Russian officials have said they were planning to make their first arms deal with a NATO country by buying a French ship like the Mistral – a 23,700-ton (21,500-metric ton), 980-foot (299-meter) vessel able to carry more than a dozen helicopters, or land forces, hospitals or refugees, among other things…
The head of Estonia’s defense forces has suggested his tiny country might have to step up coastal defense operations and military infrastructure if Russia acquires ships like the Mistral and deploys them in the Baltic.
“The threat from the sea would definitely increase,” Ants Laaneots said in an interview Saturday with Estonian national broadcaster ETV.
NATO officials in Brussels would not comment Monday on the possible French navy sale. (photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)