President Tells Lithuanians: Show Russia No Fear and be 'Ready to
Shoot' (Diena, Latvia)
"Some say that for now, the pressure on Russia should not be
too strong - to give Moscow a chance to 'save face' ... It is the European
Union, and not Russia, at risk of losing face, because Russia hasn't even begun
to consider the subject. ... [Russia's] military means are no longer off the
table for use against NATO countries. … We know we are protected under Article
V of the NATO Treaty, but the key is not to fear the aggressor - because that's
what the aggressor wants. No matter how small the country, we must know not to
repeat the historic mistake - if someone tries to occupy, we will have to
resist, we will have to shoot."
a March 10 interview with Lithuanian television, President Dalia Grybauskaite said that Lithuania's allies are ready to
react to potential Russian threats - not only with six additional pursuit aircraft
[U.S. F-16 Fighters] sent
to Zokniai Air Base, but with ships in the Baltic
Sea as an additional safeguard. At the same time she stressed that it is
important for Lithuanians not to be afraid.
to her, Russia has begun to show Europe and the world its true nature. She also
said week's European summit shows that some European leaders have yet to fully
realize the situation in which Russia and Europe now find themselves.
say that for now, the pressure on Russia should not be too strong - to give
Moscow a chance to 'save face' and allow for a 'fall-back strategy.' I said
very clearly that it is the European Union, and not Russia, at risk of losing
face, because Russia hasn't even begun to consider the subject. For quite some
time now Russian 'face' hasn't been an issue - it's only Putin's face,"
the president said in the interview aired on the eve of Lithuanian
Independence Restoration Day. "Europe is still not fully aware of what's
going on, and doesn't yet understand that the time has come for Europe to
decide to save its own face.
are historically fortunate that we joined NATO and the European Union ten years
ago. … But now we're talking about Europe itself and, apparently, not only
about Europe, because we see … that one state is trampling on whatever
international obligations it pleases - both treaties that it signed and the U.N.
Charter. In fact, any global agreement reached after the Second World War for
ensuring peace," she stressed.
see a country that pays no attention to anything, lies, openly dispatches
troops without any distinguishing marks - and these are already serious
violations of international norms. We see a country that has begun to behave … like
Nazi Germany or Stalin in 1938-1940. Morbid post-imperial ambition has already
been demonstrated to Europe and the world. It is clear that the world must
react. It is very good that a rather united condemnation has been received from
all parts of the world - not only from Europe, not only from the United States, but
even from China, which has always been friendly to Putin's regime."
to Grybauskaite, the events in Ukraine, particularly
in Crimea, show that we are dealing with "a different kind of civilization
or attitude toward civilization."
this situation, everyone will suffer - I mean not only Ukraine. Europe, the
United States, everyone, because it's obvious that we will have to resort to
certain sanctions. Not only diplomatic and political, but perhaps even
economic," she said. "I hope very much that this Cold War that Russia
is again trying to impose on the international community doesn't reach the
hottest and most damaging point. However, we must be prepared for all
preventive and security measures."
president once again reiterated that Russia has violated its international obligations,
not only with its actions in Crimea, but with military exercises held without
previous notice in Kaliningrad
using tactical weapons.
want us all to very clearly understand that Putin's Russia has become an example
of aggression, demonstrating the power of itself against all," she added. "We
see a country that has become hostage of one man's ambition, perhaps even a
morbid ambition ... which suggests that at least in the near future, we can
expect surprises from this country."
ourselves have already been plucked out of the post-imperial field of ambition.
Of course, we are being affected in a different way - through our politicians,
through media, through propaganda, through certain monies being spent, even through
corruption, which is perhaps seeking to destabilize the situation in our region.
... But [Russia's] military means are no longer off the table for use against
NATO countries. … We know we are protected under Article
V of the NATO Treaty, but the key is not to fear the aggressor - because
that's what the aggressor wants. No matter how small the country, we must know not
to repeat the historic mistake - if someone tries to occupy, we will have to
resist, we will have to shoot," Grybauskaite
the same time she acknowledged that the West must not stoop to the level of Putin's
Russia and resort to the excessive use of force and the breach of its
of last week's E.U. summit, the Lithuanian president acknowledged that East
European countries that have had more intimate dealings with Russia, and have a
better understanding of what's going on.
Posted By Worldmeets.US
is a feeling that European countries which are a bit further from Russia and perhaps
more economically dependent on it, especially in the field of energy, have a
different understanding," she said, adding that Western leaders, however,
have begun to understand what's happening.
little more every day, Russia allows us to get to know it better."
also reiterated her previously made allegations about alleged Kremlin
influence over leaders of the Labour Party, which
is part of her ruling coalition. She has been criticized for these charges not
only by politicians, but by political scientists who usually support her
speaker of the Seimas and Labour Party chairperson,
has even considered launching impeachment proceedings against her.
Grybauskaite, however, hasn't retreated,
stating that she is primarily talking of the founder and actual leader of the Labour Party, Viktor Uspaskich, while
leaving open the possibility that he could be influencing the rest of the party's
has also leveled criticism to the State Security Department (VSD), indicating that it should be more focused on "preventive
"I have already said that the VSD is not living up to expectations - neither in terms of
its work or results. That's because the agency regards its own work as comprising insignificant, high security report writing," she said, adding that the department needs changes and sooner or later will have to reexamine its areas of responsibility.