Russian President Vladimir Putin has destroyed the security system built in Europe and the world after World War II for something little more than "the exchange of students and free trade," Estonian President Toomas Ilves says.
Toomas Ilves made such a conclusion regarding Putin"s actions in an interview with German weekly Die Welt, saying that NATO must now place as many troops on the border with Russia as possible.
He called the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU a small and not very serious step.
"It's a little more than an exchange of students and free trade. There are no problems at all. But Putin criticizes the EU for allegedly erroneous policy and not taking Russian concerns into account. I'll tell you something. May 8, 1945 was a response to an attempt to annex foreign territory under the pretext of protecting national minorities," Ilves said.
However, he stressed that the Kremlin no longer pays attention to international law and it is proved by the war in the east of Ukraine and annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, violating the UN Charter, the Helsinki Treaty and the Charter of Paris.
"Georgia expressed a desire to join NATO in 2008, and Russia went to war. And this was even more insignificant reason than the association with the EU," said the president of Estonia, adding that, apparently Putin relied on quick achievement of his objectives in Ukraine.
Now, when it is clear that this will not happen, the Alliance has to take care of security, as the basic NATO-Russia agreement is no longer valid.
Ilves said that when Boris Yeltsin was signing the agreement in 1997, Russia did not have the opportunity to raise military aircraft due to lack of sufficient funds for fuel. But now the Russian fighters and bombers constantly invade the Baltic air space.
Therefore, the phrase "given the current situation" in the balance of forces, NATO will not deploy troops at the Russian border, is no longer relevant.