Thursday, 2 April 2015

Russia sets out red lines

Though the Indie's sub-editor has given the story a headline that is frankly a lie (according to the story beneath) the paper prints a clear account of Russia's intentions in relation to its western borders. Putting aside the spin, Russia laid down red lines and provided assurances;
  • Any return of Crimea to Ukraine is a no-no. Crimea will be defended in the same way as all other Russian soil, with weapons including nuclear if necessary.
  •  Further NATO arms to Ukraine will provoke an escalated Russian military response - more 'green men' and more Russian arms 
  •  Russia will not abandon Russian minorities in the Baltic states, but will not use 'green men' or supply arms.
The message to NATO and the west is clear. Russia will not militarily violate NATO borders or nations. NATO must recognise the de facto new borders of Russia and undertake a similar restraint. Ukraine is not NATO and retains the potential for proxy military action, dependent on how much each side provokes it. Russians in the Baltics will be backed and funded. 

The final point is one worth watching. At the end of WWII peoples of German descent living outside of Germany's boundaries, sometimes for many hundreds of years, in Bohemia, Moravia, east Prussia, Poland and the Baltics were 'ethnically cleansed' in ways as brutal as anything the Nazis did. A surviving film clip (if you can bear the horror) alerts us that not only Germans are capable of crimes against humanity. Since the wall came down, ethnic Russians in the Baltics have had a very hard time, discriminated against in civil life, excluded from employment, health and education, all in an effort to get them to leave. Since 1989, and particularly since 2004, about three quarters of a million have done so, leaving about a million still with lives and homes there. Many of the 'Natashas' here in London are ethnic Russians with post-accession EU passports from the Baltics. 

Russia's position is lucid and succinct, and even if we don't agree with her, we can't claim we don't know where the red lines now stand, and the response we will provoke if we cross them.   


English Pensioner said...

The main problem is that both the EU and our own politicians don't consider what the other side (in this case Russia) might do.
I was taught, as a child, that if I was going to do anything that could affect somebody else, to first stop and consider how they might feel about it.
Modern politicians have lost sight of such ideas.

Mr Ecks said...

Fine--we keep out of the Crimea--they keep out of the Baltic states. Any meddling there will be treated in the same manner as they speak of the Crimea.

If we had leaders with any balls.

Anonymous said...

The West (Washington/EU) has been in a bit of a bind since its regime change in Kiev backfired. And what sort of brain cell thinks Russia would do nothing if NATO tried to set up shop on its Western border?

You just can't get the staff these days.


Demetrius said...

The ethnic Russians from the Baltic do a very good job of hand washing my car, for which I am forever grateful. Didn't Bolingbroke and some of his knights take part in The Lithuanian Crusade along with the Teutonic Knights? That did not go at all well in the end.

Budgie said...

Of course, one solution to the perceived problem is for Russia to join NATO. "And with one bound he was free!"

Anonymous said...

More media bunkum by the Times