Russian talk of occupying Baltic States is trolling, say Lithuanian officials
LT Daily, media brief
Monday, February 8, 2016
Russian media has been flooded with articles in which senior Russian officials openly explain how they will attack and occupy the Baltic countries, but the Lithuanian foreign minister said the propaganda would not escalate tensions.
A recent programme aired by the BBC explores a hypothetical doomsday scenario of a nuclear stand-off between Russia and NATO over Latvia. Analysts in Lithuania say it presents too simplistic a take on geopolitical realities in Eastern Europe which, in itself, could erode confidence in NATO's collective defence commitments.
US President Barack Obama is planning to substantially increase the deployment of heavy weapons and armoured vehicles in Lithuania and the Baltic States, and all along NATO’s eastern flank, to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, writes the New York Times.
After official announcement of the US plans to quadruple its defence budget for Europe, Lithuania's Defence Minister Juozas Olekas says this would mean deployment of a larger number of US troops and equipment in Lithuania.