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Feature Stories

NATO Developed Secret Contingency Plans for Baltic States

The South Ossetia war in August 2008 made the Baltic states worry about the prospect of a Russian attack. The diplomatic cables reveal how Baltic politicians persuaded NATO to prepare a new strategy to defend their countries. The plan was supposed to be kept secret to avoid irritating Russia. In the summer of 2008, anxieties were spreading fast. In a dispatch dated Aug. 15, the US Embassy in Riga reported back to Washington that the war between Georgia and Russia was dominating discussions in Latvia. According to the dispatch, Latvian politicians were talking about how Russian tanks had rolled into a small country again, and how -- even though it was so far away -- they were thinking "this could easily be them." It went on to say that: "Latvians are beginning to worry if membership in (NATO and the EU) provides them the assurances of their security that they had hoped for."

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