Posted: 18.10.2023 10:45:00

Perish yourself but start a war

The Baltic states are drowning in problems, but they do not stop supplying arms to Ukraine

Today, a coalition of 50 Western states is behind the Kiev regime. In fact, it is the regimes that rule in them that are vitally interested in the large-scale conflict that has unfolded on the territory of our southern neighbour. Representatives of the Western establishment themselves do not even hide the fact that they have not waged such a profitable war for a long time, which does not force them to send their own soldiers into the heat of battle — instead, Ukrainians are dying at the walls of the impregnable redoubts of the Russian defence in Zaporozhye. Consider, for example, President Duda, who told the Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen that ‘Russian imperialism can be stopped cheaply right now because American soldiers aren’t dying’. Here’s an even more recent quote from Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren, “It is very much in our interests to support Ukraine. Because they are fighting this war, not us.”

Hopes are the last to fade 

Experts working on ‘Ukrainian’ topics most often come to the attention of countries that trump the volume of their supplies: Poland (until the Duda regime decided to curtail supplies before the elections), the United States (until interruptions with the state budget began), Great Britain and Germany. Of course, in absolute terms, these four are ahead of the entire collective West, but there are countries that spend simply gigantic amounts compared to their GDP.
We are talking, as you guessed, about the unforgettable three Baltic ‘superpowers’ — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. With the start of the special military operation, their cavernous Russophobia finally found a way out and poured out a stream of generosity to the Kiev regime.
There is not much help from them in absolute numbers, but the current situation with the American budget and the beginning of a new Arab-Israeli war makes it significant. 

Sprats and helicopters

Let’s start with Latvia. Firstly, this country, apparently, in the opinion of local politicians, had previously not been vile enough towards Belarus and Russia, so a decision was made to urgently make up for lost time. Minsk was immediately accused of a hybrid attack using migrants and closed one of the two border checkpoints, while Moscow was allegedly punished by ceasing to allow Russian cars across the border in compliance with EU sanctions. Secondly, Latvia occupies one of the ‘honourable’ first places in terms of the percentage of assistance to Ukraine from national GDP — the total amount of support to Ukraine in monetary terms in 2022 exceeded 1.3 percent of GDP, of which 1 percent of GDP was the supply of military products. Latvia was among those who, even before the start of the conflict, began supplying Stinger systems to Ukraine, and after February 24th, they increased their share in fuelling the war. Thus, Riga transported cars, dry rations, bulletproof vests, fuel, medicines to the Zelensky regime, and in August last year the country’s Ministry of Defence completely threw four transport and combat helicopters into the furnace of the conflict — all Mi-8, which at that time were part of the Latvian Air Force. 
In an effort to show the West how committed it is to the common struggle against Russia, Latvia took a step unprecedented even for US-subordinate Europe. The country’s authorities began to give back to the Ukrainian Armed Forces cars confiscated from their own citizens for drunk driving. 
However, by sending its weapons to Ukraine, Latvia is carrying out rapid militarisation, bringing the defence budget to 3 percent of GDP. Western weapons are actively purchased with this money. 
Well, while the political and military elite in Riga are diligently adding fuel to the fire of a great European war, the population is forced to endure deprivations that are not at all illusory. In terms of consumer price inflation, Latvia is in ‘honourable’ 1st place in the EU with a result of 12.3 percent, while in the European Union as a whole this figure is at 6.1 percent. 
More than half of the adult population is unable to provide even basic needs, and this, in turn, leads to mass migration, with people aged 20 to 39 leaving the country, who, even if they wanted to, cannot imagine a future in Latvia.

Beloved wife of the overlord

Among the three Baltic republics, Lithuania occupies a special place — as the flagship of Belarusophobia and Russophobia. Judging by the range of purchased military equipment, the West is going to make a small copy of Ukraine from our northern neighbour: several batches of light armoured cars have already been received from the United States, contracts have been concluded for the supply of HIMARS systems, 155-mm howitzers, air defence and electronic warfare systems, as well as a whole range of other weapons. In addition, there are plans to create a new division in the country by 2030, which is going to be equipped with German Leopard tanks. Well, where would we be without the omnipresent NATO presence? The air base in Siauliai has long been the centre of the alliance’s intelligence operations in the Baltic states.
However, Vilnius does not forget about the contribution of common sense to the struggle of the Zelensky regime. As recently announced, Lithuania has spent €1 billion on aid to Ukraine since February 24th last year, which is 1.42 percent of the Baltic republic’s GDP.
Meanwhile, the main danger emanating from Lithuania still does not lie on the Ukrainian plane. The fact is that the republican elites are dreaming of how to ‘change the regime’ in Belarus. Provocative materials periodically appear in the Lithuanian media, which directly express the hope that Lithuania and Poland should make the ‘necessary intervention’ in Belarus in order to ‘have a predictable and stable democratic neighbour’ in the future.
Although, in the place of the Lithuanian authorities, it would be nice not to build Napoleonic plans for Belarus and not to dream of conquest, but to take a closer look at the abyss into which their country is falling.
Over the first 9 months of this year, the country’s GDP fell by 2.1 percent, and industrial production by 7.6. Only due to the unjustified closure of two crossings on the border with Belarus, Vilnius will lose from 0.7 to €1 billion, which will be a blow primarily to local carriers.

Dark horse of Estonian suit

Estonia’s elites have chosen a strategy of double standards as old as time. At the official level, Estonia, as a disciplined part of the Western world, imposes sanctions against Belarus and Russia, destroying its own industry and railway system, and underground continues to deal with the ‘aggressors’ and ‘occupiers’. Thus, in the summer, quiet Estonian life was shaken by a scandal: it turned out that the husband of Prime Minister Kai Kallas was a co-founder of the company Stark Logistics, which, after the imposition of sanctions, quietly continued to operate in Russia. But those who were unlucky enough to be related to the prime minister had to experience the retroactive effect of the sanctions for themselves.
 Rail carrier Operail lost 83 percent of its profits and was forced to halve its workforce. Cargo turnover at Estonian ports decreased by more than 43 percent. Accordingly, GDP fell by 2.9 percent and industrial production by more than 9 percent.
However, the military budget is planned to be increased to 3 percent of GDP in the near future, and the army is to be strengthened with a number of the latest systems, including the notorious HIMARS. The pumping of weapons into Ukraine will not stop either.
However, the Estonians had an unexpected problem with the last point. As Politico writes, the EU is dissatisfied with the fact that the republic is shipping outdated and stored weapons to Ukraine, while it is purchasing new ones with money from the European Peace Fund.
The participation of the Baltic states in financing the Ukrainian regime and their guilt in prolonging the fighting should not be lost against the background of the crimes of the Kiev security forces or their Western masters. Moreover, it was the active support of the Russophobic governments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, acting in conjunction with Poland, that made the triumph of the Maidan and subsequent events possible. And now, in fact, taking part in the conflict at the behest of the United States, imposing sanctions against Belarus and Russia, arranging provocations at the borders, they are quite consciously pushing the world to a dangerous line.

By Anton Popov