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Lithuanian elite frightened with Russia’s actions in Syria and blames the West for over-indulgence

Vytautas V. Landsbergis, former president of Lithuania

President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė who is on a visit to Switzerland talked to the local press, EADaily’s correspondent reports. In her speech, Grybauskaitė slammed Russia for prompting more waves of migrants to Europe by striking ISIL targets in Syria.

“Russia's intervention in Syria will probably increase emigration flows and is likely to push anti-Assad fighters closer to Islamic State. This will increase pressure on Europe," the Lithuanian president said. 

Vytautas V. Landsbergis, former president of Lithuania, the advocate of the Lithuanian independence, made similar allegations against Russia. He thinks Russia is trying to return to the “Russian Empire.”

“On the one hand, it's classic. Putin's tsarist Russia needs colonies overseas, especially in the Mediterranean with a strong military base. Once there, Russians will be difficult to push out, they will control the Mediterranean, so that the US navy feels very uneasy there. Should there be a need to intervene in the issues of North Africa, the Arab states, that, too, will be much easier to do. They'll be able to dictate the terms, orchestrate negotiations with both Palestine and Israel. Russia thus becomes indispensable everywhere, because it's dangerous. It quite likes being dangerous and thus indispensable. It's a pity that the West refuses to see it and respond properly,” Landsbergis said in an interview to LRT television.

At the same time, the former president criticized U.S. President Barack Obama who, as he thinks, is over-indulgent to Russia. “I think it is down to his weak character and the weakness of his team. Barack Obama sometimes makes very strict statements, but there are no strict actions. He has vetoed initiatives to rearm Ukraine, since he knows that Moscow will be very upset by it. There are probably people counting days until the US presidential election, thinking what more Moscow could win until then,” he said.

Vytautas V. Landsbergis levered harsh criticism at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her statement saying that President Bashar al-Assad should be involved in the talks over Syria. “Ms. Merkel fails to understand that she wants humiliation for America,” the former president said.

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