RIGA - Should Russia decide to recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk "republics" in eastern Ukraine, there is a possibility that the current crisis on the Ukrainian-Russian border will continue sometime in the future, the director of the Latvian National Defense Academy's Security and Strategic Research Center Toms Rostoks told Latvian Television last night.
The expert said that the inclusion of these two territories in Russia or recognition as semi-sovereign states is not really Russia's goal. Rather, it is something that Russia could do, but in his opinion, it would look more like revenge.
"It would also mean that this crisis would continue at some point in the future, because it is possible that at some point the troops will be withdrawn, but not all, and they will return and there will be some exercises, and it seems to me that this crisis is on the Ukrainian border will basically remain for the next several years," Rostoks said.
Marcis Balodis, a researcher at the Center for East European Policy Studies, also pointed out that such a scenario, namely the recognition of these two territories, would present a number of challenges. "It would actually lead to the collapse of the Minsk agreement. As a result, Russia would lose the influential leverage in Ukrainian policy that it has directly tried to maintain," Balodis argued.
Speaking about the potential situation in the event of a Russian attack, Rostoks noted that such an attack could be accompanied by a cyber attack.