AP NEWS

Lithuania: Biggest threats come from Russia, China

February 4, 2020 GMT

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Russia and China pose the greatest threats to national security of Lithuania, according to an intelligence report published by the Baltic nation on Tuesday.

The government and the Lithuanian national security agency said in a joint security assessment that Russia’s foreign and security policies are “driven by the Kremlin’s desire to ensure the regime’s stability and demonstrate its indispensability to a domestic audience.”

It also listed China, citing “the malicious use of Chinese cyber capabilities in Lithuanian cyberspace.”

“Russia’s confrontation with the West in the international arena encourages Moscow to coordinate its interests with China,” according to the 324-page annual assessment by the Defense Ministry and State Security agency. “These countries maintain close political and military relations and coordinate positions on international issues.”

Lithuania broke away from the Soviet Union three decades ago and joined NATO and the EU in 2004.

Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine has raised new worries in the Baltic region that Lithuania and neighboring Latvia and Estonia — all former Soviet republics — could be next.