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Estonia PM: Fears of NATO-Russia War Over Ukraine Training 'Not Well-Founded'

NATO allies shouldn’t be afraid that sending troops to train Ukrainian soldiers would drag the alliance into war with Russia, according to Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

Kallas commented that “if training personnel were attacked by Russian forces it would not automatically trigger NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense clause.”

“I can’t possibly imagine that if somebody is hurt there, then those who have sent their people will say 'it’s Article 5. Let’s… bomb Russia.' It is not how it works. It’s not automatic. So these fears are not well-founded,” Kallas emphasized. “If you send your people to help Ukrainians… you know the country is in war and you go to a risk zone. So you take the risk.”

Additionally, Kallas stated that NATO members are already conducting training in Ukraine, stating that “there are countries who are already training soldiers on the ground” and they do so “at their own risk.”

The debate on potentially having NATO troops in Ukraine began with comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, where he considered “the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine if requested.”

Multiple European allies, along with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, distanced themselves from Macron’s statement. However, some countries haven’t ruled out sending troops for non-combat missions, like training the Ukrainian military.

In Estonia, “parliamentary approval would be required for such a move,” Kallas explained. “It is an open public debate, but I think we shouldn’t rule out anything right now.”

“Russia’s propaganda is all about being in a war with NATO, so they don’t need an excuse. Whatever we do on our side… if they want to attack, they will attack,” Estonia’s Prime Minister concluded.

Estonia is a strong supporter of Ukraine and Kyiv’s biggest military donor relative to GDP.

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