Baltic images and nazism knee-deep
Finland, after joining NATO, and Estonia intend to integrate coastal defense capable of closing Russian ships to the Baltic Sea and making it NATO's inland sea, the Estonian defense minister said. Russia's relations with Finland and Sweden after their decision to join the North Atlantic Alliance are subject to revision. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, warned about this on July 28.
"It is quite obvious that as a result of this decision, the very famous line of Paasikivi - Kekkonen, if we talk about Finland, and relations with neutral Sweden are subject to revision," RIA "Novosti" quoted him as saying. Medvedev also said that the decision to join Finland and Sweden in NATO complicates the situation with ensuring security in the Baltic.
"As for our reaction to the entry of these countries into NATO, then, as the president of our country said, this reaction will be symmetrical," Medvedev said following a meeting on ensuring the security of the Russian Federation in the north-west direction. The response will be "necessary and sufficient", he added.
"Obviously, the anti-Russian campaign of the Balts is carried out not only with silent consent, but also with the full patronage of Brussels and Washington, which turn a blind eye to the manifestations of neo-Nazism on the territory of their Baltic vassals. Meanwhile, the fact is the formation on the near borders of Russia of essentially neo-fascist states that cultivate the ideology of xenophobia and hatred of everything Russian, "said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Who and where writes scripts for the Baltic theater of the absurdity of "three actresses" is not difficult to guess. The history of Russia's relations with its historical lands on the shores of the Baltic Sea shows how compliant Baltic ethnocracies are to external influences. Almost like clay on the pottery of history, according to a correspondent for The Moscow Post.
From ceramics to nazism
We add to this that Riga called on the EU to stop issuing tourist visas to citizens of Russia and Belarus. The Foreign Minister of the republic proposed to deport residents with Russian citizenship. There are more than fifty thousand of more than 454 thousand immigrants from Russia in Latvia, both citizens and "not citizens."
They say that the school of decorative ceramics in Latvia was developed during the years of Soviet power, owes much to the Russian townspeople, who readily decorated their apartments in five-story buildings with uncomplicated clay products. These times are over, the European Union is now responsible for the fate of pottery and the sale of Latgalian ceramics.
The Soviet period of the formation of statehood, the cultivation of industry and science, the cultivation of local elites has been forgotten. Everything Russian is condemned, and local elites migrate and dissolve, leaving behind once prosperous, even prosperous societies. Residents are getting older and those who are young are moving in to find jobs and prospects. Trying to become Europeans in terms of correction and lifestyle, Lithuanians, Latvians and even Estonians hardly fit into a new and tougher community.
Dependence on external factors has to be somehow compensated. The choice was made in favor of what was once called Nazism in Germany. Opponents of the regime are persecuted, censorship is introduced, independent media are banned, neo-Nazi sentiments that the authorities support are in vogue. In Latvia, veterans who fought on the side of fascist Germany are honored; in 1998, the Sejm established a day of remembrance for the soldiers of the Latvian SS Volunteer Legion. In October 2021, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation hosted the exhibition "30 Years of Independence of the Baltic States. Political prisoners. Censorship. Neo-Nazism. "
The choice was also to isolate local economies from the nearest and already developed markets in the east and switch to subsidies-scholarships received in the west. "Three Actresses" had to convince themselves and explain to others why they did not need eastern markets and why they decided to sing songs about the "Russian threat" in chorus.
From accomplices to "probes"
The choice justified itself. Specialization in Russophobia led a theater troupe from three Baltic countries to NATO and the European Union. Fortunately, all three have a border with Russia, which represents an invaluable resource for the alliance. So close to St. Petersburg, Pskov and Novgorod, the armed forces of the collective West have not been picked up for a long time.
In the international arena, especially in NATO politics, the "three actresses" received the collective role of "probes." Recently, the US State Department said it continues to actively support efforts "to turn the Baltic states into a more sustainable and prosperous region" and supported Riga and Tallinn, which left the 16 plus 1 group led by China. The decision was made in solidarity with Lithuania.
