|Before 1991 Quelle Wikipedia|
Normal Europeans don’t even know where exactly the Baltic states are. Just ask, if Latvia or Lithuania is further to the east. Or ask for the name of the Northmost Baltic country, a member of the EU and Nato as well: Estonia.
I’d guess an average American doesn’t even know of their existance.
My question: Has anybody in Nato been asked personally if they want to guarantee for these contries? Democratically?
The Baltic states have significant Russian minorities. In Latvia fourty percent of the children are taught at school in Russian. Elsewhere in Ukraine the fights between Russians and Ukrainians in the Donbass region have originally been triggered by the Russian minority, when Kiev passed the law “On the principles of the state language policy” in July 2012 (*ps). Similar uprisings may threaten peace in the Baltic states. Not Nato nor “Europe” have influence on local nationalisms. In cases of dissent, Russia is or will be called for help.
We read: Lithuania plans a wall around Russian Kaliningrad. Where is Kaliningrad?
After the Berlin Crisis in 1961 I saw a graffito « Mourir pour Berlin? », die for Berlin?, on the medieval wall of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the Camargue. An American, will he want to die for, say, Gusev (Gumbinnen)? – Well, he won’t have to, as that’s not Nato there. But for Klaipėda (Memel) in Latvia, hundred miles to the Northwest via Sovetsk (Tilsit), he would have to, in case of trouble with Russia.Would a German fight for Sovetsk? But he’s just lost it – perhaps not so recently, on January 20, 1945 (engl. link), and you can still buy Tilsiter cheese in every German supermarket.
What did Nato think by adding all these countries? “Bigger is better”?
Estonia 25% Russians of 1.3 Mio. inhabitants
Latvia 26% Russians of 2 Mio. inhabitants
Lithuania 5% Russians, 1% Belarusians (different language!)
of 2.8 Mio. inhabitants
Ukraine 17% Russians – but that’s a large county with over 40 Mio. people, and not yet a Nato member+). (For Andrew)
Siehe auch NZZ »Ist Europas Sicherheit in Gefahr?« Ende März 2017
Permalink – forward to friends!
*ps. On September 28, 2017, NZZ reports in its international edition that Ukraine narrows minority rights – again … («Die Ukraine schränkt Minderheitenrechte ein» von Ivo Mijnssen, Moskau)
+) https://www.nzz.ch/international/wenn-die-sprache-des-nachbarn-nervt-ld.1320975: »Rund 40 Prozent der Ukrainer lernen Russisch als Muttersprache.« – About fourty percent of Ukrainians learn Russian as their mother tongue.
Rechts, was die Botschaft der Ukraine zum Thema Russisch schreibt, klickbar und so dann vergrößerbar. “No civil war in Ukraine”, says the official Ukraine …
– Did you notice that Austria is not a Nato member. This is due to the perpetual neutrality Austria had promised when it became free in 1955. More here.