Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are “ungrateful” to the Kremlin for allowing them to peacefully break away in the early 1990’s.
Lavrov told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter his thoughts on the subject, but specifically called out Lithuania- my ancestral homeland-as the most “most aggressive, Russo-phobic country” by accusing it pushing NATO in an “anti-Russian direction”, the AP reports.
“They joined NATO but there was no calm, especially not with our Lithuanian neighbor,” Lavrov was quoted.
The Kremlin ALLOWED the Baltics to break away? Unless my parents and relatives lied to me about our ancestral homeland achieving independence–which they haven’t–there’s no proof or indication that the Kremlin under Soviet control permitted this. Their grip on Lithuania and 14 other countries was anything but sweet.
For decades, Soviet-controlled Russia demeaned Lithuanians as “fascists” for not going along with Soviet policies, as they did with other people they oppressed. The USSR was doomed to collapse given its evil ideology, various human rights abuses, and unsustainable anti-growth policies. The Baltics valiantly broke away from the USSR in 1990-1991, with Lithuania first taking the plunge on March 11, 1990. Several million people across all three Baltic nations held a peaceful yet effective protest called the Baltic Way prior to the Berlin Wall falling to signal their desire for freedom. Countless people died fighting to achieve independence in the process–independence the Kremlin was reluctant to cede them.
Lavrov’s comments shouldn’t comes as a surprise. Russian president Vladimir Putin–a former KGB officer–has been on record as lamenting the physical demise of the Soviet Union. Additionally, he has been trying to reconstitute former occupied republics through a “Eurasian Union” to counter the European Union (another flawed entity to be discussed in a future article). Additionally, Russia has tried to reassert itself in Eastern Europe with its efforts to recapture Georgia in 2008 and most recently its illegal annexation of Crimea from eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Who will stand up to Russia in the coming year? Certainly not Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump. Clinton orchestrated the Russian “reset” in 2012, and Trump has deeply questionable ties to the Putin oligarchy.
Mitt Romney was a deeply flawed and ineffective presidential nominee but was right on one thing: Russia is our biggest geo-political threat. Plus, the rise of Neo-Sovietism there is quite disquieting.
Russia is bound to flex its muscles in Eastern Europe again with its continual threats–particularly recent ones directed at the Baltics. Does this mean going to war with Russia? No–not in the slightly. This problem can be addressed if a level-headed, pro-freedom presidential candidate emerges as the victor this fall. We shall see…