After the July summit in Helsinki between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Latvia’s Russian-aligned media reported that the friendly relationship between the two leaders showed that the “Baltics are losing their significance and the elites in those countries are panicking.” According to Latvia’s leading Russian-language media, Vesti.lv, “Donald Trump didn’t show himself in the best light.” After the summit concluded, Vesti.lv tweeted an article with the title “1-0 in favor of Putin.”
Two days after the summit, Baltnews.lv published in which Russian political scientist Andrey Manoylo commented, “Trump is abandoning the Baltics as an intermediary in relations with Russia.” The expert from Moscow State University said that the U.S and Russia could discuss relevant issues on oil and LNG markets without a third party. “I assume that Russia agreed to give quotas for LNG sale in the European market, and in return the U.S. will support Russia’s oil and gas projects,” said Manoylo. “If such agreement has been reached, the Baltic countries, which the U.S. needed earlier, because they acted as irritators for Russia, could lose half of their significance.” Other articles by Latvia’s Russian media mainly reflected what Russia’s leading media was writing about: and the need for equal competition for European markets, the “ of Mr. Putin handing a soccer ball to Mr. Trump, and the overall success of the summit.
Meanwhile, Latvian officials were cautious about the summit. “I am not concerned about something hugely changing and the conversation being in some way bad for Latvia. Dialogue is a good thing; the key is to respect the previously affirmed principles,” Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs
In its coverage, pro-Russian media in Latvia used
The influence of Russian media in Latvia is one of Russia’s most powerful tools, since many Latvians (including many who are not ethnic Russians) speak the Russian language. A recent