Espreso. Global

Russia is capable of mobilizing 25 million people -  Lithuanian Defense Minister

4 May, 2024 Saturday
16:40

NATO underestimated the Kremlin's ability to adapt to the situation

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This was stated by Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas, LRT reports.

He stressed that "the starting point of the new summit should be the Russian military threat".

"Moscow, despite the sanctions, has put its economy on a military footing, given that under an authoritarian regime, it does not have to worry much about the social welfare of its society," the Lithuanian minister explained.

This mistake and underestimation, according to Kasčiūnas, arose because when trying to understand Russia, the United States and Europe proceeded from the fact that they used the Western approach and criteria in assessing its strategy.

"The lack of responsibility for its society, the brutal management of its own mobilisation potential," which, according to the official, can reach 25 million people, "makes Russia one of the most dangerous adversaries that the alliance will have to confront in the near future."

In response to this and other threats to the Allies, "a lot needs to change in the way NATO works," Kasčiūnas said.

He outlined several steps he believes are necessary to maintain the Alliance's effectiveness:

First, "on the eastern flank, the stage has been set for building a more flexible response and deterrence posture, which requires more authority to be given to the Alliance's regional forces."

Secondly, it is clear that the 2% increase in defence spending is only a lower limit and will be raised.

Third, NATO countries will have to seriously modernise and strengthen their defence industries.

Fourth, they will have to start considering Ukraine as a deterrent to aggression against Europe and the West, and thus as "an element of Euro-Atlantic security and unity".

Finally, fifth, to resolve the issue of Ukraine's membership in NATO.

According to the Lithuanian defence minister, there is one more point that "requires a collective political approach": NATO should "stop considering the confrontation with Russia in the paradigm of 'escalation-de-escalation'.

"Since the Kremlin understands only force, we need to develop a system of active defence that does not allow Moscow to threaten to escalate the conflict," Kasciunas said.

  • Recently, Macron spoke again about sending foreign troops to Ukraine.
  • In contrast, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said that the Slovak military would not participate in the Russian-Ukrainian war, as Ukraine is not a NATO member. 
  • British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said that the possible deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine could lead to an escalation. 
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