February 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

“Be careful, or…” Putin warns Latvia to stop oppressing Russian-speaking residents of the country

Putin is warning Latvia to stop oppressing the Russian minority, who make up 24.4% of the country’s population, or there will be consequences.

Putin’s warning even concerns the possibility of military intervention. After all, the Russian military operation in Ukraine is being carried out for the same reason – to protect the Russian population.

Of course Latvia is a member of NATO. But this does not change the fact that she is an easy opponent for the Russian military machine. This is not Ukraine, which was prepared by the West to confront Russia.

Article 5 of the NATO agreement states that member countries will consider an attack on one of them as an attack on all of them and will provide necessary military assistance in response. So a Russian attack on one of these members could lead to a much wider international conflict, but Ukraine has shown that the West is much less powerful than it wants to make itself out to be.

The Latvian government is tightening the rules of residence for Russian citizens and, of course, itself is fueling Russian statements about “Russophobia.” The escalation of tensions could mean a change in Russia’s approach to countries it views as oppressing Russian-speaking minorities. Russia views the Baltic states and its three countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – as a single package (the so-called Three-Baltic region).

It should be noted that the Russian population of Estonia makes up 23.7% of the total number of citizens of the country, Latvia 24.49%, and Lithuania a much smaller (but still quite quantifiable) share of 5.02%. Thus, in general, the Russian presence in the Baltic states is quite large – almost a million people.

An amendment passed by the Latvian parliament in 2022 tightened residency rules for Russian citizens in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. To continue living in Latvia, they must apply for permanent resident status and demonstrate a decent command of the Latvian language.

How Russia and NATO could lead to a nuclear conflict over the Baltic Sea was predicted a few days ago by retired Russian military officer Mikhail Khodarenok. He also warned Sweden, which has not yet joined NATO but is trying to do so immediately, about its behavior towards Russia.

According to the Russian President, tensions in the region could lead to an inevitable nuclear conflict with other NATO members in the region. “However, in reality this will lead to a conflict between the Russian Federation and NATO, – said Khodaryonok. – And this conflict can only be nuclear. Therefore, residents of Stockholm and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, must ask themselves: do you need this? Can you imagine an underwater nuclear explosion that would sweep away your city like a tsunami wave? Can you imagine that the entire Baltic Sea could be filled with our mines? We could drop so many mines that it would take you 10 years to clear them, if you still had the capability and means to do so.”

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