Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

ISW: Putin sets information conditions for escalation against Baltic states

The Russian president has expressed concern for “compatriots abroad” in Latvia
ISW: Putin sets information conditions for escalation against Baltic states

Russian President Vladimir Putin has notably increased rhetorical attacks against Latvia and other Baltic nations in recent statements, a move analysts at the Institute for the Study of War say is likely aimed at weakening NATO unity as part of the Kremlin’s broader anti-NATO campaign.

The rhetoric is significant as, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many analysts fear that the Baltics will be next.

“Putin claimed on January 16 that Latvia and other Baltic states are ‘throwing [ethnic] Russian people’ out of their countries and that this situation ‘directly affects [Russia’s] security,'” the ISW assessment states.

The accusations reference Latvia’s recent changes to immigration laws requiring Russian citizens to apply for new EU permanent residence permits.

ISW notes Putin frequently uses concern for “compatriots abroad” as justification for aggressive foreign policy actions. While the analysts see no evidence of imminent Russian escalation against the Baltics, they warn Putin may be deliberately stirring tensions to lay groundwork for potential future moves under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians.

According to ISW, Putin also slammed NATO’s open door policy, calling the potential expansion destabilizing – part of the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to fracture NATO cohesion. The ISW assessment says weakening NATO is a key Russian objective, pursued through disinformation and hybrid warfare.

Overall, ISW analysts view Putin’s latest rhetoric targeting Baltic states as the newest phase in an ongoing Russian campaign to divide and destabilize the NATO alliance. Though Baltic escalation may not be imminent, experts say the Kremlin is likely working to set information conditions that could enable future aggressive actions in the region.


You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!