“The great Russian chauvinism, which is now increasing in Russia, mainly very much depends on the elite, who are trying to revive it. And this is very dangerous. So I[‘m] not much sure it will be over in five years, because it will surely be specific to President [Vladimir] Putin,” she said in the interview to Voice of America.
According to her, Russia’s interference in Ukraine’s affairs this year marks a dangerous turn in Moscow’s relations with its neighbours.
“It is very worrying. And it looks like it’s not over. The same methods that are now used in Eastern Ukraine – the same threats, at least not directly military yet, but informational, cyber. Propaganda wars already we are feeling ourselves in the Baltic states [and] Poland, for example. The military exercises also we do have on our borders, in the Kaliningrad region,” Grybauskaitė told Voice of America.
The Lithuanian president says she has no doubts that Russia is supplying weapons to the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. “Some terrorist groups are supplied with military equipment, clearly of Russian origin, and clearly not from the market. But specially provided, and very expensive also,” she said.
The Lithuanian president is also critical of the Kremlin’s justification that it is allegedly defending Russian speakers living outside Russia, comparing the policy to war justifications made by Germany prior to World War II.
“We are seeing methods that have been used in the ‘30s of the last century starting to be used now in the 21st century,” she stated.
In order to continue reducing Lithuania’s dependence on Russian gas, Grybauskaitė called on Washington to approve exports of gas from the United States.
“Today, we see America has responsibility, a quite global one, on security, on democracy, on peace. Energy is one of the tools to secure the peace, without military interventions. And instead of sending troops, you can send the gas, and you will do the same, you will secure the peace in the world,” Grybauskaitė said.