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Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia Worry They Are ‘Next’

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

Bulgaria and Lithuania fear they could be next on Russia’s hit-list but U.S. Vice President Joe Biden promises: ‘We’re in this with you’

By Will Stewart | 19 March 2014

Fears were rising last night that Russia could seek to grab more territory in eastern Europe as Moscow’s noose tightened in Crimea with Ukraine troops forced into abject surrender.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden sought to reassure the three ex-Soviet Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that America will defend any NATO member against aggression. ‘We’re in this with you, together,’ he said in Vilnius, amid jitters in three countries overrun by Stalin during the Second World War which only won their freedom with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

How reassuring. And from such a dependable figure. Meanwhile, Obama is doing what?

He said: ‘Russia cannot escape the fact that the world is changing and rejecting outright their behaviour.’

Where is there any evidence of that, besides words?

But Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite warned him Vladimir Putin’s annexing of Crimea showed ‘the use of brute force to redraw the map of Europe’, adding: ‘This situation is a direct threat to our regional security.’

The sombre mood was reflected by Bulgarian president, Rosen Plevneliev, who said in London: ‘What about Lithuania? What about Estonia? We do have Russian communities and minorities there. ‘Is it possible in the 21st Century that they can call Moscow – and Moscow will send troops and occupy and annex some part of their territory?’

It’s worked before. (Cf. Afghanistan and Georgia.)

This came amid reports of FSB secret services agents flooding into Transdniestria, a breakaway pro-Moscow region of ex-Soviet state Moldova which shares a border with Ukraine

Concern was also rising last night over Russia’s bid to steamroller 20,000 Ukrainian troops in Crimea to defect to Moscow, or surrender and be sent back to Kiev.

While many gave up without a fight to prevent bloodshed, the peninsula remained a tinderbox after Ukraine – which refuses to accept the Russian annexation of the Black Sea peninsula – gave permission for its forces to shoot in self-defence.

The Ukrainian naval base in Sevastopol fell without a shot, but 100 loyal servicemen were barricaded inside tonight refusing to bow to the Kremlin’s orders.

Later the whereabouts of Ukraine’s navy chief, Serhiy Hayduk, were unknown after he was captured by pro-Moscow forces. Reports that he had been summoned by prosecutors in Sevastopol were denied by the Russians.

Meanwhile, five warships blockaded by the Russians inside Donuzlav Bay were refusing to surrender. ‘We’re throwing grenades from time to time so that they can’t approach us. We have also put up armed guards,’ said a commander.

Russian Black Sea fleet commander Aleksandr Vitko warned: ‘Hotheads in the current Ukrainian leadership spoke of permission to resort to arms. ‘I would like to warn everyone, and above all Ukrainian Navy personnel: God forbid anyone should shoot even a catapult. Don’t play with fire. I ask to be taken literally.’

Some Ukrainian naval forces dejectedly filed out of the naval base saying they had nowhere to go after 20 years service. One was in tears as he left. Putin’s spokesman said ‘they will have to take a decision’ whether to join the Russian armed forces or be sent to Ukraine.

It coincided with Ukraine announcing plans to withdraw troops from Crimea to the mainland on Wednesday night.

Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema and Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh were prevented from entering Crimea on Wednesday in a bid to ‘diffuse’ the tension. ‘They are not welcome in Crimea,’ said local pro-Moscow leader Sergey Aksyonov.

Russia was tonight poised to seize 20 Ukrainian warships.

All in all, this sounds like a newspaper article from the countries bordering Germany circa 1938 or 1939. It’s hard to believe that it’s happening today.

Ukrainian military inspectors yesterday began an official reconnaissance of two Russian regions for evidence of a massive military build-up indicating a threat of imminent invasion.

The inspection – amid high tension between the two countries – is under an international agreement and gives four Ukrainian military specialists the right to examine Russian operations in Belgorod and Kursk regions…

That won’t stop the Russians from shooting them down. ‘Treaties are made to be broken.’

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 20th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia Worry They Are ‘Next’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    The miracle of Balkan economics is doomed.


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