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.
Latvian Deputy Prime Minister and Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens is to meet with the Lithuanian energy and economy ministers to discuss the countries' key energy projects and efforts to restrict imports from the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus, and to visit the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
There is a consensus among member countries of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) that the Baltic power grids have to be synchronized with the Western European system via Poland, but details, such as the need for a second LitPol Link, remain to be worked out.
Border guards of Kalvarija, southwestern Lithuania, have detained a Latvian citizen transporting to Western Europe a Syrian father and son who had applied for asylum in Latvia. The driver faces criminal charges, while the Syrian citizens will be sent back to Latvia.
Lithuania's State Security Department (VSD) has warned that Russia's protectionist policies and aims to restrict cargo flows harm Lithuania's transport business and energy and, furthermore, can divide the three Baltic states.
NATO's Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) commander is meeting with commanders of the Air Forces of the Nordic and Baltic states and Poland in Lithuania on Wednesday to discuss the regional security situation, military cooperation and share the latest information about the national air forces.