- The world’s largest military alliance seems annoyed about Russia’s “lack of transparency” over military drills at a very “delicate time.” NATO, however, has its own long history of war games all over the globe.
- Latvia has celebrated the New Year by joining the eurozone, becoming the 18th member of the Europe-wide currency bloc. However, recent opinion polls show that a majority of Latvians oppose the move, with just one-fifth strongly in favor.
- The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed media reports on the deployment of short-range Iskander missiles in the country’s west, near its borders with the Baltic states and NATO members, saying that it does not violate international agreements.
- Latvia’s prime minister has announced his resignation over a Riga supermarket collapse that killed more than 50 people last week.
- NATO has kicked off Cyber Coalition 2013, the largest ever exercise of its kind intended to thwart massive, simultaneous attacks on member states and their allies.
- Russian hockey fans and anti-Nazi groups were outraged after dancers supporting a Latvian hockey club laid out a symbol resembling swastika right before a game with their Russian guests. The Kontinental Hockey League found no problem with the symbol.
- Fifty-four people have been killed and dozens injured after the roof of a large store collapsed in Latvia’s capital, Riga. Latvian President Andris Bеrzins called for an immediate investigation into what he called the “murder of unprotected people.”
- The US is using the NATO as a Trojan horse in order to take over militarily and politically the whole of Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and this is an open provocation vis-à-vis Russia, Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO told RT.
- Poland and the Baltic states are hosting the largest strategic war games the defense alliance has held in ten years. The NATO Response Force will practice defending the Baltics from an unidentified foreign invader.
- The deadly St Jude storm is making its way across north-western Russia, toppling roofs, uprooting trees, leaving tens of thousands residents without electricity and putting the historic city of St Petersburg under threat of flooding.
- The Lithuanian Foreign Minister says his country could block land transport to Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad if Russia maintains its opposition to stronger trade ties between Ukraine and the European Union.
- Russian Foreign Ministry has sharply criticized the Estonian Defense Minister’s address to the country’s veterans of the Waffen SS, in which the official suggested that the Soviet and Nazi troops were equal during WWII.