10 things every Lithuanian will tell you about the safety in the Baltic states, Q&A

Lithuanian and NATO flags DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Dear friends, you have probably noticed that we, the Baltic states, are really invested in what is happening in Ukraine – we march, send aid and call to the consciousness of the West, Mykolas Katkus writes. 

We have been doing it for many years, and we are glad that you have finally noticed. But some of you interpret it the wrong way. So here is a quick primer we sent about some of the most popular questions. Feel free to use it. 

IS LITHUANIA (LATVIA, ESTONIA) A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE NOW?

YES. Lithuania is a part of NATO, the strongest military alliance on earth. After the Russian Invasion of Ukraine started, the Baltic states’ security even increased. The Baltic states were right about the ever-increasing threats from Russia for many years. Now, even the most Russia – neutral countries in the alliance understand that and act accordingly.  

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL / INVEST / EXPAND BUSINESS IN LITHUANIA?

Absolutely. Lithuania is a vibrant democracy where the rule of law is absolute, the economy is growing, and it currently ranks 11th in the World Bank’s Doing Business report.

BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR LONG BORDER WITH BELARUS? 

And what about it? During the Cold War, the number of Soviet troops near the West German border was several times larger than Russia’s force seeking to conquer Ukraine this year. But, as we are now, Germany is a member of NATO and has become one of the most successful countries in the world. 

Also, Lithuania has a proven capacity to handle security by itself. Last year, Lithuania’s handling of an artificially manufactured refugee crisis next to our border was praised by The Economist as a firm yet more humane response than other countries. 

I TALKED TO JONAS / JANIS / JAN LAST WEEK, AND HE SEEMED TO BE AFRAID

We are not afraid. We are emotional and angry because we understand what kind of neighbour Russia really is. You can call our emotions a certain survivor’s guilt – Lithuania and other Baltic states managed to escape to NATO in 2004 while the freedom-loving Ukrainians and Georgians are stuck facing that monster of a regime. 

BUT IF PUTIN ATTACKS THE BALTIC STATES, WOULD NATO INTERFERE?

Guys, come on. The cornerstone of NATO is Article 5, which clearly states: “If a NATO ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the ally attacked”. 

This article has kept its members safe since the formation of NATO. Everyone is afraid of the combined might of the allies. Even the mighty Soviets (and current Russia is a much weaker country with no allies) were rightly afraid to test it.  

And it will clearly will not be abandoned now despite the local Russian-versteher propagandist doubts. On the contrary, all NATO countries plan for it and constantly repeat the commitments. 

BUT YESTERDAY, PUTIN/ LAVROV/ ZAKHAROVA / SOME OTHER RANDOM SHIT THREATENED LITHUANIA

I am sorry, but were you asleep for the last 20 years? They salivate about enslaving us it all the time. And we do not doubt that the Kremlin criminals would LOVE to lay their sick and corrupt fingers on Tallinn, Stockholm, Paris, and probably Mumbai.

But, as all members of the NATO collective security shield, we are beyond their reach. Actually, Finland and Sweden (not members of NATO) are rightly more worried these days. So, we hope they will join the alliance real soon.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST. WHAT IS PUTIN?

Xuilo!

RUSKIJ KORABL – Idi na khuy!

SLAVA UKRAINI

Heroiam slava!!

AND PLEASE, SEND AID TO UKRAINIANS. HELP THEIR REFUGEES. PRESS YOUR GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ALL MEASURES TO STOP THE RUSSIAN INVASION. 

People are dying at the hands of the fascist Putin regime every day! Your contribution is important.

It is time to act NOW. 

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