With relations between Russia and the West at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War, Vladimir Putin has denied claims he wants to build a new Iron Curtain.
The Russian President was questioned by local reporters on issues including the crisis in Ukraine.
“We understand the fatality of the iron curtain,” he said. “Both we and other countries have had periods in their history when they tried to fence themselves off from the rest of the world. And they paid a lot for it. It led to degradation and destruction.
“We will definitely not go along that path. And nobody will build a wall around us. That is impossible.”
While some Baltic states have expressed concern over a potential Russian invasion of their territory, for the moment at least it is not a threat the Estonian President is worried about.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves told euronews: “We are strong liberal democracies, part of the European Union, part of NATO, that (the Russian threat) is something that was gone in 1991. And even throughout the Soviet Period, even then, the attitude was kind of like ‘well they don’t really fit in here’.”
The Estonian President spoke to euronews at a global security conference that takes place every year in Halifax in Canada.
Correspondent Isabelle Kumar reported:
“Relations between Russia and NATO appear to be in free fall, with the alliance boosting its presence in Eastern Europe and Moscow denying it aims to destabilise the region.”