Lithuania is a frontline state in the growing confrontation—some think it is already war—between East and West. Dalia Bankauskaitė, a defense and security expert at Vilnius University, and Marius Laurinavičius, a journalist and analyst at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, are both in that camp.
Dalia Bankauskaitė is a Partnership Associated Professor at Vilnius University and a Nonresident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, D.C. Also, Dalia cooperates with the Swedish Defense University (SEDU) in the Baltic Sea Safety and Security program. Her research is focused on the concept of comprehensive defense, namely, the approach that examines the whole of society and building social resilience by mobilizing and motivating society. She has extensive professional experience in strategic communication in Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic Sea region.
Ms. Bankauskaitė holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics (LSE), UK and EMBA from the Baltic Management Institute (BMI) in Lithuania.
Marius Laurinavičius is as Senior Expert at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis. Previously he lived in Washington DC where he worked at the Center for European Policy Analysis and served as a fellow at the Hudson Institute. He’s the author of “Weaponizing Kleptocracy: Putin’s Hybrid Warfare” and “A Guide to the Russian Tool Box of Election Meddling: a Platform to Analyse the Long Term Comprehensive Kremlin Strategy of Malign Influence”. Before moving to think tank business M. Laurinavičius had worked for the largest Lithuanian media group ‘Lietuvos Rytas’ for almost 22 years. Back over the years working as a journalist Marius Laurinavičius has become Lithuania’s leading foreign and security expert. His many contributions have been recognized by Lithuanian political leadership as well, as he received several official awards for his contribution to Lithuanian foreign policy. He has a Master degree from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University
“Definitely, we are at war. And if we agree that it’s not the only conventional war, although we can quote cases of conventional war attacks as well, but we talk about also intangible hybrid wars…We are in confrontation.” — Dalia Bankauskaitė
“The problem is that we as a West, as a collective west, we can’t see the whole picture. Because it’s not just, just Russia, just Belarus, just China, just Iran…we see a small picture, small parts of the big picture. And we don’t see that it’s a war against the West.” — Marius Laurinavičius
A few weeks ago, Belarus shocked the world when it forced a commercial flight from Athens to Vilnius to land and seized two passengers, one a dissident journalist. But that outrage was only the most recent affront to international law and accepted state behavior by Belarusian autocrat, Alexander Lukashenko, and more importantly, his patron, Russia’s Vladimir Putin. For years, Putin has pressed the countries along Russia’s border: cyber attacks on Estonia and Ukraine, war with Georgia and then Ukraine, the seizure of Crimea, constant air and naval border violations, as well as aggressive disinformation campaigns—all designed to sow chaos.
Lithuania is a frontline state in the growing confrontation—some think it is already war—between East and West. Dalia Bankauskaitė, a defense and security expert at Vilnius University, and Marius Laurinavičius, a journalist and analyst at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, are both in that camp. Moreover, in this episode of the New Thinking for a New World podcast, they insist that Russia’s hostility, partly exercised through its puppet Belarus, is aimed not just at Lithuania, but at Europe and the United States.
Is this what war in the 21st century feels like? What do Putin and Lukashenko want? What should we do? What do YOU think?
Listen to the episode here or find us on a podcast platform of your choice, (Apple podcast, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher, YouTube, etc).