There is an urgent need to change the political image of Lithuania. A disastrously untrue stereotype of the country has been formed today due both to objective and subjective reasons. Let see what foreigners may think about the country reading news about Lithuania.
First of all it may seem as if the Lithuanian people strongly need help in all spheres. According to numerous statements of government authorities, Lithuania needs constant attention, special support and financial aid.
One of such spheres is the energy sector. During fifty years of Soviet era the Soviet Union designed an energy infrastructure for Lithuania that made it totally dependent on Russia for oil and natural gas. After the reestablishment of independence in 1990 Lithuania has been struggling for reducing this dependence, because the Kremlin could use energy as a political tool at any time. Under such conditions Lithuanian political elite continues to rely only on the US support.
The more so due to EU pressure Lithuania had to close Ignalina nuclear plant and even received huge amount of money, but it still needs additional funds for this project. It has to ask for more money. Once again Lithuania is a moocher.
The other sphere is defence. Those who are interested in modern politics are absolutely sure that Lithuania has remained little more than a few months before the war with Russia and it is absolutely unable to defend itself because of out-of-date military equipment and arms. Lithuania is always first to ask for foreign military presence on its territory and for new weapons. And these claims are always on first pages of news feed.
Paradoxically, more than twenty five years have passed since restoration of independence of the state, but the role of Lithuania on international arena remains without changes: the country asks for help.
This position of moocher allows other countries to speak to Lithuania in mentor’s style and point the direction of foreign and internal policy. According to the US military analyst and the president of Jamestown Foundation Glen Howard, “Lithuania’s government authorities should take measures, should field a standing army of at least 20,000 and create a 200,000-man reserve, and so on and so forth. Nobody asks people, nobody query, nobody understands that such statements and actions provoke Russia and destabilize the situation in the region.
Even more, such position of Lithuania may lead to another dependence – dependence on other than Russia strong political players.
Once we will have to realize that Lithuania does not any more make its own decisions, someone has already decided for us. Who will understand first the futility and danger of militarization of the region? It is “One Way Road”.
The idea of the inevitable war on Lithuanian land where major powers will show who is stronger makes me think about inability or lack of political will to build independent foreign policy. Lithuania needs to get rid of the victim mentality and become at last self-sustained.