Lithuania recently incited the ire of the Kremlin regime by implementing sanctions against the transit of certain Russian goods through its territory. In spite of threats, Vilnius is determined to uphold the sanction regime against Russia. Other topics discussed in this instalment of Rock Rachon are Russia’s use of missile strikes against civilian targets to terrorise people and the prices of oil.
NATO leaders gathered for a summit in Madrid four months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russians are still trying to scare the countries of NATO and EU in the hope that they will step back. Following Lithuania’s implementation of EU sanctions, which banned the transit of certain Russian commodities through EU territory, which particularly strongly affects the Russian Kalinigrad exclave, the Kremlin has made threats of retaliation against the country.
Russia has carried out many cyber attacks against EU and NATO member states’ digital infrastructure. A group of Russian hackers has admitted to carrying out one such attack against Lithuania and explicitly stated that it was done in retaliation for the ban on Russian railway transit through the Baltic country.
Countries of NATO’s eastern flank and Baltic states in particular quickly drew lessons to be drawn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Estonian PM said that NATO must improve its rapid response capabilities: simply reacting to an attack is no longer enough, as, in the case of a Russian invasion, the Baltic States would be overrun in a matter of days. Lithuanian Foreign Minister also said, that whatever the outcome of the war in Ukraine, Russia will sooner or later pick another victim.
The alliance is aware of this and has been for some time. A document published back in November 2020 has highlighted the Russian threat to the eastern flank. US has plans to send more troops to NATO’s eastern flank, especially the Baltic States and Poland. NATO’s Secretary-General said that the Madrid summit, during which NATO will announce its updated Strategic Concept, is a pivotal one.
The first guest of the show was Linas Antanas Linkevičius, a Lithuanian diplomat and formerly the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence, to discuss the current state of affairs between Lithuania, Russia, and NATO.
The missile attack on the Kremenchuk shopping centre has been another shocking example of savage Russian war crimes. Trent Telenko, an analyst and former civil servant working with the US Department of Defence, explains what Russia hopes to achieve by perpetrating such acts of terror.
Maciej Rusiński, an NYC-based financial analyst and journalist, was invited to discuss the international prices of crude oil and the recent G7 summit.
And finally: while people in Central Europe are sweltering in the scorching heat of more than 30 centigrades, Matthew Tyrmand is enjoying his stay in the cool and rainy Scotland.
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