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2022.08.04 14:14

The biggest Russian threat is not to Lithuania, says Ukraine’s former president

LRT.lt 2022.08.04 14:14

In an interview with the BBC, Ukraine’s former president, Leonid Kuchma, said ex-Soviet states not under the NATO umbrella may be the next target for Russia.

“I think [Russia] threatens not Lithuania or Poland, but the post-Soviet republics outside NATO,” he said in the interview published on Thursday. “Allusions to Moldova and Northern Kazakhstan have already become common, and now Georgia is also mentioned in this context.”

“After all, Russia attacks only those who are several times weaker than it,” Kuchma added.

He also said Ukraine’s ability to resist will determine whether Russia can expand its aggression.

“Depending on how Ukraine repels aggression, either the Third World War will be avoided, or it is already on its way. If we stand, Putin will not go any further,” said Kuchma.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Baltic states and Poland fear they may be the next target. According to Lithuanian officials, there are no indications that the Kremlin is building up forces on the Baltic borders.

NATO agreed during its Madrid summit in June to increase the number of allied troops assigned or stationed in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.