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Cablegate: Estonia Pleased with Nato Contingency Planning Plan

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DE RUEHTL #0373 3501302
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 161302Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0289
INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0010
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 0066
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN
RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 0068
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S E C R E T TALLINN 000373

SIPDIS

EO 12958 DECL: 2019/12/16
TAGS NATO, MARR, MCAP, PREL, EN
SUBJECT: Estonia Pleased with NATO Contingency Planning Plan

REF: STATE 127892

CLASSIFIED BY: Marc Nordberg, Political/Economic Chief; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)
Classified by DCM Karen Decker for Reasons 1.4 B & D.
1. (U) Pol Chief and DATT delivered reftel points on December 15 to Paul Teesalu, Director of the MFA’s Security Policy Division, and to Sven Sakkov, MOD Undersecretary for Defense Policy, and Eerik Marmei, MOD Director of the NATO and ESDP Department.
2. (S) Teesalu welcomed the information and called it an “early Christmas present.” Teesalu was pleased to see a clear plan to add the Baltic States to Eagle Guardian, and thought this the best option for easily including the Baltic region in contingency planning. Teesalu also fully agreed that all such discussion should be conducted out of the public eye, stating that Estonia is looking for, “solidarity, not visibility.” The GOE has asked the Lithuanians to keep contingency planning discussions private as well.
3. (S) Sakkov likewise stated this information is good news, and is a major event for Estonia 5 B= years after joining NATO. He thanked the USG for its support on contingency planning. Sakkov however wondered about the Polish reaction. On the margins of the November 2008 NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting the Polish delegation told Sakkov that they were against including the Baltic states into Eagle Guardian as they did not want the Polish plan to be diluted or held hostage in case other allies opposed adding the Baltic states. Sakkov added he recently heard from Lithuanian counterparts that Poland has not softened its position.
4. (S) Sakkov was also concerned about the process of getting the Baltic region added to EAGLE GUARDIAN, asking on several occasions whether the Chairman of the Military Committee (CMC) would have to inform the North Atlantic Council (NAC) or just the Secretary General (SECGEN), and how the addition would be approved in the MC and tasked to SACEUR. Although not expressly stated, he seemed concerned about opportunities for other members to put a stop to the process.
5. (S) Sakkov further stated he would immediately inform President Ilves, prior to Ilves’ departure for a December 16 meeting with the Baltic, and possibly Polish, presidents. Sakkov said Estonian J3 and J5 planners were ready to assist in developing the contingency plan, but asked if the USG had any further information on a reassurance package for the Baltic states - something that can be used publicly, such as increased exercises, to show the Baltic peoples they will be covered by Article 5. POLT

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