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20 Jan, 2019 20:46

Bombing St. Pete & sinking trade ships: ‘Deterrence’ plan of Estonian journo

Bombing St. Pete & sinking trade ships: ‘Deterrence’ plan of Estonian journo

A major Estonian news outlet has run an opinion piece suggesting the country purchase a “missile system” that could hit Russia’s St. Petersburg as a means of ‘deterrence’. Moscow blasted the idea as a provocation.

Seemingly obsessed with a hypothetic ‘Russian aggression’ against his home country – an Estonian journalist Vahur Koorits has come up with a bizarre National Defense plan in an op-ed he wrote for Delfi – one of the leading online news media outlets in the Baltics.

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In his piece, Koorits argues that some traditional means of defense, such as tanks or air defense systems would not be enough to protect Estonia from its large eastern neighbor that allegedly dreams of launching a “splendid little war” against the small Baltic nation. Instead, Estonia desperately needs missiles capable of striking sensitive Russian targets in case of such conflict, the man says.

However, he did not just stop at simply suggesting what he calls an effective means of deterrence but went on to assign potential targets for a hypothetical strike, which involved some chilling options. Apart from military shipyards and the HQs of the Russian Navy and the Western Military Command, his list included the central districts of St. Petersburg – Russia’s second most populated city, which happens to be located not that far from the Estonian borders.

St. Petersburg is a city “where many people live, so just several limited strikes [targeting] the city center might have a tremendous impact on the public opinion,” Koorits writes in his piece. Other options suggested by the report include buying enough military ships to cut off Russia’s trade routes going through the Baltic Sea or to stop Russia’s oil trade with Europe.

“One can hijack cargo ships, attack them or sink them to disrupt [Russia’s] sea trade,” he wrote. “The goal is to discourage the ship owners from sending their vessels to Russia,” he added, apparently implying that it is not just Russian ships that could be attacked in such “operation.”

The journalist’s rant did not go unnoticed in Moscow, which said that such “irresponsible statements” would hardly contribute to any “normal relations.”

“Vahur Koorits, who calls for deploying missiles to his country, which are capable of hitting St. Petersburg, cannot be seen as a journalist… he is a real agent provocateur,” the deputy head of the Russian Senate’s Defense and Security Committee, Franz Klintsevich, said in a Facebook post, adding that the man apparently “does not even realize what his proposals might lead to.”

“I hope that the Estonian decision-makers assess the situation realistically,” the senator said. Meanwhile, the deputy head of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Krasnov, went even further and assumed that the Estonian might not be quite right in his head.

“The journalist should undergo a medical screening,” the Russian MP told RIA news agency, adding that “it remains to be seen if he is capable of performing his professional duties.” He also said that such “frenetic ideas” involving “destruction of St. Petersburg” are a result of fervent anti-Russian hysteria, which is prevalent among some parts of the elites and society in the Baltic States.

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It is not the first time some Estonian public figures launch bizarre rants at Russia. In July, the Estonian Defense Forces commander said that Russian troops “will die in Tallinn” if they ever dare to invade. The man then confessed to fighting ‘bloodthirsty’ Russians in his dreams.

NATO and its members – the Baltic States in particular – have repeatedly branded Moscow a ‘threat’. The Alliance then eagerly used this pretext to build-up forces and stage large-scale drills on the Russian borders. Moscow dismissed all accusations, arguing that it has never sought confrontation but only had to respond to the NATO actions.

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