In a recent Baltic press interview, noted Russian military-political analyst Anton Surikov commented on the Baltic aspects of his Defense Research Institute study on Russia’s security policies, made public last month in Moscow. Surikov and the study states that Russia would send its troops into the Baltic states to forestall their accession to NATO or in the event of ethnic conflict involving the "Russian-speaking" population there. Surikov and his Institute rate the Baltic states as having prime security importance by dint of their location. He rates local defense capability as "very low, essentially nil," and predicts that Western nations would refrain from providing military support to the invaded Baltic states in order to avoid conflict with Russia. The private Defense Research Institute is known to be linked to the military hierarchy. (BNS, April 30)
In a study just made public and eliciting close attention in the Baltic states, the California-based RAND Corporation recommends against the Baltic states’ admission to NATO. As summarized by Baltic media, the RAND study argues that: Russia would oppose their admission; they have unresolved ethnic minority problems; the three states are of secondary security significance; and they cannot be defended militarily. As substitutes for admission to NATO, the RAND study recommends that the Baltic states continue economic reforms, solve the problems of ethnic Russians, develop defense cooperation among themselves and with Scandinavian countries "without provoking Moscow," and become involved in multilateral and institutional contacts with the West "without provoking Moscow."
The RAND study regards the European Union as the pillar of Baltic security and endorses Baltic accession to the EU — but not to full membership of its security arm, the West European Union, because that could be a back door to NATO. The private RAND corporation often conducts contract work for the U.S. government. (BNS, April 30)
Moldovan President Tightens Personal Control over Armed Forces.