Can the Baltic Nations Can Finally Breath Freely about Expansion of “the Russian World?

According to the survey of the independent organization of sociological studies of Russia Levada Center (this should be specially highlighted) conducted in February, majority of Russians (52 percent) thinks that Russia has a …

According to the survey of the independent organization of sociological studies of Russia Levada Center (this should be specially highlighted) conducted in February, majority of Russians (52 percent) thinks that Russia has a reason to fear of NATO states. More than one third of the respondents indicated that their motherland in particular is a real threat to the West. Not many changes are in the vector of mutual mistrust between the West and Russia. We should also remind that propagation of mistrust and hostility has been and still is the core stone of the official policy of Russia.      
Nothing has been said about the Baltic States in the study, however the mentioned states can still be considered a certain indicator of relations between the West and Russia also in regards to Russian-speaking communities living there (of course, this is not applied to all Russian-speaking persons but to that part, which gets information from Pro-Kremlin media). It has been noticed many times that this part in particular can serve as a pretext and instrument to the Kremlin to pursue the foreign policy that it has been pursuing.   
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, already at the beginning of his presidential career had called the Russian nation as the most scattered nation in the world (the copyright of the concept of the scattered nation actually belongs to the Nazi) and his ability to comply with international obligations was ‘disclosed’ during the aggression against Ukraine that was reasoned by the need to focus ‘Russian world’. We also know the phrase of the President of Russia about collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.  
In 2019 about 220 thousand or over 11 percent of Russian-speaking people living in Latvia had an alien’s passport. As per results of the survey conducted by the Estonian Centre for Security and Defence conducted in April of the same year (2,800 Russian-speaking people were surveyed from the age 16 to 20), a significant part of these young people thought that cooperation and good neighbours relations with Russia was a significant guarantee of the security of the state (66 percent). 32 percent of respondents indicated NATO as a significant guarantee of security, 43 percent indicated membership of the European Union (EU). 25 percent approved presence of NATO in the territory of the country on a permanent basis; however 54 percent indicated that they will try to leave Estonia as soon as possible in case of an armed conflict in its territory.        
Surely, there is no need to compare the current situation even with the beginning of this century when the Baltic States were not members of Euro-Atlantic structures and the demographic situation was changing significantly in them. Nevertheless, the attempt of Moscow ‘to gather the insiders’ with all kinds of modifications, still exists, which we could see in Ukraine in 2014.   
Now we should step aside for a while and remind of the procedure that was released in the United States about withdrawal from intermediate-range missiles (1,000—5,500 kilometres) and short-range missiles (500-1,000 kilometers) nuclear forces treaty (IRNFT). It was signed on 8 December 1987 that was a period of warmer relations between the East and West in Washington between then leaders of the USA and Soviet Union Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty for the first time in history allowed destroying all class of the armament. Unfortunately, just in the break of the twenty first century, Moscow was found breaching the treaty and Barack Obama, President of the USA wrote about this in a note to the President of Russia in July 2014, where he reminded about testing of over 500 kilometre range missiles conducted in 2008-2011 by Russians.
What have the “Russian world” and cruise missiles to do about all this? The fact is that on 20 February 2014 (this date was embossed on medals “For conquest of the Crimea” we can consider (let’s say, what is done by the political analyst Andrei Piontkovsky) the beginning of the hybrid world war against the West, by which V. Putin is seeking a revenge for the defeat in the Cold War and the goal of which is assessment of the political control of Moscow at least in the post-Soviet area. The main method is indiscriminate blackmail of the West that was meant to discredit and humiliate NATO as an organization that is not able to protect its own countries.
This strategy was based on three elements: the concept of a hybrid war (‘little green men’, information and physical terror) developed by Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia and ‘checked’ in Ukraine, the concept of Nikolai Patrushev, Director of the Russian Federal Security Service, according to whom Moscow can and has a possibility to change the proportion of the global forces by threats to strike a limited power nuclear attack and readiness to that actually, when necessary. The third element is traditionally very casual assessment of lives of subordinates of the Russian authorities.
This combination was operating for at least three and a half year. Assessment of the Kremlin heroes as drowsy and cowardly hedonists, who will not agree to die for the conditional Narva (Estonian town with an abundant community of Russian-speaking people), seemed to be an excuse and President of the USA Donald Trump bewildered not only his compatriots during his first years of presidency for a thorough adulation of  V. Putin.
As James Mattis, Minister of Defence of the USA, admitted to the journalist Bob Woodward, until 2019 he started to see Moscow as a threat to existence of the United States when Russians warned him personally that they were ready to use the nuclear weapons in case of the conflict in the Baltic States – kind of, don’t think that we forgot about Estonia, Latvia and Estonia once you dislocated a battalion there. The nuclear blackmail is based on psychology and conviction that the opponent will be the first to lose self-control when they face a dramatic dilemma – a humiliating capitulation or nuclear conflict with a person living in another reality (this is the way how Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel characterized V. Putin).
We can consider Aspen Security Forum held on 19-22 July 2017 as a crucial point, where just newly assigned Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo deconstructed the Russian strategy for the first time and after he was assigned the Secretary of State he initiated a new doctrine of the National Security of the US that is designated for adequate response to revanchist intentions of Russia.   
It was first described in the document ‘The 2018 National Defence Strategy’ and it provided for a response to the limited power nuclear attack, which has become the element of the official military doctrine of NATO that is designated for withholding Moscow also in the Baltic States. The theory came into life in February of the current year when the United States announced that it developed  a new type of nuclear limited-power (less than 10 kilotons) warheads to the missiles Trident II, the Pentagon approved its dislocation in the patrolling submarines. “Pompeo doctrine” against Patrushev doctrine” means that the United States will definitely respond if Russia actually uses its tactical nuclear weapon.
One more thing – on 21 February information about military training of the United States appeared on the international public domain that was meant for improvement of reaction in case Russians launched a nuclear strike of limited power. According to the American proverb ‘good word and colt can make more than just a good word’.
And summarizing, in the last rating of the Global peacefulness of countries (Global Peace Index 2019) 163 countries were rated and Russia was rated 154. At least from the public domain we can judge that such a position does not upset the Russian power, quite the reverse – it is good that they are afraid of us!  It seems that it is not so much scared and the Baltic States can breathe more freely.
Arūnas Spraunius 

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