On the Ground: Lithuania

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By Maria Mulder, Third Year, Spanish and Portuguese

The Croft Magazine // In our eighth pin drop, we go on the ground in Kaunas with Year Abroad student Maria Mulder, who's from a country under the threat of Russian incursion.

Lithuania has declared a state of emergency, so they’re obviously taking the Russian threat seriously, which is to be expected. All Lithuanians I know are alarmed and uneasy. But I think it’s unlikely to be sucked into the conflict. It has a layer of security that Ukraine didn’t… which is belonging to NATO. However, we have to remember the Baltic states are NATO’s weak point at the moment. Lithuania joined the European Union in 2004, and it was admitted to NATO in the same year. They adopted the euro in 2015. There’s a strip of land connecting Lithuania to Poland, but it’s very small, and obviously Russia has territory nearby, as well as Belarus, which is pro-Russian, encircling it. Considering this geographical issue, if any serious escalation occurs, countries such as Lithuania will likely to be the first to experience the fallout.

I don’t think Lithuania is expecting an invasion imminently, but I’d definitely say there’s worry, and many civilians are considering what to do in the worst-case scenario. After all, everything seems to have changed so fast. I can’t rule anything out, and I don’t think Lithuania is ruling any possibilities out, no matter how negative they are. But I don’t think that Putin is trying to directly involve NATO right now, and if he tried to create a little corridor between Kaliningrad and Russia, he would be interfering with NATO territory, because Lithuania and Poland would become involved.

Featured Image: Epigram / Xander Brett

AUTHOR

Maria Mulder

Third year student at the University. Of mixed Lithuanian and Dutch heritage and settled in the UK, I am currently working towards a Modern Languages degree.