Egidijus Vareikis, So, what about the foreign policy?

Egidijus Vareikis
DELFI / Valdas Kopūstas

Anecdotal folk art says that a real man will never catch a fool in three areas: sex, sport and foreign policy. Today, foreign policy in our country is often spoken by everyone who is not as good as basketball players after a total defeat: “who is to blame and how to punish them?” Jerusalem – “misunderstanding (or maybe a conspiracy)?” Russia – “what does the Prime Minister think?”, and what are the relations between the “foreigners” of foreign policy?

It’s about everything that’s often just a laugh for the audience, but when it’s over, it makes you think. Is there any interest in Lithuania that can be sold or built in the geopolitics pawnshop? Is Lithuania really a small country and should it simply please the worlds powerful? Do you need to take care of your own people, to believe that it is most important to be a “pragmatist” in foreign policy, i.e. y get easy-to-calculate benefits?

But this text is not about individual cases or policy techniques. This text is on the substance. Foreign policy is not an easy matter. Looking from the perspective of time, we should not doubt Lithuania’s success: it is difficult to determine a time during the last century (or even for several centuries), when Lithuania was as secure and so “very Western”. There is much to be proud of – almost the Golden Age. No irony For the first decade of independence, our country’s foreign policy was shaped by three strategic goals: becoming a NATO member (security), joining the European Union (economic success) and managing relations with its neighbors so that they would no longer be a direct threat. We have achieved everything. You now have the opportunity to live for a long time and happily.

In recent years, the policy has become more complex: the blissful and hopeful end of the Cold War has ended, NATO and the EU have failed, or have failed to live up to expectations of prosperity and security, and relations with neighbors have quickly fluctuated due to changes in their neighboring countries.

However, no one created a new foreign policy strategy, but instead devoted a lot of thought to the details and in the analysis of individual specific cases. So, discussions about foreign policy and the search for its strategy are really needed. Initiatives are also needed. Even more important is the initiative than the fear of being mistaken. So, there is no such thing that initiatives that arise (they were all kinds – both good and bad), we have our own solo politics in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, we have a good understanding of the affairs of the Kingdom of Belorussia and Belarus, and, with that, it is well-known that Russia has been developing relatively well. Finally, we ended the demarcation of the wall. There are misunderstandings among the initiatives, yet misunderstandings are still opportunities. Today, we have a wonderful opportunity to look at the history, geography, and demography and, ultimately, the policy provided by politics – the chance to become a medium-sized state of truly interregional importance. It is not enough to analyze events and live “for a long time and happily”. There is a need for courage to shape events. Allowing yourself to simply become a part of globalization or a victim is easy, but shaping or taking part in globalization is interesting.

I’m afraid that today for old and now non-existent reasons, the state of Lithuania will not have a large-scale global reckoning; it will simply be slow comprehension that the world can exist without it.

Our goal is to be such an integral part of a world, without which the world would not want to live at all. In other words, we must be important to the world. The experience of the past decades has been a beginning. All foreign ministers, came to the post, said that until recently, foreign policy was too idealized, too emotional, and now it will be different, perhaps more “economized”, but never was otherwise. However, what can be done and talked to (or made up of) by policy makers, everyone should be aware of several ordinary courts. First, foreign policy begins with an assessment of opportunities. The restoration of Lithuania’s independence was associated with a favorable international situation – the end of the Cold War -, which had to escalate into the emergence of democracy, a market economy.

This lesson is the abandonment of possibilities and a rapture for a “great brother”. When the value of freedom begins to be measured against gas prices per cubic meter, it curses cautiously towards the interests of the “ordinary person”. It seems that this ordinary person doesn’t want to be free and dishonorable, however most important for him is the monetary value … those who are convinced that increasing defense spending is unpopular, are the same people who will never understand why it is necessary to sacrifice in the defense of the country. Our human creature and state saver are useful to those who do not have our own country at heart, and consider it to be a joint-stock company. And if we go back to the opportunities, this is nothing else than America’s supposedly “very far-away” preservation of the non-recognition of our country’s annexation, which made it possible to be non- state but also be restored. Secondly, there is no reason to believe that the closest neighbors in Europe and beyond the Atlantic are somehow paying against Lithuania. As long as Americans believe in us, Russia may get stuck in our throats. When the Americans frustrate us, the Russians will not need any tanks – they will send “wise men”, the patriots will start resisting, the rest will live as cheaply as possible … But that will not be Lithuania.

Thirdly, the most terrible misunderstanding is called smart and useful foreign policy. Practice shows that the worse it is, the more there is talk highlighting the benefits, the “multi-sector” and the dreams in the chaotic of the world. We will be able to “draw” everyone and make the most delicious pie of the policy.

Typical “Asian” thinking, usually ending in dependence on the east – a half state. Today, we often see a rather gentle vision that the European Union is a good sack of money that needs to be drawn against as much as possible without considering the political values. There is money, but it is wise not to cynically grab it, but rather to create a longer- term perspective. Pchotko considers where he brings more, a citizen – creates a common good. The honorary component in politics, then, is much more important than simply good. Fourth, or can you choose your neighbors? What tone of communication with undemocratic states and their leaders, with terrorists or separatists? Concessions lead only the new concessions. Dictators and cynics are very rarely gentlemen. If we look at the results of the “dialogue” with Cuba or North Korea, what we have achieved, in principle, under the auspices of some of our neighbors, and how to deal with frozen over conflicts (so as they are “frozen”), the answer is unequivocal.

A great misfortune is found in unhappy political correctness, diplomacy’s barbarism and the desire to steal the hooligans for the gentlemen’s club, at whatever cost, to make them strategically partners and market leaders in irreplaceable markets, fifth, values ​​or trade? At this point, “policy-makers” are most likely to come across, arguing that the truly good relations with neighbors and the success of foreign policy are described by the volume of trade and the number of joint ventures.

Logic is simple: if we sell it, we will not slaughter it. But such logic leads to a rather simple and dangerous situation: if the only worth is on the level of buying and selling, then this is really a very minor policy issue. Not even an entity, but an object, market to market. If Lithuania is not itself a commodity, then the volume of foreign trade cannot be a simple symbol of a successful policy. Interestingly, look at how Western policy and geopolitics strategists see the second century of independence of the Baltic States. I would say to those who find themselves finding the tales and maps: see us in Western Europe, quite distant from the declining Moscow Principality, so the latter would not have to be highlighted.

Oh, what happened… nothing that precarious, just a struggle with emerging and fading initiatives, and not merely due to unchanging principles. That, I’d say, is not such a big sin.

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