“Businessmen must be seduced by lucrative contracts, and pro-Russian politicians must be patronized.” The leaked Kremlin strategy, according to the media, shows that this is how Russia will maintain its influence in the Baltic states.
The Swedish newspaper Express with a group European and American media They went through what they call leaks from the Putin administration in Moscow.
They previously discussed how Russia plans to take over the neighboring country of Belarus, as well as A.S Hybrid warHybrid warThis means that the conflict is a combination of conventional military operations and irregular means such as cyberattacks, sabotage, terrorism and so-called influence operations. Against the poorest country in Europe, Moldova.
Now Expressen describes how so-called Russia is working to salvage its influence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, while we know that many neighboring countries are distancing themselves from Russia.
The plans will be drawn up by the International Cooperation Directorate, part of Putin’s presidential administration, which is linked, among other things, to Russia’s security and intelligence service.
The newspaper wrote that they are dealing with goals and risks until 2022, 2025 and 2023.
You will sponsor politicians
The overall goal should be to reduce NATO’s presence and influence, and to enhance Russian influence and culture.
Some of the methods discussed revolve around supporting and sponsoring politicians in these countries who are positive about Russia, as well as setting up companies and organizations in countries that could covertly promote pro-Russian narratives.
Russian-speaking students should be invited to Russia and spread propaganda of Russian culture. The alleged discrimination against Russian speakers should also be mentioned.
They also want to work for the preservation of Soviet monuments from World War II, the newspaper said, seeing the demolition of statues or these monuments as a threat.
And they wrote that these are recognizable roads from Moldova and Belarus.
According to the media, Russia plans to attract the loyalty of influential people in the states through lucrative business contracts.
Work with Estonian businessmen to provide the Russian Federation with the opportunity to open the Russian market for them in the event of a positive correction of Tallinn’s foreign policy towards Moscow. It says in the document about Estonia, Expressen writes.
– Tactics taken from the KGB
The prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were allowed to see the contents of the leaked documents before they were published.
Estonian Prime Minister Kadja Kallas was not surprised.
– Estonia and our longtime allies and partners recognize Russia’s interest in using such tactics to achieve their goals and try to assert their influence in other countries, you say.
– It’s classic Russia, and many of their tactics are taken straight from the KGB, she adds.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonetti notes that the strategies were written in 2021, before the invasion of Ukraine, and parts of them may now be outdated.
It highlights energy independence as an important part of the Baltic response to Russian threats.
But the document specifically notes that disconnecting Russia’s power grid is a potential danger from neighboring countries.
– We know our neighbor
– We deliberately underestimated the presence of Russia and the interests of its allies in Latvia, and in our economic and media sphere, in order to reduce the chances of our eastern neighbor’s influence on the political course chosen in Latvia, says Simonetti.
The Prime Minister of Estonia describes the Russian plans as an attack on democracy.
– It is not surprising that the Kremlin is trying to attack democracies by trying to undermine the integrity of elections, using corruption as a weapon, spreading disinformation and undermining unity among allies, she said.
She points out that there are elections this year in many countries, and she believes that one should be more vigilant against attempts at influence.
– We know our neighbor. Our mission is to continually share our knowledge of Russia’s actions, build resilience and resist Russia’s direct and indirect attempts at influence.
– We had to strengthen our defenses to counter all threats, including hybrid threats. It’s also important to discuss these matters publicly, says Klass.
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