VILNIUS – Russia's stalling in Ukraine could lead to sudden and unexpected changes in Russia, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says, adding that the Kremlin's regime "does not have an infinite shelf-life".
"It's just that this regime does not have an infinite shelf-life. It is not infinite, one has to understand that it depends very much on what is happening in Ukraine, on how the Russian society or the Russian population perceives the meaningfulness, the success of this war," Nauseda said in an interview with the public television LRT on Tuesday.
In his words, Russian propaganda is quite effective in pulling the wool over the eyes of the country's population, but it may not be able to mask the country's failures when "coffins will start arriving in Russia en masse and this will be noticed by a larger and larger part of Russia's population".
"And if the Russian population clearly notices this, we cannot say that the situation in Russia is rock solid and unchangeable. Changes can be so sudden that we can be caught off guard", the president said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent actions increasingly reflect Moscow's desperation over its loss of initiative in Ukraine, Nauseda said, adding that even threats from desperate people must be taken seriously if they have nuclear weapons.
However, he said, Russia's latest threats to use nuclear weapons, if necessary, "should not in any way diminish our support (for Ukraine) or force us to change our position in any way".
"We must make even quicker decisions as this becomes a decisive factor for Ukraine's success", the Lithuanian president said.
The Russian-imposed authorities in the occupied Ukrainian regions on Monday declared victory in pseudo-referendums aimed at annexing the occupied regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.