Czech president: Russia unlikely to attack Baltics, Putin “not suicidal“ (4)

Miloš Zeman sitting next to Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel (Reuters/Scanpix)
4/22/2015 10:49 AM
Category: International

The Czech President Miloš Zeman told in an interview with AP that Russia is unlikely to launch a military attack against the Baltic states because President Vladimir Putin "is not suicidal”.

Zeman's remark follows the ongoing debate about Russia's intentions in the countries that share borders with the former imperial power. Since the start of the Ukraine war, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been nervous about a prospect of Russia attempting to repeat the same scenario as it did in Crimea and eastern Ukraine – invade almost unnoticed with “little green men” or stir unrest in the local Russian-speaking population. Estonia and Latvia both have a sizable ethnic Russian minority.

"I don't think Russia could start a war by attacking any of the NATO member states," Zeman said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Because for sure Vladimir Putin is not suicidal and he knows the consequences this would entail. I'm sure that in such a case, an appropriate military, not just a political and economic, reaction would take place."

Zeman has opposed Western sanctions against Russia, imposed after its aggression in Ukraine, and has been criticized for its friendly stance toward Vladimir Putin and Russia – both at home and abroad.

S. Tambur

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