Vice News quotes Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on the likelihood of Russian incursions into Baltic NATO members:
We just don’t know. But it is true that that no one expected Putin to move into Eastern Ukraine.
Many commentators on this subject, especially those who are more timid, say: “Well, I don’t think Putin will move further.”
But if you look at what Mr. Putin and other senior Russian officials have actually been saying, from their own mouths, then you shouldn’t be surprised if Russia moves into the Baltic countries — or Kazakhstan, or Moldova, or Georgia.
Russian officials have said multiple times that there needs to be a change in the post-Cold War order. They have proclaimed a right and a duty to protect not just ethnic Russians but Russian speakers wherever they live. We know that lots of Russian speakers live in Estonia and Latvia. And a good 6.6 percent of the Lithuanian population is ethnic Russian.