Russia prepares for military confrontation with the West, Estonian Intelligence warns
Estonia's Foreign Intelligence Service announced Tuesday that Russia is gearing up for a military clash with the West within the next decade. This preparation could be countered by strengthening armed forces in response. Western officials have increasingly highlighted the Russian military threat to NATO's eastern flank, advocating for Europe to bolster its armaments.
The intelligence service's head detailed that this analysis stems from Russia's plans to double its troops along the borders with NATO members Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. "Russia has embarked on a path of long-term confrontation... and the Kremlin likely expects a potential conflict with NATO in the next ten years or so," Kaupo Rosin stated during the release of Estonia's national security threats report.
Rosin deemed a short-term military offensive by Russia as "highly unlikely," citing the necessity for Russia to maintain forces in Ukraine. However, this likelihood remains low provided that Europe matches Russia's military buildup. "Without proper preparedness, the risk of a Russian military attack significantly increases," Rosin emphasized.
Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Estonia and other Baltic States have elevated their military expenditures to over 2% of their GDP. NATO allies have also enhanced their presence in these nations. By 2027, Germany aims to station 4,800 combat-ready troops in the region, marking its first permanent deployment abroad since World War II. According to Rosin, NATO and its allies are on the right path to countering the Russian menace.
Rosin anticipates no significant Russian advancements in Ukraine before its March presidential election, as it would require a substantial troop mobilization to achieve such an objective. He also commented on U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's remarks about not defending underinvesting allies, labeling them as "never helpful." Rosin concluded that Russia continues to outmatch Ukraine in ammunition supply, and without enduring or escalated Western support, Ukraine's battlefield position is unlikely to improve.