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Forbes: Latvia may become Putin’s next target

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe west has to understand that Russia’s war on the south-east of Ukraine is potentially more dangerous than ISIS, because it can destroy NATO, believes Forbes reviewer Paul Gregory. He mentions that Baltics, especially Latvia, could be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s potential goal.

«Are Europe and the U.S. really hoping that a peace deal entered into by a weakened Ukraine will end Putin’s empire-restoration dream? […]Merkel and Obama regrettably seem to be pushing Ukraine towards an unfavourable peace that gives Putin a permanently destabilized Ukraine blocked from the European Union and NATO. And the only price he has had to pay is sanctions, which he expects to be lifted after a decent time has passed,» – writes Gregory.

The reviewer also mentions predictions made by a famous Russian analyst Andrei Piontovsky. According to his predictions, successes on the south-east of Ukraine could encourage Putin to try out this tactic elsewhere; and his next target could be the Baltic States. Membership of these countries in NATO may not stop the Russian President. It is more likely to encourage him even more in hopes of destroying his biggest opponent – NATO. This scheme has a lot of risk, but rewards would be astronomical, he says.

«Ukraine is fighting on its own with little or no help from its feckless allies. Those who stand next in the line of victims understand the urgency of the situation. Others do not,» – believes Gregory.

He believes Putin is likely to employ the tactic tested in Georgia and Ukraine in his plans. It could begin anywhere. Most likely in Latvia, as it has a large proportion of Russian-speaking residents and non-citizens.

Putin’s main propaganda weapon – Russian television – already criticizes Latvia for the alleged discrimination of Russian-speakers. Gregory described a scenario that depicts if this propaganda increases in scope and size, Latvia will be infiltrated by Russian agents and mercenaries starting with eastern territories, where there is a large proportion of Russian-speaking residents. Riots will follow, administrative buildings will be taken and ‘Peoples Republic of Free Latvia’ will be declared there. The Russian army will then carry out its ‘long-planned military exercises’ near the Latvian border. Kremlin will likely admit that ‘Russian volunteers’ did indeed cross the border, but it will also be added that they have the right to defend their countrymen.

«Joint Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian forces will make their way to remove the new self-declared “mayors” and “governors” from the occupied buildings and towns. Shooting breaks out between Baltic forces and the self-proclaimed n Peoples Republic of Free Latvia. Casualties mount. Latvia declares that it has been attacked by Russia and invokes NATO’s Article 5. Russia counters by protesting its innocence and concern that a civil war has broken out on its borders. It could be compelled, however, to intervene if fellow Russians are at risk, and Russia will take no weapons off the table,» – writes Gregory.

What will NATO and USA do then? – asks the reviewer. It is possible NATO will decide to «wait this one out» hoping everything will settle on its own. Putin apologists in Germany, France, Italy and the United States will ask: Are we really prepared to die for Latvia or Estonia?

Putin will then propose a peace plan, Latvia will sink into a conflict with no end and the world will understand NATO is nothing and Putin has control over the situation and can decide who should be spared and who should be punished.

«ISIS and Putin teach the same lesson. If the West wants to win, it must resist before it is too late. […]Putin would have been easy to stop if the West had moved in destroyers, carriers, and NATO troops to Poland or Kiev. […]It is already too late to do what we should have done, but consider the scenario that I have described above. Very soon, it could really be too late,» – writes Gregory.

Piontovsky voiced similar concerns to Delfi.lt a few days ago. He did mention other aspects as well. According to him, the situation in Ukraine is «part of a global project», and Putin does not hide this fact. In regard to Baltic States the analyst said Putin «will go as far as he is allowed».

«Everything will depend on the outcome of the Ukrainian conflict. If Putin succeeds to gain control over Ukraine’s politics and block its European vector, he will continue this campaign. Baltics will be next. While Putin is busy with Ukraine, you can feel relatively safe. But you need to explain to your western friends, who are not particularly active in their efforts to assist Ukraine, that they have an opportunity to stop Putin now by using political and economic means,» – he notes.

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  1. MBI says:

    ”Putin apologists in Germany, France, Italy and the United States will ask: Are we really prepared to die for Latvia or Estonia?”

