Estonia analyzes how the coronavirus affects NATO’s combat capability
TALLINN, (BM) – The Estonian leadership is alarmed that the stopped movement on the Polish border has led to a decrease in the mobility of NATO forces, writes err.ee. Estonian authorities urge to think about how to plan troop movements in a situation of a possible military crisis, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
“Poland is the most important ally of the Baltic countries, which deployed its troops around the so-called Suvalk corridor, which runs along the border with Lithuania from the Kaliningrad region to Belarus. To date, the difficult situation on the border with Poland that has arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic has been resolved. However, a few days ago, transit through Poland was paralyzed. And how to plan a trip through Europe, if hostilities suddenly began, and the roads were occupied by the military? ”, Estonian analysts say.
“Experience has shown that if a military crisis occurs, this may mean that states will close their borders. Traffic jams form. I believe that this should be taken into account in the future when planning defense. There is no doubt that the current situation, when neither military nor civilian transport can move, is problematic from a security point of view. Therefore, we paid attention to this both in Estonia and in the NATO Council, ”said Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.
In turn, the retired general, deputy of the Riigikogu Ants Laaneots, believes that “during the military crisis, you can rely on Poland.” He recalls that Poland has 4 divisions, 2 of which are in close proximity to the Suwalk corridor. “This year, it is planned to conduct exercises so that the main flow of military forces through the Baltic region will be transported by sea and by air. In addition, we agreed with the Swedes that a regiment is located on the island of strategic importance Gotland. Now they are renovating their flight base,” said General Ants Laaneots.
However, because of the coronavirus, some of the allies refused to participate in the exercises, which were supposed to take place in spring and summer.
We add that on March 12, when a state of emergency was declared in Estonia, the command of the local Defense Forces announced that it had decided not to let military servicemen go home this weekend. This was done in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus entering army units.
In addition, guests are not allowed into the territory of the units. The Estonian Defense Forces have limited foreign missions of military personnel, they are forbidden to visit countries at risk. Soldiers returning to Estonia from abroad should be quarantined for two weeks.
“We are taking all measures to protect the soldiers and their relatives from the possible spread of the virus,” said Colonel Targo Lusty, chief of the medical service of the headquarters of the Defense Forces. “However, I see no reason to panic, given that all members of the Defense Forces are healthy.”
However, the precautions taken could not prevent the Estonian Defense Forces from becoming infected with the coronavirus.
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