Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said Wednesday that Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization announcement is “a sign of desperation,” but downplayed the Russian President’s nuclear saber-rattling.
“They are losing, the front has been breached by the successful consequences from Ukraine and this is Putin’s answer: more escalation,” Landsbergis told CNN on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. “I think it has to be met with, first of all, with calm and resolve. He expects us to be afraid, but we have to be prepared.”
In remarks overnight, Putin threatened to use “all means” at his disposal to respond to the West, saying, “I’d like to remind them that our country has also various similar weapons and in some cases more modern weapons than NATO. In order to protect our people and in order to protect Russia, we will definitely use all means.”
Landsbergis said he believes the Russian leader is bluffing.
“I’m more worried about the people who are worried about this than about actual saber-rattling,” he said.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Putin is an aggressive actor, that Russia is an aggressive country. We should not have expected him just to have a limited conflict with Ukraine, limited war,” Landsbergis added.