Nato will be unable to defend Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania if Russia invades, German news magazine Spiegel reported on May 19, citing German government sources and leaked Nato documents.
German defense and foreign ministry officials told Spiegel it would take Nato six months to put together a response. “We wouldn’t even show up in time for the Russians’ victory celebration,” one German official said.
German mep Elmar Brok, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (cdu) and head of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs spelled it out plainly: “At present, the alliance could not protect the Baltic countries with conventional military means,” he said.
Nato documents express a similar concern. “Russia’s ability to undertake significant military action with little warning presents a wider threat to the maintenance of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area,” states a draft copy of a restricted internal nato assessment, according to Spiegel. “Russia can pose a local or regional military threat at short notice at a place of its choosing. This is both destabilizing and threatening for those allies bordering or in close proximity to Russia.”