Disinfo: Estonia fights with its neighbours for money from US defence budget


Tallinn is fighting furiously with its competitors – Vilnius and Riga – to get funding from the US for it’s military investment projects. This explains the endless flow of messages about unproven “violations” of Estonian airspace by Russian aircraft. Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has been constantly disproving the unproven claims of Estonia.

Vilnius and Riga lack such “convenient” islands like Estonias Vaindloo, but they attempt to find ways to accuse Russia in provocations on border. They do it like Estonia does, without providing proof.


The Baltics don't have to fight for the money from the US defence budget and support their claims with airspace violations. It was Russia, who violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia and those examples still work very well. At the 2014 summit in Wales, all of the NATO members agreed to spend 2 percent of their GDPs on the defense by the year 2025. Estonia's defence budget reaches above this mark with spending 2,13 per cent of the GDP on defence. Russian military aircraft frequently violate Estonian airspace. The latest example comes from 23rd of September when a Sukhoi Su-34 fighter violated Estonian airspace near the island of Vaindloo. The plane's transponder was turned off and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft had no radio contact with the Estonian Air Traffic Control. As a result of the incident, Moscow’s ambassador to Estonia was summoned to the Foreign Ministry. Previous examples from September also include Lithuania: "On Sept. 3, NATO air policing fighter jets intercepted two Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft flying from the mainland of the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad. Neither had their onboard transponder on, nor flight plans, nor kept radio contact with the regional air traffic control center. On Sept. 5, fighter jets were scrambled to intercept an aircraft maneuvering in the Lithuanian Flight Information Region (FIR) of the international airspace after flowing in from Kaliningrad. The onboard transponder of the aircraft was off, it did not have a flight plan, and did not maintain radio communication with the regional air traffic control center."


  • Reported in: Issue 166
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Estonian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Russia's Ministry of Defence, Russian superiority
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Conspiracy theory presented without evidence. Pro-Kremlin media have long used the narrative about anti-government protests being funded by the US. Examples include colour revolutions in post-Soviet states, the “Arab Spring” revolts, and Ukraine's Euromaidan in 2014. Western non-governmental organisations are often targeted by pro-Kremlin disinformation as agents of this subversive and state-driven influence. For similar cases, see here.

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No evidence is provided to support the claim. A claim, consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US supporting terrorism. You can see other examples of this narrative here, here, here and here.

The EU ignores Russia's efforts to reconcile an equal dialogue

The European Union is an unreliable partner which ignores all Russia’s efforts to reconcile an equal dialogue. The EU is an unreliable partner because it continues to play geopolitics with Russia or against Russia. All Russian efforts to reconcile an equal dialogue and to renounce the ‘friend-enemy’ logic in the common space have been fruitless.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Western belligerence towards Russia and the EU attempting to isolate Russia. While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the EU is trying to keep open channels of communications with Russia. Russia is the EU's largest neighbour, which has always been reflected in extensive cooperation and exchange over the 25 years. Russia is a key player in the UN Security Council and, due to history, geographic proximity, and cultural links, is one of the key players in Europe and its neighbourhood. The current legal basis for EU-Russia relations is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which came into force in 1997, initially for 10 years. Since 2007 it has been renewed annually. It established a political framework for regular consultation between the EU and Russia, based on the principles of respect for democracy and human rights, political and economic freedom, and commitment to international peace and security. Since 2014, illegal annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine have seriously affected the bilateral political dialogue. As a result, some of the policy dialogues and mechanisms of cooperation are temporarily frozen, and sanctions directed at promoting a change in Russia's actions in Ukraine have been adopted. However, Russia remains a natural partner for the EU and a strategic player combating the regional and global challenges. Moreover, the EU and its member states have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts, in line with five guiding principles of relations with Russia.