Staunton, January 5 – Riga faces a dramatically expanded Russian media campaign to discredit it in the eyes of Latvians and the West and an increase in the activity of Russian special services against it, according to Maris Cepuritis, a researcher at the Riga Center for Research on the Politics of Eastern Europe.
The analyst says he bases his conclusion not only on existing trends in Russia’s handling of Latvia over the past year but also on the fact that Moscow is especially interested in blackening the reputation of Riga now that it has become for the next six months the presidency of the EU Council.
The way in which Moscow treated Lithuania during its EU presidency suggests some of the things Moscow may do to Latvia, according to Cepuritis. Among them are cyber attacks against the country’s media networks and massive negative information campaigns to blacken Latvia’s reputation internationally.
In addition, Cepuritis said, it is likely that Russian special services will also step up their activities in Latvia not only to gain access to various kinds of information but also to carry out “various destabilizing measures” and thus test NATO’s resolve concerning the defense of its Baltic member states.