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.
Kremlin, Moscow
© Reuters/Scanpix

“Such a message is unacceptable for any country’s leader – it cuts all possible contacts between Russia and Lithuania. Such international rudeness should be met with strict economic sanctions, including rerouting the transit of oil products ant the abolition of favourable conditions for Lithuanian factories in the Russian market,” said Morozov for the Russian news agency RIA NOVOSTI on Monday.

The Russian senator noted that, if the head of an EU country had allowed herself to deliver such messages, it meant that the position of the entire bloc on Russia was becoming unfriendly.

“It is Washington that's behind it, keeping the armed forces of the Baltic States fully-equipped and including them in NATO programs,” said Morozov.

According to Morozov, it means that the situation is to become even worse because of the pressure of the US and the EU and plans to increase NATO’s funding.

“This is the main goal of Washington,” said the politician.

He added that the meeting in Normandy demonstrated that “Putin’s isolation failed, the leaders of Europe communicated with him and such a situation did not please Washington”.

“While using such an aggressive rhetoric through the Baltic States, the US puts pressure on its satellite countries,” added the Russian politician.

Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI (R.Achmedovo nuotr.)

Morozov highlighted that one Washington’s goals was the suspension of gas supply from Russia to European countries. According to the politician, the overall aim is to have Europe buy American shale gas.

Lithuania’s president has compared the tactics of Russian President Vladimir Putin to those employed by Stalin and Hitler and said in an interview for the German magazine Focus that Moscow was trying to persuade the Baltic States to leave NATO in exchange for cheaper oil or gas.

“According to our information, there are Russian offers in other Baltic States to reduce the prices for oil or gas if these countries leave NATO,” she said.

Grybauskaitė also said that Russia wanted to maintain its influence in territories that were once part of the Soviet Union and it particularly wanted to keep the Baltic States dependent on it economically and in terms of energy policy.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March said that Putin’s incursion into Crimea was akin to moves Hitler made in the years before World War Two, though she said the following day that she was not making a comparison.

Asked whether such comparisons to Hitler or Stalin went too far, Dalia Grybauskaite told the German news magazine Focus: “(Putin) uses nationality as a pretext to conquer territory with military means. That’s exactly what Stalin and Hitler did. Such comparisons are spot-on.”

The president of Lithuania said that Russia’s invasion in the Baltic States was not probable, taking into consideration their membership in NATO; however, Grybauskaitė added, the Baltic States had to be prepared so that no one considered such an option.

Translated by Audra Šeputytė

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