On Friday, a former aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out and stated that the citizens in the Baltic States cannot feel safe and secure because Putin has been working on a major global war for over the past decade, the Lithuania Tribune reported.
The former adviser, Andrey Illarionov revealed Putin’s intentions when he was giving a presentation at a conference in Palanga, Lithuania. Illarionov, who advised Putin on economic policy in 2000-2005 made his statements in reference to a question that was asked at a recent Riga Conference 2014 in which the question was, “Can people in Riga sleep peacefully at night?”
Illarionov responded by saying, “The same question could be raised in Tallinn, Vilnius, Palanga, Bucharest and other cities. No one in Riga could reply to it in the positive. From my side, though, the question should be rephrased, especially after Barack Obama visited Estonia and said that NATO was prepared to defend Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. The situation seems safer after the statement, but we must look at military readiness, military equipment at hand, not words. From the point of view of military readiness, NATO forces in the Baltics are insufficient.”
The incursion into the Ukraine and the capture of Crimea had been in the planning stages since 2003 when the “Orange Revolution” began in Kiev, Illarionov stated. Illarionov refered to an article that the Ruskyi Zhurnal, a Russian Journal, that was published in 2008, which detailed a plan for how to attack and occupy Crimea, then eastern Ukraine, central Ukraine and finally reach Kiev. “As we see, not only were they preparing, they were publishing it.”
Referring to Russian laws, Illarionov said, “Such a legal base allows the Russian army to protect all the Russians listed in the law. Therefore, for the Russian side, such actions of the Russian army beyond Russian borders might seem completely legitimate. Putin thinks of the current confrontation not as world war three – since that was the Cold War – but as world war four.”
“Some scholars say this is Russia’s war against the West, allegedly, the West have made many mistakes, are moving in a wrong direction and Russia is trying to defend its values,” said Illarionov.
Meanwhile, President Obama stated at a UN speech this past Wednesday, “If Russia takes “the path of diplomacy and peace”, a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people… then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges.”
“That’s what the United States and Russia have been able to do in past years, from reducing our nuclear stockpiles to meet our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to cooperating to remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons,” Obama said. “And that’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again… if Russia changes course.”