BERLIN - Lithuania's president likened the tactics of Russian President Vladimir Putin to those employed by Stalin and Hitler, and said in a magazine interview that Moscow was trying to persuade Baltic states to leave NATO in exchange for cheaper oil or gas.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March said Putin's incursion into Crimea was akin to moves Hitler made in the years before World War Two, though she said the following day that she was not making a comparison.
Asked whether such comparisons to Hitler or Stalin went too far, Dalia Grybauskaite told German news magazine Focus on Sunday: "(Putin) uses nationality as a pretext to conquer territory with military means. That's exactly what Stalin and Hitler did. Such comparisons are spot on."
Grybauskaite said Russia wanted to maintain its influence in territories that were once part of the Soviet Union and added it particularly wanted to keep the Baltic states dependent on it economically and in terms of energy policy.