There is no other European leader who is speaking to Russia in a stricter manner than Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. Sometimes this irritates politicians who believe that relations with the Kremlin require more moderation, the Swish daily Neue Zuercher Zeitiung says.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

However, Grybauskaitė is of different opinion. "We know our neighbour. Russia can understand only a direct language. The language of diplomacy is not for the Kremlin," she said in an interview.

Luckily, according to the president, Lithuania can afford speaking clearly. The country is independent not only politically but also economically, most importantly, in the energy field.

Russian navy's interference with the NordBalt cable construction works in the Baltic Sea, in the view of Grybauskaitė, is just one of the examples of Russia's aggressiveness in the region.

Such behaviour, she says, is also evident in the Russian media propaganda and activities of some Kremlin-related NGOs that pretend to be watchdogs for human rights and minority rights watchdogs; these NGOs particularly target Russian-speaking population in the Baltic states. It is not easy for Lithuania to defend itself from such propaganda, at the same time properly observing the principles of liberal democracy. Of course, the Kremlin is using all available soft power instruments abroad, which remain hidden from its society, says Grybauskaitė. It is difficult not to respond to them if one wishes to strictly abide by the democracy rules.

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