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WASHINGTON – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuanian are relying on NATO for safety if Russia, their neighbor, targets them, ambassadors for the Baltic nations instructed Fox Information in separate interviews whereas emphasizing the significance of continued help to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin “is [in] a war that he is waging in our almost neighboring country – [a] “nation and folks, which we all know very properly, that are very expensive mates to us,” Latvian Ambassador Māris Selga told Fox News.
Lithuanian Ambassador Audra Plepytė instructed Fox Information: “It’s unbelievable [this is] happening in the 21st century.”
The three Baltic states, which the Soviet Union occupied for 60 years, have warned the worldwide group of the Russia menace for many years.
Throughout the occupation, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania misplaced hundreds of thousands of its residents to Soviet-sanctioned executions and compelled deportations.
“We have very little illusions when it comes to Russian imperialism and what this may mean for countries in its vicinity,” Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk instructed Fox Information throughout an interview within the embassy’s short-term workplace in downtown Washington.
All three nations joined NATO in 2004. The ambassadors instructed Fox Information that Article 5 of NATO, which successfully states that an assault towards one member nation is an assault on all, offers them and their residents assurances that they are going to be protected if attacked.
NATO is a “crucial security guarantee for us, no doubt,” mentioned Plepytė, whose residence nation of Lithuania borders Russia to the west. To the east is Belarus, an in depth Moscow ally that is been instrumental within the siege towards Ukraine.
“The article 5 changes our life and our security perception and our defense and security,” Plepytė instructed Fox Information.
Selga mentioned his nation will not face an invasion like Ukraine since Latvia is a part of each NATO and the European Union. Ukraine is not a part of both physique, however sought NATO membership earlier than the siege.
Because the invasion, Russia has been subjected to vital financial sanctions. Final week, President Biden referred to as for an finish to regular commerce relations and introduced a ban on Russian oil and fuel imports.
Selga, who got here to Washington from his earlier publish as Latvia’s ambassador to China, instructed Fox Information the unified response to Russia’s struggle has most likely been “quite surprising for President Putin and his comrades around him.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy just about addressed Congress on Wednesday and requested more army aid and extra sanctions towards Russia. He additionally reiterated his request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
“We have been working with Ukraine and providing the assistance already for four years, especially after the Crimea war, and we will be providing them military assistance,” Plepytė instructed Fox Information.
Prikk mentioned: “Estonia has been very forward leaning when it comes to supporting Ukraine with the kind of assistance that we’re that we’re able to do. We’ve delivered anti-tank missiles, we’ve delivered them air defense ammunition, medical supplies, meals ready to eat … and other lethal and non-lethal aid that they may need.”
“We think that all the West should continue with that as long as Ukraine needs it,” he continued.
Western intelligence stories had estimated earlier than the invasion that Putin might take Kyiv inside 72 hours. However the capital remained beneath Ukrainian management as of Wednesday morning, which marked practically three weeks for the reason that struggle started.
“Ukraine is resisting very, very hard, and we believe that Russia has thoroughly miscalculated its options and the response that the Ukrainians have come up with,” mentioned Prikk, who served for three years because the everlasting secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Protection previous to assuming his publish in Washington.
Despite the fact that the Baltic nations are completely different in some ways, they’ve a shared historical past, particularly with Russia. The ambassadors mentioned that offers them a particular bond.
We “are three fantastic small countries, neighboring countries with very similar, let’s say, history during the last century,” Selga mentioned.
Plepytė instructed Fox Information the three nations “always feel very close.” She mentioned this newest occasion of Russian aggression will result in a good stronger relationship.
“We are very firmly together with our neighboring countries, but also the rest of EU, and NATO countries standing against it,” Prikk mentioned. “After all, this is about the fight between autocratic and democratic worlds.”