered these statements as “dangerous trend”.

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