NO 3 ARE THE BALTIC STATES AFRAID OF WAR?

NO 3

by Ieva Laicane

Russia is Playing it Aggressively

The region which many may know as the Baltic States consists of three countries in north-east Europe: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The biggest mistake people make when referring to us is the fact that we are a part of Russia which is no surprise because of our not so recent history as a part of the Soviet Union where the main character was Russia itself. What’s happening with us now, when Russia is playing it aggressively in Ukraine, Trump (known as Putins bestie) may become the president of the USA and NATO might turn their backs on us when their help is needed the most? Here’s how it looks like from the Latvian standpoint!

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Only a bit more than two decades ago Latvia, along with its two Baltic sisters, became independent from Russia. We were known as one of the most patriotical nations at that time and those who are interested in the history might have heard about the event called ”Baltic way”. That was the day when we made live people chain through all three countries to show the big guy Russia that we can and we want to be independent. We stayed strong and we got what we were going for!

Recently, as soon as Russia got back to bullying and started to show its power in Ukraine and Syria, mass media all over the world got worried: are the Baltic States next ones?

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While Estonians just brought more and more powerful weapons on their side showing that they couldn’t care less, Latvians and Lithuanians got worried. We don’t have many great weapons as Estonians do, we definitely don’t have an army as big as Russians have and nonetheless – we’re not ready to fight for our rights once again… The situation was made even worse by Trumps not so recent comments about his good friendship with Putin. So far the USA has been one of our best protectors but suddenly the situation seemed fuzzy. Our last hope was us being a part of the NATO up till the day when Trump started to chit-chat about his thoughts how NATO shouldn’t really care for us after all…

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Recently, I got asked a question: “What is the situation in Latvia? Are you afraid? Is there obligatory to go to the army now? Are people getting worried?”. And the simple answer to this question is no. We are not afraid and we are not planning to get into war anytime soon. We are well aware of the danger that may happen but at the same time we can’t live in a constant fear and feel like the weak country we used to be. A lot has changed in the past 2 decades and we’re not afraid of the bully threats anymore.

Life in the Baltics is peaceful and despite the cold autumn outdoors, we’re spending our days just like we’re used to!