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View Diary: Eurocrats Unprepared For Dealing With Putin (163 comments)

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  •  Kalingrad is another problem. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, AoT, koNko

    They are a piece of Russia totally surrounded by the EU.

    •  And.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, koNko

      Russians are required to get visas to transit Lithuania to and from Kalningrad. Part of the negotiations with Russia have been to allow visa free access to the Schengen area.

      In view of the situation in Ukraine, it would be reasonable to declare this transit to be a potential security threat to all three Baltic states and some additional vetting may well be needed to ensure this is not the case. At the same time, it would be interesting if Poland started to express concerns about ethnic Poles living in Kalinigrad. Should NATO ensure that their rights are suitably protected?

      "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:29:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  EU seems to have no stomach for warmongering (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, native

        like that. Thank god.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:30:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You may note (0+ / 0-)

          I often use "interesting" in the sense of the Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times".

          In all seriousness, withdrawal or restrictions of transit visas is one of the next steps that could be taken to escalate the sanctions. Since by definition Kaliningrad is a military facility, the security aspects of having Russian forces and their supporters free to enter the EU by the "back door" of simply straying from the direct route is considerable. The other Baltic states have larger (and in some cases discriminated against) ethnic Russian minorities. Some of these refuse or unable to meet the conditions of citizenship.  We have seen in Crimea how agents provocateurs were first exported by Putin to stir up "discontent".

          Kaliningrad was proposed as a possible "free port" with all the trading and financial advantages that would bring to Russia. That is even further away now and is yet another example of the long term damage to the Russian economy that Putin will leave as a legacy when he eventually gives up the Czarship.

          His position in Russia is not as secure as is often thought and his excursions into neighboring countries to grab a bit of land is an example of how he is using this tactic to distract from the economic and corruption problems at home. Sochi may not have been the "cover" for the invasion of Crimea but the need to distract from the increasing protests over the corruption where up to half the costs were bribes and kickbacks certainly was.

          "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:57:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If Russia and the EU manage to not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, koNko

      get on a war footing, which seems to be what is happening,then it's not really a problem.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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