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 spending of Lithuanian households on essential goods remains the lowest in the Baltic states, however, is rapidly catching up with Latvia, shows an index of household spending published by the research company Baltic Market Insights (Baltmi). According to the survey, Lithuanians spend an average of nearly 2 euros more than Latvians during a single visit to the store, however, are still behind Estonia.
Residents of Lithuania are happier than Latvians and Estonians, however, all in all, people of all three Baltic states are not as happy as the world population, shows a World Barometer published by Win/Gallup International and Baltic Market Insights.
Other countries view Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant project through an economic lens, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday, commenting on the Latvian foreign minister's words that his country is not considering restricting electricity imports from the facility under construction just 50 kilometers from Vilnius.
The Latvian government supports the Lithuanian position to demand the highest security standards at the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus, however, does not consider any laws to restrict electricity imports from the utility, says Latvia's Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Startup DealLink.biz, a Lithuanian-built B2B open procurement platform, has successfully expanded into the Finnish and Polish markets, it announced. The company also confirmed it will start operations in Sweden in January 2017, in Denmark in March, and in Norway in May.