How would a war between Russia and NATO in the Baltics play out?
Chances of a Russian invasion of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia appear fairly remote. Even the RAND Corporation, which has been particularly hawkish, suggests that a Russian attack on a NATO member-state is low even though the alliance faces a conventional imbalance. “Our analysis suggests that NATO’s deterrent against a conventional attack by Russia on a NATO member is currently strong,” a recent RAND report states. “While we assess that a Russian attack on NATO in the near term is highly unlikely, it also seems probable that Russia will explore other avenues to signal its displeasure with ongoing U.S. and NATO posture enhancements.”..
For the Kremlin, reducing Russia’s dependency on the Baltic Sea ports is a high priority. “Replacing the Baltic States logistical capabilities with the domestic ones was really an important priority of the whole Putin presidency,” Kashin said. “It does not make sense to conquer the Baltic States, after all the money was already spent on alternatives.” Moreover, the Kremlin has limited means to attack the Baltics even if it so chose. Most of Moscow’s conventional forces are concentrated elsewhere—it would take time to amass a force capable of repelling a NATO counterattack. Meanwhile, the Kremlin does not have the option of leveraging the large ethnic Russian populations in those Baltic republics. Läs artikel