RIGA - Latvia right now can feel military sage, said Janis Sarts, director of NATO's Center of Excellence for Strategic Communication.
Assessing Russia's threats to the Baltic states in the context of the war in Ukraine, Sarts said that Russia's military force has been degraded for years ahead, including the Pskov divisions closer to Latvia's borders who also have been involved in the war.
Sarts also said that it is visible that Russia is trying very hard not to give NATO any reason to get engaged in the war.
"They are afraid of NATO. (...) It is quite clear now that if there is a conventional conflict between NATO and Russia, Russia's defeat would not even be a matter of a week," he said. If Russia has to draw conclusions, it is clear that they should not go for military confrontation, but should stay with hybrid methods where they are more successful.
"Thus, in military sense, we can feel safe, but what about future scenarios? What will happen in Russia? Will Russia be a stable country? Let's not forget that the society in Russia has radicalized! Let's not forget that many people in Russia have weapons! Let's not forget that only Vagner is a private army - there are some five or six such armies! In case of Russia's instability, there will be an impact on us, but in a completely different way and logics as we are used to," said Sarts.
Sarts also underscored that Latvia's borders should be strengthened and Latvia should work on matters related with situation in Latvia's border regions as Russia might try to use escalation of problems there.
Also, Latvia should work on its energy independence.