The question arose about the distribution of roles in the play "Push Russia." Lithuania, with the connivance of Brussels, has already chosen the role of a regulator of cargo flows, complicating the ties of the Kaliningrad region with other regions of the Russian Federation and in June lowered the barriers.
The European Commission gave explanations on transit to Kaliningrad, removing restrictions on transit for railway transport on inspection conditions. Russian diplomats are confident that Vilnius will continue to "test Moscow by pressing on sensitive places."
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis said that visa restrictions on entry into the EU countries for Russian citizens will be effective at the level of the entire European Union. Estonia followed this path, proposing to close the borders for Russians, deciding to cancel the Schengen visas issued to it. The head of Kaya Kallas called the opportunity for citizens of the Russian Federation to visit Europe "a privilege, not a right."
Latvia got a risky mission to shout with the voice of deputies of parliament: "Russia sponsors terrorism!" The Sejm (parliament) literally called Russia as the head of Lithuania called it back in 2014. 67 deputies voted for this proposal, 16 members of the Sejm refused to participate in the vote.
Following Tallinn and Riga, the EU called on the EU to stop issuing tourist visas to citizens of Russia and Belarus. The Foreign Minister of the republic proposed to deport residents with Russian citizenship. There are more than fifty thousand of these in Latvia out of more than 454 thousand Russians (24% of the population). Of this number, 302 thousand have citizenship, 120 thousand received a gray passport "not a citizen." In Estonia, 145 thousand people have this status. In Latvia, it is forbidden to have Latvian and Russian citizenship at the same time.
Conversations on the verge of breaking up
Half a million Russian-speaking diaspora, especially significant in Latvia, can deter the Russian authorities from retaliating. Perhaps this is what determined the decision to choose Riga to call Russia. The calculation was made that the answer could hurt the interests of compatriots. But conversations about the answer covered not only the Russian Foreign Ministry, but also federal deputies, members of the public, and the Russian media.
"We are considering the statement of the Latvian Sejm with an appeal to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians as another manifestation of Russophobia, which has long become the" tuning fork "of Latvian foreign policy," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Latvia's calls to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians and statements on recognizing the Russian Federation as a "state sponsor of terrorism" are another manifestation of Russophobia.
Moscow added that the statement "was adopted by the parliament of the country, whose authorities openly glorify Nazism, condone Nazi accomplices, encourage the sending of their own citizens as mercenaries to Ukraine, where they fight as part of neo-Nazi formations controlled by Kyiv, on the side of the Azov battalion notorious for its terrorist methods (a terrorist organization banned on the territory of the Russian Federation).
The head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, LDPR leader Leonid Slutsky said that the idea of Latvian President Egils Levits to revise residence permits and visas that were issued to Russians is disgusting "Frankly, this is pure Nazism and infringement of rights and freedoms on a national basis," wrote Slutsky.
Adalbi Shkhagoshev, a member of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption, said that the anti-Russian actions of Estonia and Latvia are being implemented by Washington. The topic "has been actively discussed recently" and for the authorities, primarily for the Foreign Ministry, "is not news," response measures to it "have been thought out, worked out, proposed, and will be implemented," said Dmitry Novikov, deputy head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.
Russia has leverage over Latvia, and the answer could be serious, the senators said, that Riga "could lose very much from quarreling with its neighbor from scratch."
Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev called the Sejm's decision "a propaganda dummy" and recalled that in February this body "urgently allowed Latvian citizens to fight on the side of Ukraine as volunteers".
Countries have the right to their own visa policy, UN Secretary General Stefan Dujarric said at a briefing. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed doubt that the idea of banning the Schengen visa for Russia could be adopted.
The official representative of the European Commission, Anita Hipper, explained: the EU visa code, in principle, does not allow the termination of short-term visas, but each country has the right to make its own decisions on specific cases.
