On Monday the Lithuanian intelligence Agency has published an assessment of threats to national security. News Agency BNS briefly talks about the six major threats listed in the document.
Russian foreign policy
Russia continues an aggressive foreign policy, to undermine the unity of the West and divert attention of people from economic and social problems. Power is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin, therefore, increasing the risk of unpredictable action. Russia will continue its active espionage and cyber attacks.
The independence of Belarus from Russia
Russia will try to strengthen the influence in Belarus, Moscow’s position will become more rigid. In the sphere of military influence are not excluded provocations during the September joint military exercises “West 2017”. Belarus will continue the recruitment of staff of the Lithuanian law enforcement bodies and defense systems. “In connection with significant levers of influence of Russia in Belarus are not excluded provocations or the possibility of premeditated incidents on the borders with Lithuania and Poland during the military exercises “West 2017″, which will take place on the border,” noted an intelligence Agency. The document underlines that the greatest threat to Lithuania remains aggressive foreign policy of Russia, the concentration of its military capacities at the border of the country and active intelligence activities. Recently, the Belarusian defense Ministry reported that the exercises “West 2017” from 14 to 20 September will be attended by 13 thousand military, they will be of a defensive nature. Lithuanian intelligence States that “it is likely that the true number of participants of the exercise will be much greater, and the script will be laid armed conflict with NATO.” The document notes that in the near future Russia discotinued in the Kaliningrad region rocket complexes “Iskander” on a permanent basis, “citing this move is supposedly a response to the actions of NATO.” Until now these settings were imported to the Kaliningrad region only in the teachings, and then transported away.
Energy and the economy
The danger here is the construction of the Belarusian NPP in Ostrovets and attempts to revive the project of the Baltic NPP in Kaliningrad region, as well as attempts to maintain the position of Gazprom. Russia will seek to reduce freight flows through the Baltic countries.
Russian propaganda will seek to reduce the support system in Lithuania, Ministry of defense, the deployment of NATO forces to try to discredit Lithuanian history and energy policy. To this end, Moscow will intensify activities in the Lithuanian language through portals and social networks.
Russia will continue attempts of escalating national confrontation. Supporting Russia forces try to unite on the basis of anti-Western values, but significant influence in Lithuanian politics, perhaps not getting it. Russia is striving to increase impact on the community of Lithuanian Tatars, and use arguments about the rights of poles in Lithuania, claim the Lithuanian intelligence agencies. As stated in the document, Russia is extremely interested in the fact that foreign communities of the Tatars were represented by persons who are sympathetic to the Russian annexation of Crimea. The West accuses Russia that in relation to living in Crimea Tatars are all great repression. “In recent years, Russia has sought to increase its influence on the community of Lithuanian Tatars”, — said in the threat assessment, which was published by the Department of state security of Lithuania (DGB) and the Second Department of operational services under the Ministry of defence. “Now supported initiatives to weaken the influence of some of the current leaders of the Lithuanian Tatars with the aim of creating alternative local Tatar organizations”, — the document says. According to intelligence reports, Russia also sought to use the controversy over the rights of Lithuanian poles, Russian diplomats in this country “is not accidental to publicly emphasize that Lithuania violated the rights of not only Russian, but also Polish communities.”
“Russia is seeking to integrate into the political agenda of compatriots in Lithuania, the requirement to provide exclusive rights to the community of the poles of the Vilnius region. After giving the exclusive rights of the Polish community will set the stage for the influence of Russia with the aim to demand the same rights and in the end the exceptional status of Russian in the Baltic States”, — the report says. “These aspirations of Russia has confirmed and coordinated by the Russian Embassy in Vilnius, the political cooperation of compatriots with individuals representing the Polish community of the Vilnius region”, — the document says.
In the short and medium time perspective, the threat of terrorism in Lithuania will remain low, but Lithuania could become one of the countries of transit of terrorists. The risk can represent attempts by foreign Muslims to influence the religious life of Lithuanian Muslims.