Russia is reviewing the 'legality' of Baltic states' independence

PutinREUTERS/Grigory DukorRussian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015 (SPIEF 2015) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 19, 2015.

Russia is going to review whether or not it was legal for the Soviet Union to recognise the Baltic states as independent nearly 25 years ago, according to a report by Interfax.

A “source familiar with the situation” told Interfax on Tuesday that the Russian Prosecutor General’s office began checking the legality of the recognition of the independence of the Baltics.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were Soviet republics until the dissolution of the USSR back in 1991.

The report comes one week after the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 — back when Nikita Khrushchev was in power — was declared unconstitutional.

The source stated that the investigation was launched following requests from two parliamentary deputies, adding that there would be no legal consequences if the recognition of the three Baltic states was to be found illegal.

Lithuania’s foreign minister Linas Linkevicius called the investigation an “absurd provocation,” according to the BBC.

The report also comes at a time when there’s increased tension between Russia and the Baltics.

Over the last year, the Baltic states have been on high alert following the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. They perceive Russia’s increased militarization as a threat to their security interests (and possibly independence.)

Meanwhile, Russia hasn’t been happy that Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia joined NATO back in 2004. And NATO’s increased presence in the Baltic states recently hasn’t pleased Moscow either.

NOW WATCH: Cubans wait for two hours to get this ice cream — so we had to try it for ourselves

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.