Lucas warns US senators: Baltic security crisis is “dangerous threat” to NATO alliance
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
A security crisis in the Baltic states is the biggest threat to NATO, therefore, the Alliance must boost its presence in the region to avoid it and deter Russia, British analyst Edward Lucas warned in a speech to the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.
Russia needs to cut off all contacts with Lithuania and to start imposing economic sanctions after President Dalia Grybauskaitė has compared Vladimir Putin’s policy with those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, says Igor Morozov, member of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee.
Estonia and Lithuania have so far failed to agree on how the Baltic power grids are to be synchronized with the Western European system and a memorandum of understanding will not be signed during the EU summit on Thursday, as planned, Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas said, adding that this might be done later this year.
The Baltic prime ministers say that their countries are ready for Zapad, a major military exercise to be held jointly by Russia and Belarus in September, and feel safe after NATO partners have deployed additional capabilities in the region.
Two terminals could operate on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea controlled by the three Baltic states – in Lithuania's Klaipėda and in Estonia, which could build a small terminal, Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis stated on Friday. In his words, the two terminals would supplement each other along with the Inčukalns gas storage facility in Latvia.