Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov has described the threat of Russian military intervention towards Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as “nothing but raving nonsense.”
Speaking to the Financial Times, Ivanov said “I find it funny to hear how Russia is being accused of military aggressiveness.
“There is an expression, "this is nothing but raving nonsense".
“It is a psychological disorder to claim Russia will invade the Baltic States.”
Ivanov accused Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania of overplaying the threat of Russian intervention for financial benefit.
“This is of course being done consciously by the Baltic States themselves in order to receive money from NATO member states.”
He also admitted NATO and Russian defence budgets are incomparable.
“We are talking about an elephant and a pug, a behemoth and a house cat,” continued Ivanov. “That is the comparability of our military budgets.
"We have very different military assets, but the most important question is, why would we do this?
“Do you seriously think that we want to unleash war with NATO? Are we suicidal?”
On June 16, European Union leaders decided to extend their imposed economic sanctions on Russia until June 2016.
In June 2015, the sanctions were imposed due to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its actions in Ukraine.