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Baltic states' outlook in 2009 included Great Depression and government collapse

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Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / crisis
Šaltinis: BNS
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US geopolitical and strategic analysis services company Strategic Forecasting, Inc. predicted an economic recession comparable to the Great Depression for Lithuanian and the other two Baltic states in 2009. These predictions emerged after a hackers stole and leaked inter-office memos of the company, widely known as STRATFOR, to whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

"Economies of the Baltic countries are collapsing. We need to report exactly what is happening. Banks are key, particularly the penetration into the markets of Swedish banks. Any moves by the international community (IMF, EU, EBRD) to rescue countries or individual banks is also important. Visits by EU/IMF people to the countries should be followed. The Balts are going to be experiencing Great Depression-like recession, we need to be aware of the social problems this will create," the document, dated July, 2009, said.

It was also underlined in the document that the economic crisis would create a very tense political situation. The company expert also said Estonia and Latvia were on a brink of government collapse. He was more optimistic talking about Lithuania.

Keep an eye on Russian political parties. For example in Latvia we are talking about Harmony Center and For Human Rights in United Latvia. Don’t believe those are about harmony and human rights.

"Lithuania is holding out, but it also had protests in January over the government’s economic crisis measures. Let’s see what happens here," the expert said.

The analyst also urged to keep watch over Russian political parties in the Baltic states, especially in Latvia. Russia was also mentioned in the context of foreign policy related to the Baltic states.

"Keep an eye on Russian political parties. For example in Latvia we are talking about Harmony Center and For Human Rights in United Latvia. Don’t believe those are about harmony and human rights," the STRATFOR analyst said.

"Russia , Russia, Russia… No matter how minute or insignificant, if it has to do with Russia and the Balts, we need to know about it. If they raise the beat import tax, we need to be aware of it. Watch for Russia putting more troops on the border with the Balts, watch for energy politics," the document also said.

STRATFOR also underlined the importance of relations with the EU, "particularly the efforts of the Balts to wean themselves off of the Russian gas-trap."

"NATO strengthening its presence in the region. Any military purchases by the three Baltic countries and any movements of troops are key. Relation with Sweden and Finland are also important since the two are essentially patrons of the Balts," the analyst wrote.

BNS
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