UARU
'NATO Will No Longer Exist if Article 5 Fails' - Former Estonian President
31 October, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

 

✅   Russian jets have been intercepted dozens of time in or close to the territory of NATO-member states over the past year, especially around the Baltic Sea region. There are fears any accident could easily lead to a larger conflict quickly as Russian aircraft often fly without active transponders.

 

✅  Estonia’s former president plays down any threat of a Russian military advance or attack on the Baltic Region. “The problem is that if Article Five fails once, NATO will no longer exist.”
 
✅  Hromadske reporter Josh Kovensky spoke with Toomas Hendrik Ilves on the sidelines of The Riga Conference 2016, held between 28-29 October in the Latvian capital

 

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

 

REPORTER:

What effects has the U.S. at least turned away or lost focused on Europe? What effect has that had on Europe?

 

TOOMAS HENDRIK ILVES:

I think Europe is getting some of what it wanted. Ever since Jacques Poos in 1993 in the Bosnian crisis said that ‘this is Europe’s hour, we will solve it’ and failed to do it. You can sense this sense of frustration in Europe, in Western Europe more, that we don’t need the United States. So now, I think to the Baltic States are probably an exception, Poland is probably an exception in UK for very different reasons. And I just hope that we have more of an engagement with the considerable issues that we have to face today in Europe would be coming from the United States.

 

REPORTER:

And in terms of the tensions that exist between the West and Russia both in the Baltics and Eastern Europe as a whole, what risks do you see there of being an accidental escalation between the two?

 

TOOMAS HENDRIK ILVES:

Well, I’m just afraid of accidents. And we saw the buzzing of the USS Donald COOK coming within 30 meters of jets flying barrel rolls over planes in international airspace. Things that can go wrong very quickly and then escalate from there.

 

REPORTER:

And in the event of a Russian attack on the Baltics…

 

TOOMAS HENDRIK ILVES:

I don’t see that happening.

 

REPORTER:

…but if it were, would you be confident that the United States would commit the obligations in defense?

 

TOOMAS HENDRIK ILVES:

Absolutely. I mean the problem is that if article 5 fails once, NATO will no longer exist. We don’t really want to go in there. Well, at that point there’s no more NATO.