Caught in between

The Ukrainian crisis clearly shows that in Europe there is still a Soviet space to cope with. As George Friedman of Stratfor put it, this “little cold war” over Ukraine could turn itself in a deeper confrontation between the European Union and Russia on geopolitical issues. In geopolitical terms, the expansion of the EU and NATO up to the Baltic Sea is a problem for Russia, which is seeking to recover its lost sphere of influence.
EU members Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are located on a narrow wedge of land between Russia and the EU. The stance of the three Baltic states towards the crisis is similar. They clearly condemn the referendum held on March 16 in favor of the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federal Republic and want the EU to impose sanctions on Russia.
In contrast to those states, Belarus,  lead by President Aleksandr Lukashenko, is in the Eurasian Economic Union and as such, is expected to maintain its strong ties with Moscow.
Following Putin’s declaration, that he is ready to protect Russian populations no matter where they are, the Baltic states fear facing up to Russian claims over their territory: in Latvia and Estonia at least a quarter of the population are ethnically Russian.