Martins Kaprans, writing for the Center for European Policy Analysis, reports on ambassador Evgeny Lukyanov's questioning of whether the Baltics want to be "frontline states."
“Do you think it is good to be such a frontier? Do you want to be frontline states or rear?” Lukyanov is quoted as saying at a press conference.
In fact, their geographical position bordering Russia suggests the Baltic states have little choice in the matter.
"Lukyanov and [Russian ambassador to Lithuania, Alexander] Udalcov advocate longstanding Kremlin positions toward NATO and Western sanctions that largely disqualify the Baltic countries as sovereign actors of international relations. Yet, the salience of the claim that Latvia and Lithuania have become new targets for Russian missiles has increased, along with regional tensions in 2017," says Kaprans.
"This helps the Kremlin to counter the central message of NATO’s deployment of forces, that it hopes to strengthen a sense of security in the Baltics. Likewise, the Kremlin’s divide et impera strategy also becomes more salient in the discourse on sanctions. Namely, pro-Kremlin media and diplomats constantly search for and highlight examples that supposedly prove that the West is divided on the issue of sanctions, or that consistent Baltic support for sanctions will turn these countries into Russophobic outcasts at odds with more pragmatic Western countries. These allegations are not supported by facts on the ground," he adds.
You can read Kaprans' summary in full HERE.