“He (Putin) believed that the end of the Cold War and of Soviet Union was a disaster. I think he has aspirations of trying to correct that what he sees to be the disaster. I think he has designs on the Baltics: Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia,” Cheney said at a conference organized by The Economic Times daily in Dehli.
In his words, the Kremlin aims to weaken NATO and is therefore building up munitions in the Russian Kaliningrad region wedged between Lithuania and Poland. Cheney also assured there were no doubts that Putin had aimed to influence the 2016 US presidential elections.
Cheney, 76, served as the US vice-president in the 2001-2009 period and is considered one of the supporters of the hard line in then administration of president George W. Bush.
Cheney’s speech is available online starting 14 minutes 30 seconds.
After Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014, NATO sent additional forces to the Baltic states and Poland to deter Moscow from possible provocations in the region.
Meanwhile, Russia maintains it has no territorial ambitions, claiming that NATO’s actions threaten its security.