Balts were deceived: ‘We were promised that there would be no talks with Russia’

Balts were deceived: ‘We were promised that there would be no talks with Russia’

Maxim Sokolov

In the coming year with carefree Christmas-time fun – count it even according to the Gregorian, even the Julian calendar – there are problems, and considerable ones.
The covid infection continues, and this brings many troubles to ordinary citizens around the world. It is impossible to be completely carefree, and there is only hope that we will meet at least 2023 without thinking about masks and vaccines.
But the mighty have other problems as well. In the diplomatic and military departments, a rush reigns, not reckoning with the holiday calendar. The Geneva consultations between Rus-sia and the United States on security problems are scheduled for January 10, which means that diplomats and generals will plow by the sweat of their brows, forgetting about the merry Christmastide.
True, the manner of plowing varies significantly from country to country.
We immediately exclude from consideration a variety of cyber activists – from the former Russian reporter Arkady Babchenko to the former US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul. As retired people, they are completely free in their judgments, even if they seemed exotic to others. The retirement also has its own charm. Only the spee-ches of officials who took watch on the eve of the Geneva consultations are subject to consideration. And here a paradoxical picture is observed. The harshest judgments come from the politicians of the Baltic states.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anushauskas called for rejecting Moscow’s initiatives on security guarantees – that is, there is simply nothing to talk about in Geneva. The same opinion is also held by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Latvia : “The implementation of Russia’s proposals is impossible.” And the Estonian prime minister “is very frightened by the fact that such negotiations with Russia are going on at all: our allies promised us that they would not conduct such negotiations and that the presentation of such demands is unacceptable.”
That is, countries whose economic and military potential is close to zero, speak in the manner of Mister No. Even Molotov and Gromyko sometimes spoke softer. Moreover, the question is “how many divisions are there in Toompea?” matters in the context of negotiations. Perhaps I, too, would like to authoritatively tell both Putin and Biden how they should behave, but my passports are not convincing enough for them.
High representative of the EU (official title of the position) Josep Borrell also noted that “demands for security guarantees and an end to the expansion of the EU and NATO to the east is a purely Russian agenda with completely unacceptable conditions, especially with regard to Ukraine.” Moreover, in his opinion, the negotiations should concern not only Ukraine and NATO ‘s eastward expansion, but “all violations of the treaty since the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act” in 1975: “We do not agree with many events in Russian foreign policy, as well as with some events that Moscow considers internal affairs. “
And again, the all-enco-mpassing criticism comes from the mouth of a person whose powers (as well as the structure he represents) are rather indistinct. And the political weight also raises questions.
And on the contrary, the United States, which is in no way a friend of Russia, against this background shows sufficient restraint and readiness for negotiations. Telephone consultations between Putin and Biden, the very agreement of the place and date of the beginning of the consultations.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that the United States, whose qualities are not attractive to everyone, nevertheless has a sufficient number of divisions, as well as missiles, aircraft carriers, etc. And also the understanding that it is up to them to solve (or not to solve) the problem, and not to Borrell and not to Estonia, as well as to pay for the broken pots if something happens to them, and not to bloggers and not to limitrophes. This gives rise to some caution, especially since the United States (at least in its European affairs) finds itself in such a situation for the first time.
Until now, things have been conducted in such a way that the European powers in the conflict weakened each other, and the United States played the role of a democratic monkey watching from the mountain for the fight between two tigers. To directly enter the game only for the nodding analysis. Now there is no proper number of tigers, and in the event of a conflict, you will have to fight yourself. This is both unpleasant and scary, and demonstrates an important difference between the United States and its NATO and EU allies. Who are a lot in words, but at the same time assume that someone else will fight.
The USA – again for the first time – finds itself in an extreme position. Either bear all the military-technical burdens, or retreat, concluding a peace agreement.
As for the reproaches of the Balts, Ukrainians, Borrel, etc. to the upcoming negotiations (“Oh, Prince Ivan Petrovich, you put up our heads”), then you can only notice that all peace conferences are like that. And in Versailles, and in Yalta, and in even earlier times – when arranging borders, dividing lines, spheres of influence – those who are weak and small were not considered too much or were not considered at all. It may be cruel, but there is no other way. The picture of how a great power is guided by the imperative “perish yourself, and help Vilnius ” is from the field of unscientific fantasy. If the battle limitrophes sincerely do not understand this, one can only sympathize with them.
In the new year 2022, complex negotiations of autocratic, that is, sovereign states begin, which are now extremely few. The rest remains to be observed. We will also observe.

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