Staunton, July 11 – The West must not dismiss Vladimir Putin’s statements about restoring Moscow’s influence over the territory of the former USSR as “paranoid” or delusional because those statements reflect his real thinking and thus the basis for his current and future actions, according to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
In an interview with “Spiegel,” the Lithuanian leader says that Putin will use “all means,” including propaganda and economic pressure, to achieve his oft-stated goal by acting against what the Kremlin views as the weakest links among the post-Soviet states (spiegel.de/politik/ausland/litauens-praesidentin-grybauskaite-im-interview-putins-paranoia-ernst-nehmen-a-1102262.html and eurointegration.com.ua/rus/news/2016/07/11/7051925/).
At the same time, Grybaukaite urged both the West and Russia’s neighbors to avoid becoming paralyzed by fear. “I don’t like the word ‘fear,’” she said, adding that “we lived under Soviet occupation and we know that this neighbor is [both] unpredictable and capable of attacking” its neighbors.
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