Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Colonel Rupert Wieloch said he had “no doubt” that Russia had ambitions of invading Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, before insisting it was vital NATO forces asserted there presence in the region.
The comments come as 800 British soldiers, with tanks, drones and armoured vehicles, prepare to enter Estonia in May in a bid to reassure Baltic states over Russian aggression.
In March 2014, the Ukrainian territory of the Crimea was annexed by Russian forces. In July last year, Dmitry Medvedev said the Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia.
Colonel Wieloch said: “My sense is that Russia feels that when NATO is weak it is able to push the boundaries much further and so it is important NATO at this time does demonstrate that its got the capability to move forces around and deploy rapidly to any crisis area, and and that it does deter Russia from taking any action in those Baltic states.
“Because there’s no doubt that Russia is looking at Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania as potentially the same as what they did in Ukraine and Crimea.”
He also claimed Russia had operatives building anti-NATO sentiment from within the Baltic states.
“There’s no doubt that they have people working in these countries and fermenting the opposite of the support for NATO, which is in the democratic government,” he added.
Full article: SHOCK WARNING: Russia eyeing up Estonia ‘like it did Crimea’ warns former army commander (Express)