Russia’s military games for Baltic and Polish civilians and youth
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
With the Russian 9th of May celebrations of Soviet victory in World War Two approaching, many in the Baltic States are concerned about the potential risk of provocations or confrontation stemming from the more radical and disgruntled elements of the local Russian minority. Moreover, since Russia launched a shadow war in eastern Ukraine in 2014, NATO, American, and European governments have been increasingly concerned about the risks of hybrid warfare in Poland and the Baltic region.
It would be hard to imagine Athenian generals worrying about the reporting of Spartan news or even, twenty-four centuries later, Douglas MacArthur caring much about media broadcasts from the land of the rising sun. But when General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Commander of NATO, recently called on the West to make a greater effort to counter Russia’s toxic war of disinformation against Ukraine and its western allies, his concern made perfect military sense. In a world in which the dissemination of information is a key tactical element in violent conflicts, the West and America have remained far too passive in confronting both the insidious campaign of lies on Russian state-controlled media and the notoriously effective internet recruitment efforts of terrorist groups.
Russia’s euphoric and triumphalist celebration all this week, marking the one year anniversary of Moscow's annexation of Crimea, has already drawn crowds of people, national flags in abundance, and veterans marching in various cities. Meanwhile, Russia-backed militants continue their attacks in eastern Ukraine testing the fragile truce between Kiev and the separatist forces. A year later since Moscow’s foray into Crimea, there is little evidence of Russia is willing to back down or back out of its aggressive campaign in Ukraine. What often gets blurred in Moscow’s nationalist rhetoric is that fact that Russia’s economic and military interests in Ukraine run deep, making Russia’s pull out from Ukraine unlikely in the medium to long-term.
The prime ministers of the three Baltic states agreed on Friday on additional two weeks for the final agreement on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, adviser to Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said.
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis met with his Latvian counterpart on the eve of Baltic prime ministers, expressing hope that the neighboring state would support the agreement on liquefied natural gas, which would pave way for applying for European Union (EU) support for gas infrastructure projects of all three states.
Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis hopes to reach full stop in the Friday's negotiations among the Baltic prime ministers in an effort to ensure European support to the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. In his words, if the discussions end in failure, Lithuania will seek to end the discussions and move on.
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis is meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Inara Murniece, in the Latvian seaside resort of Jūrmala on Thursday to discuss the positions on the Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP) under construction in Belarus.
The Baltic Film Days will be held in Vilnius for the first time at the end of August – it is a unique event featuring Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian productions on the same week in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, the Lithuanian Film Center said.