No intelligence on possible Russian attack but danger is real – Lithuania's Landsbergis

  • 2023-02-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – There's no intelligence data on a possible Russian attack but the danger is real because the situation may change, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis says.

His comment came in response to a statement by Kestutis Budrys, chief national security adviser to President Gitanas Nauseda, that Russia's private military company Wagner might try to test the West's defense mechanisms by invading the Baltic states.

"We need to separate two things: speaking of the threat that we have from intelligence data, so we don’t have data that allow us to say that Lithuania is in any danger. When reading this, people should understand that there's no direct threat to Lithuania at the border at the moment," Landsbergis told reporters in Brussels on Monday.

The minister also noted that Russia is involved in the war in Ukraine "with all its forces", adding that the war, although "it's not going as expected", is still in an active phase.

However, Lithuania's top diplomat notes that the danger remains real because although it is not being realized by Russia, the situation may change.

Earlier in the day, Budrys told the news website that Russia could carry out a provocation in the Baltic countries using Wagner-type groups.

"To answer your question, yes, they can test the (West's) response mechanisms and give the Kremlin a political opportunity to say that it has nothing to do with that. As is happening in Africa," he said in the interview.

Wagner is increasingly present in francophone Africa, with Western countries saying the group has deployed its mercenaries in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Mali.