Jack Snyder, professor of International Relations at the Columbia University in New York, said to Finnish TV channel MTV on Sunday that Russia may aim at stirring up a frozen conflict in the two Baltic states, under the disguise of protecting the interests of Russian-speaking minorities.
When talking about 'frozen conflict', the professor meant a situation similar to East Ukraine in which the active armed conflict has been initiated first, then brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other agreement resolving the conflict. Snyder said Moscow has destabilised Ukraine, so that it could keep the country under its control.
"When we look at the recent history, we learn that Putin sends Russian forces to invade a sovereign country which will effectively 'freeze' its ability to function independently. That is why it is important that the ex-Soviet states take a good care of the local Russian population, to avoid giving Putin a reason to intervene with force,“ Snyder said.
Last week, Vladimir Putin's advisor Sergei Markov said on Swedish television that Swedes should not fear Russia. But Markov threatened Estonia and Latvia instead, saying that in case of major war, nothing would be left of these two countries.