Eesti Elu
Russian Embassy Annoyed by Defense Minister's Interview
Eestlased Eestis 22 Jul 2011 Ott Tammik, Estonian Public BroadcastingEesti Elu
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The Russian Embassy in Tallinn released a statement disapproving of a July 5 interview with Defense Minister Mart Laar.

The embassy charged that the Delfi readers' interview posed biased questions to the Defense Minister and is not in line with the spirit of progress in NATO-Russia relations.

Expressing its dismay of "placing such material in the media of a NATO member country," the embassy said it was unfortunate to publish the interview directly after an official visit to Moscow by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The embassy was especially ticked off by a question about Estonia's strategic response to a theoretical lightning assault by 50 tanks from Pskov, in the case that NATO does not have time to react.

"If Georgia was able to ensure that Russian tanks failed to penetrate the 90 kilometer distance between Tsinkvali and Tbilisi, then why couldn't Estonia manage that? The capabilities and plans of our Defense Forces are completely adept, and the necessary preparations have been made. Even active shaped charges and road barricades, along with bridge implosions, can significantly slow the movement of tanks," Laar said.

The embassy's statement showed a hint of sarcasm when addressing another question to the Defense Minister about guerilla warfare (a key defense strategy of the Estonian military), in which Laar had answered, "I can confirm that preparations and the equipping of the [guerilla] units has already begun. I have been keeping the developments under control."

The embassy responded that "Apparently the words were meant to instill optimism."
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