Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw Photo: SHAPE Public Affairs Office
LONDON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A senior NATO military officer warned that Russia could invade the Baltic States with tactics practiced in Ukraine.
In a London speech to the Royal United Services Institute, British Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO forces, cited a "danger that Russia might believe that the large-scale conventional forces which she has shown she can generate on very short notice, as we saw in the snap exercise that preceded the takeover of Crimea, could in the future be used not only for intimidation and coercion but potentially to seize NATO territory."
He referred to the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, NATO-member countries which border Russia and were part of the Soviet Union.
Bradshaw's comments came the same day Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice president and former Latvia Prime Minister, called for a stronger NATO presence in the Baltic countries.
"Russia's aggression against Ukraine is very worrying for Baltic states. It shows that Russia is looking to redraw Europe's 21st century borders by force, and it must be noted that Ukraine is not the first country to face Russia's aggression," Dombrovskis said in London.
The unusually strong warnings came a day after British defense minister Michael Fallon called Russian President Vladimir Putin "a real and present danger" to NATO and to the Baltic states, and two days after British fighter jets intercepted Russian bombers flying near British airspace.
Britain's House of Lords committee overseeing European Union relations issued a report Friday accusing the EU and the British government of a "catastrophic misreading" of Russia's intentions for Ukraine, saying Britain was not "active or visible enough" to dissuade the Kremlin from its involvement in Ukraine.