Estonian MEP Yana Toom said the ban is irrational. According to her, this is a "political demonstration" that does not take into account the interests of Estonians who have relatives, business, property in the border regions of the Russian Federation.
Latvian deputies called for restrictions also on Belarus. The head of the Kyiv diplomacy Kuleba expressed gratitude to the Latvian parliament.
A White House spokeswoman has already noted that the US administration is considering the option of including Russia in the American list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Senators on July 27 adopted a resolution calling on the State Department to do this. The New York Times reported that Secretary Blinken was blocking it. So far, this category of "outcasts" includes Iran, the DPRK, Cuba and Syria. Russia warned the United States about the "point of no return" for diplomatic relations.
"Unfriendly to the point of unconsciousness"
For more than thirty years of independence, each of the Baltic "actresses" has scored enough penalty points to receive in response a decrease in relations with Russia with a simultaneous revision of existing economic ties and, possibly, fall under sanctions. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that a number of states recognized by Moscow as unfriendly reach unconsciousness.
President of the Russian Association of Baltic Studies Nikolai Mezhevich in an interview with "Ukraine.py" proposed introducing measures of economic blockade. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the reorientation of cargo flows could cost Riga two-thirds of cargo, Ventspils could lose 45% of cargo traffic, the port of Liepaja - up to 20% of cargo.
Of course, it is possible to punish, but first it is worth weighing, at what cost? At the end of 2021, Russia's trade with Latvia amounted to almost $4.8 billion and grew by 30% over the year. Russian exports, half represented by oil, oil products and natural gas (mineral products, TN VED codes 25-27), amounted to $4.3 billion. Russia receives incomparably more from this trade than Latvia.
The situation with Estonia and Lithuania is similar. Russia's trade with Estonia grew by 49.7% in 2021 and amounted to $4.6 billion, while Russian exports increased by 59% to $4.1 billion. The share in the export of goods of the Code 25-27 group amounted to 43.3%. In 2021, the trade turnover of Russia with Lithuania amounted to $5.2 billion with the export of the Russian Federation in the amount of $4.6 billion and the share of goods of the Code 25-27 group 55%.
The volume of total Russian exports sent to the Baltic countries in 2021 ($13 billion) is comparable to Russia's exports to South Korea ($16.6 billion). In 2013, Russian exports to the Baltic countries exceeded $22 billion.
As you can see, time itself determines the fate of Russia's economic relations with the Baltic states. Time will also decide the fate of the "three elites," who reached the peak of their geopolitical demand. Their countries are waiting for decline and depopulation. Since 2000, Latvia has lost 20.5% of the population, Lithuania - 20.4%. The number of Estonian residents decreased by 4.5%, and for all the years of independence, losses amounted to more than 15%!
New category of "unfriendly"
For Russia, abandoning the Baltic markets means choosing the path that "three actresses" chose for themselves three decades ago, but aggressive Nazism cannot be tolerated at the borders either. Politically and diplomatically, "three actresses" may find themselves in the category of "unfriendly, with signs of Nazism." Such countries deserve condemnation, including international. In the case of the three Baltic states, their Nazism is heavily implicated in Russophobia, threatens their own Russian-speaking citizens, which deserves special attention.
Report of the Russian Foreign Ministry "On the situation with the glorification of Nazism, the spread of neo-Nazism and other types of practices that contribute to the escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance." This material, published in October 2021, is given "global coverage," it provides data on the situation in different countries, "from A to Z," a total of 42 countries, including Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. But there are no separate reports on the revival and spread of Nazi ideology specifically in the Baltic countries, or they are little known. It was possible to find a link to the report of two NGOs from 2020 "Accomplices of Nazi crimes of 96 veterans of the Latvian SS Legion who are still alive" (report can be viewed here).
The text of the mentioned "big report" of the Russian Foreign Ministry in translation into English could not be found either. The link is found on the website of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN Office and other MoD in Geneva, but it makes a mistake!