The Red Army in Vilnius, 1939

Russia paying financial compensation? A fata morgana

The issue re-appeared rather unexpectedly. On 5 November, after a meeting in Riga, the Justice Ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania released a statement, in which they peremptorily declared that their countries had been occupied by and had been “exploited for political and economic needs” by the Soviet Union. The “enormous demographic and socio-economic losses”, caused by “the totalitarian communist occupation regime of the USSR.” should be “calculated in a scientifically-justified manner”, they said. The final step would be that they would “claim legally and factually justified compensation from the Russian Federation”. […]

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Opinion: NATO promises to Russia? Which promises?

Alea iacta est. NATO has agreed on the formation of a special ‘spearhead force’ (officially: Very High Readiness Joint Task Force) that, if necessary, will offer the eastern member states (additional) protection against Russia’s imperialist whims. After twenty years of peace keeping operations and crisis management on the Balkans and in exotic places further away, the alliance will refocus on its original task, as anchored in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty: collective defence. […]