    This sentence really resonated with me. I have followed with great concern the willingness of left-wing and far-right politicians and activists in Germany to act as Putin apologists, even on the highest levels, as in Gerhard Schröder’s case (SPD(German Social Democrats)), who is known in Germany as ”Gas-Gerd”, because of his close connections to Putin and the ”Nord Stream AG”( owned by Gazprom).
    Also comment sections and social media in Germany is flooded with Kremlin apologists and supporters/agents (most likely poor Russian students, who get paid to post pro-Russian comments for a small fee, because their English and German is often a broken one).
    Public opinion somewhat changed after the MH 17 plane shoot-down against Putin, but I am concerned that people will forget quickly and go back to business as usual, and then the Russian Propaganda Army will commence their attacks again.

    It seems that many people are not able to deal with the bully tactics and propaganda of the Russians. They have no experience how to counter and handle psychological warfare, and they are being enticed to give Russia a pass, because of economic ties and benefits, etc.

    I do not see as many apologists in the USA. Americans seem to naturally be more self-confident, and therefore less susceptible to these psychopathic bully tactics and attacks. At least in my opinion, they do not seem to have as much of an effect on them and here, as on others.

    I will do everything in my power, which includes to share my opinions here, to counter this attack on the minds and hearts of Western/European Society.

    German, living in the US of A.

    • Linda says:

      And it doesn’t help that Merkel is a big buddy of Putin. She treats him like a naughty school boy most of the time but the Russian bear is able to play her and her cronies to Russia’s advantage and the detriment of the other democratic states in Europe.

  2. MBI says:

    Good point and observation, Linda.

    The only thing, that could work in her favor, is that she lived and experienced the DDR and Communist rule herself, and she therefore knows the Russian modus operandi better than others, but you are correct, I think she did underestimate and misjudged Putin in the beginning. I am not sure she still does. We will see.

    My family, on my father’s side is actually from Prussia/Brandenburg, and their land was taken from them by the Communists, and they had to flee to West Germany after the Second World War. Luckily we got the land back after the Re-Unification. We were some of the lucky ones, not everybody did. My grand-father had spent all his live fighting to get the land back, and he did so only 2 weeks before he died, so he could leave this planet in peace, knowing that the land, that had been in our family for over 150 years, would remain so.

    So my family experienced a Happy Ending. I hope everybody else does too.

    Angela Merkel is form the same area the family on my father’s side is from, the Uckermark, so maybe I am a little biased, but I think she is one of the best politicians in Germany at the moment to handle the situation regarding Putin.

  3. Linda says:

    let’s hope that Merkel can steer Putin in the right direction and it’s not too late for him to become the President Russia deserves. I too have had family taken by the Russians and others who have been mistreated by the Russian government for being farmers, accountants, own country military, and so on.

  4. Tom says:

    Linda, I think you’d be hoping for a very long time, Putin I am afraid to say is completely rotten to the core! there is no end to the levels he will stoop down to. he thinks of himself as some sort of messiah who is untouchable. He is with a severely warped mind and sole and should never be trusted.

  5. Analysis of Nida Elena Lukosiute.Bachelor in Business Management, SU Lithuania. Master in Health Economics, Politics with major in accountancy and leadership, Uio. says:

    Leadership is a sexy word and very contageous. Not everyone has leadership abilities, but the good news is: if you have them you can get training and be prepared for the international war conflicts and solutions. Leadership style chosen by a president influences the welfare and development of a nation. So, we have V.Putin with dictators style, but he uses democratic perfume sometimes too. Leadership of Ukrainas president Porosenko doesnt have much power, has many doubts, not stable, late with implementation of decisions in EU area. He can be replaced if events will develop not in favour of a mass. Why Latvia should become the next target of Russia? Political Translation (make up Clarings):Latvia has many russians and V. Putin said he could show his aggressive power not in favour of Latvia if latvians will continue insulting local russiansNato staff sits in Latvia with its toys and kindergarden of leaders.
    To achieve international piece is possible through harmonic international power sharing during get-together party of international leaders.
    Nato staff sits in Latvia with its toys and kindergarden of leaders.

  6. Batman says:

    Ridiculous…

    It’s so easy to press on the fear button…

    Keep calm and don’t listen to NATO / war apologists.

  7. Linda says:

    Has BNN run out of articles – it is November now not September!

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