Staunton, June 21 – One of the hallmarks of Vladimir Putin’s recent policies is that he has put Russia and himself in a position where he is set to suffer regardless of what he does next. That is certainly true regarding Lithuania. If he attacks it, he will lose; but if he doesn’t, he will lose as well, Vitaly Portnikov says.
Driven by hatred of Lithuania and that country’s love of freedom, Russia has again and again attacked Lithuania only to lose, the Ukrainian commentator says. Now, it has put itself in the same position once again by threatening to “de-recognize” it and even use force against Vilnius (graniru.org/opinion/portnikov/m.285381.html).
If in the end, Putin doesn’t attack Lithuania despite all his rhetoric, Portnikov says, “he will show that he really fears NATO and is unwilling to fight the West directly.” That will demonstrate to everyone that “NATO is a effective defense alliance and a guarantor of the security of its members,” leading ever more countries to want to join.
More immediately, he continues, “it will show to the civilized world that there is nothing to be afraid of but that everyone must help Ukraine more actively and work to achieve the political and economic collapse of Russia because without that, without retribution against the chauvinistic pseudo-empire, there won’t be any security at all.”
“But if Putin goes ahead and attacks Lithuania,” Portnikov says, “he will lose in that case too. He will lose together with Russia only in a faster and bloodier way. Not tens or hundreds of thousands will die as in the war with Ukraine but tens of millions – including of course tens of millions of Russians.”
In both Russia and the West, as a result, “many will be left homeless and without a way of making a living, stricken with diseases that will make everyone forget about the coronavirus. But in the end the economy of the West will recover much faster than the Russian one. Indeed, in Russia, there may not be any economy at all for 30 to 40 years.”