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Focus on Europe

Lithuania: fears of Russian aggression

Lithuania declared independence 25 years ago. The situation in Ukraine is unsettling the Baltic states, which fear that Russia might seek to expand its influence westwards. In recent months, NATO has been helping Lithuania police its airspace.

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Lithuania has its own sizable Russian-speaking minority, and the government fears it could easily be roused by propaganda from Moscow. As the Ukrainian crisis rumbles on, Russian fighter jets and bombers are frequently nudging the borders of NATO - to which Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania now belong. These countries are on high alert, despite NATO upping the number of fighter jets monitoring their airspace. Lithuania has even reinstated conscription, but fears abound that the country will be blindsided by a Russian attack.