Russian talk of occupying Baltic States is trolling, say Lithuanian officials

Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

“This propaganda will not affect our position to seriously look at our security. Nobody will escalate anything, there are no such goals, Russia is not considered to be an enemy, but is a factor that is destabilizing the situation at the moment, not only in Europe but also elsewhere in the world,” Lithuania‘s Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevičius said.

The Russian media say that occupation would happen whenever a more serious conflict will arise with Turkey or an air incident with NATO close to the borders of the Baltic countries.

Although Lithuanian officials say that Russia’s threats are just ordinary trolling, they acknowledge that Russia’s activities close to the Baltic countries are forcing them to increase their armed forces to deter the Kremlin from the temptation to take military action.

The United States administration recently announced it would quadruple its military budget to €3 billion for Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States, to deter possible Russian aggression. A study published by the Rand Corporation last week showed that Russian forces could occupy the Baltic States within three days in case of an attack, with current NATO forces inadequate to meet the threat.

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