Estonian PM reveals some countries are already training military in Ukraine

Monday, 20 May 2024 —

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has stated that some countries have already sent their instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian military personnel.

As reported by Financial Times, Kallas noted that NATO allies should not fear that sending troops to Ukraine to train its soldiers could draw the Alliance into a war with Russia.

She mentioned that "there are countries who are training soldiers on the ground already," and they are doing so at their own risk.

She said that if Russian forces were to attack NATO country instructors in Ukraine, this would not automatically trigger Article 5 on mutual defence. 


"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 said.

In Estonia, according to the Prime Minister, sending instructors to Ukraine requires approval from parliament. "It is an open public debate, but I think we shouldn’t rule out anything right now," she said.

Kallas reiterated her belief that she does not see a risk of direct conflict with Russia if allies help Kyiv train Ukrainian soldiers on Ukrainian territory. 

"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," Kallas believes.

Back in March, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski hinted that a certain number of Western military personnel are already present on Ukrainian territory, and this is not really a secret.

Madis Roll, the advisor to the President of Estonia for National Security, stated that the Estonian government is "seriously" discussing the possibility of sending troops to the west of Ukraine.

Later, Hanno Pevkur, Minister of Defence of Estonia, said that the suggestion to send troops to Ukraine has not found support either in Estonia or at European Union level.

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