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2015.05.15 08:31

Baltics should have laid groundwork before asking for NATO troops, expert says

The Baltic states should have verified positions of Allies before submitting the request to NATO to deploy a military brigade in their territories, says Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, the director of Vilnius University's Institute of International Relations and Political Science.

The Baltic states should have verified positions of Allies before submitting the request to NATO to deploy a military brigade in their territories, says Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, the director of Vilnius University's Institute of International Relations and Political Science.

"It would have been best to check the possible reaction of partners in NATO, particularly the reaction of NATO's main countries, through diplomatic channels before sending the letter," the political expert told BNS on Thursday.

"If there were reasons to hurry – possible there were reasons that the public is not aware of – without laying the diplomatic groundwork, they should have tried keeping it confidential," said Vilpišauskas.

In his words, "the risk now is NATO's response to the request, if it is not positive, can be interpreted as a certain signal".

"Without a doubt, the big neighbour in the east will now wait for the response of NATO's main countries to the letter," said Vilpišauskas with reference to Russia.

The intention to ask NATO to station a brigade in each of the three Baltic states was first revealed to Britain's The Times by Estonia's Chief of Defence Riho Terras. The information was later confirmed by Lithuanian and Latvian armies.

BNS