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  •  Lawrence? (none)
    Take a look at the returns by province and you'll see how politically divided the country is.  Also huge historical and linguistic differences.

    Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

    by philgoblue on Sun Nov 28, 2004 at 07:30:22 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Couple of Extra Historical Facts. (4.00)
      In 1945 the borders of the Ukraine were moved west by roughly 100 miles -- with Poland acquiring much of E. Prussia and what became E. Germany, and the Ukraine acquiring what had been Eastern Poland in 1939.  In 1945-46 a massive ethnic removal operation took place in this region, with Germans sent west into occupied Germany (E & W) and Poles in what became the Ukraine relocated into Western Poland.  While all the states in 1990-91 signed strong agreements that no undoing of the 1945 borders would occur, there are plenty of people in both Poland and Germany who are and remain unhappy with the settlement.  As one watches the EU make decisions in the near future, looking at the political interests of Germany and Poland is important.  

      Two of the Baltic countries, Estonia and Latvia have ancient economic and cultural relations with Scandinavia.  These have been most important since 1990 -- with Denmark taking a close interest in Latvia, and Sweden and Finland being very involved with developments in Estonia.  There are all sorts of reasons why small states in the pre-1990 EU would look at these additional small states as political assets, and be strong supporters for their integration as well as joining NATO.  Denmark's relationship with Latvia goes back to Viking times -- Riga was a Hanseatic City, and followed the Danish lead in converting to Lutheranism.  While the relationship broke during the WWII period and Cold War, once things opened up the Danes were there with very high powered development assistance, and lots of Kroner.  The Swedish and Finnish relationship with Estonia is similar.  Poland probably has a similar sense about Lithuania -- but right now it does not have the Euro's that the Scandinavian countries have.  My point is that very soon the Baltic Countries will be "Scandinavianized" in many ways, and without question a formerly poor soviet republic could not imagine a better fate.  

      What will happen in the Ukraine, I don't know, but I do believe the principle outside actors on the sentiment of the Western Ukraine has much more to do with the policies and interests of the EU than it does with the CIA or the US.  They all are most aware of the developments in the Baltic and in Poland and there are lots of reasons to want close association if not membership.  

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