Lithuania and NATO countries are putting out feelers to gauge how far Russia is ready to go to defend its interests, Ukrainian political commentator Yuri Podolyaka said in an interview with the V Teme [On Point] online project on BelTA's YouTube channel, BelTA has learned.
"The war is being waged in all kinds of ways. In Ukraine, it is conducted with the use of aircraft, tanks and artillery. Europe is using mainly sanctions and economic tools. But any time it can escalate into a real war against this or that country. It is clear that now NATO countries and Lithuania are probing to understand how far Russia is ready to go to defend its interests. Or let's be exact, this is the doing of the United States because Lithuania has always been controlled by the United States rather than the EU," Yuri Podolyaka noted.
Lithuanians are placing themselves at a considerable risk, he believes. "As long as the United States views Russia as its main problem it will support Lithuania. But once the U.S. switches to the domestic agenda or to China, Lithuania's future will be bleak. If we look at the problem of Poland's entry into Ukraine and seizure of parts of it, then Russia might find it easier to negotiate with Poland, end the war in Ukraine and legalize its territorial acquisitions in Ukraine. Now let's remember what Lithuania was before 1939: Vilnius was Polish, and Poland remembers it very well. It views it as the Eastern Borderlands like Western Ukraine. Suppose an agreement is possible here too. This means that Poland will play the role of a kind of Hitler's Germany. As a pragmatist, I understand that having yielded parts of Ukraine and, for example, Baltic states to Poland, Russia will continue to prepare the partition of Poland to take back the territories that it initially ceded to them," the political observer said.
"The Balts are happily welcoming many anti-Russian refugees from Ukraine. Thus, they are trying to solve their own demographic issues which are very bad,” Yuri Podolyaka said. “When Ukraine disappears as a state, in five to ten years all these Ukrainians will become Russians. Add to them the local Russian communities. The Baltic states will be depopulated and repopulated by other people. This might happen in the coming years. So is a big crisis. NATO might disintegrate. Türkiye is, perhaps, already undermining NATO from within. The European Union might bite the dust too. Any scenario is possible. What will the Baltic states do if we assume that the United States shifts its focus to East Asia or to the domestic problems? A third of the population in the Baltic states is Russian. Then what?"