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2019.10.04 16:00

Russia couldn't occupy Lithuania in two days, President Nausėda tells CNN

LRT.lt 2019.10.04 16:00

Russia or any other hostile military force couldn't overrun Lithuania within days, it would take at least three or four weeks, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has told CNN.

In an interview to the US media company published on Thursday, the president said that the hypothetical scenario by the RAND Corporation think tank speculating that Russia could crush Lithuania's defence in 36 hours was too pessimistic.

“It is too pessimistic an approach. I had that discussion with our generals and they told me it's not possible to occupy Lithuania in two days because, according to their estimates, it will take about three to four weeks. And if it is true, we can expect that NATO allies will come and help,” Nausėda told CNN.

The Lithuanian leader also described his brief meeting with US President Donald Trump outside the United Nations General Assembly chamber last month. Nausėda said he informed the American president that Lithuania was spending 2 percent of its GDP on defence, as per NATO agreements.

“Mr. Trump said to me, ‘great job’,” according to Nausėda.

He also described Lithuania's efforts to assist Ukraine and offer Belarus ways to lessen its dependence on Russia, for example, by importing oil via the Baltic port of Klaipėda.

Nausėda also said he felt some affinity with the controversial US president, particularly his claims to patriotism.

“I heard Mr. Trump [at the UN General Assembly] saying the future belongs to patriots instead of globalists, I understand him. And in this regard, I am on his side, not in other regards, maybe. But in this regard yes,” the Lithuanian president said.