Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Russia Now Applying Crimea Logic to the Baltics

By Katie Zavadski, New York Magazine

First Russia came for Ukraine, and now it may well be coming for the Baltics. Konstantin Dolgov — Russia's foreign minister on issues of human rights, democracy, and rule of law — voiced concern Saturday over the treatment of Russian citizens in the Baltic states. Consider that a warning.

According to the text of a speech published on the Russian foreign ministry's website (and evidently given at the Regional Conference of Russian Compatriots of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in Riga), the "protection of the rights and lawful interests of our compatriots abroad is one of the prioritized actions" of the foreign ministry. The speech's inflammatory language echoed the precursors of Russia's annexation of Crimea, citing concerns for the well-being and rights of Russians in the territory.

Dolgov linked alleged anti-Russian sentiment with a rise in "xenophobic and neo-Nazi sentiment" in Europe, and accused the European Union of ignoring its own human-rights abuses in favor of focusing on third parties. Then he zeroed in on the neighboring countries.

(More here.)

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