Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump is ‘an Existential Enemy of the Baltic Countries,’ Russian Portal Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 23 – According to a Russian portal directed at Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, US President Donald Trump is “an existential enemy of the Baltic countries,” a conclusion that may not be true but that clearly matters to the extent that it informs Moscow’s approach to the three NATO countries in the coming months.

            In a lead article today, the editors of the Rubaltic portal argue that the American leader has shown that he doesn’t need the Baltic countries as “an anti-Russian ‘buffer zone’ in Europe” and that he “does not intend to support America’s allies in the Baltic region” (

            The Rubaltic editors say that all this is clear from a close reading of Trump’s inaugural address, a speech that shows Trump not only does not see the Baltic countries as they see themselves but is the political opposite of what the leaders of those countries have hoped for and worked for since 1991.

            Trump’s statement that the US “does not want to impose our way of life on anyone” represents his rejection of “American global dominance and its messianic course of spreading the liberal values of democracy and human rights throughout the world from South America to Georgia and Ukraine.”

            Moreover, the American president’s words show that “realism, pragmatism and national interests are the theoretical foundations” of his approach and that his focus abroad, indeed the only one he mentioned in his speech, is the fight against Islamist terrorism not for anything or anyone else.

His speech thus is “a mortal threat for the colossal infrastructure which has been created over the last several decades for securing American global domination,” for those who  have promoted “’color revolutions’” and the rights of “feminists, environmental activists, human rights activists, supporters of LGBT rights, vegans and so on.”

Among those who are going to suffer most from Trump’s rise “are Baltic politicians and other American satellites in Europe who have guaranteed the political domination of the US in the Old World,” RuBaltic says.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have made their foreign policy a derivative of the foreign policy of the United States … They have given the best years of their lives to America, but  this … can’t promise that America will come to the aid of the Baltic countries in the case of Russian aggression.”

But Trump is an opponent of other ideas that now predominate in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius as well, the portal’s editors say. He is in favor of re-industrialization rather than the creation of a post-modern information society of the kind that the Baltic governments have favored in their effort to do away with “’Soviet monster’” factories up to now.

Thus, RuBaltic says, “Donald Trump is an existential enemy of the post-Soviet Baltic region,” an attitude that reflects not a difference of opinion about this or that policy but rather a fundamental divide in world views.

In this situation, all the Baltic elites can do is to pray that Trump doesn’t remain in office for long or is blocked in the realization of his intentions.  But for the moment, they have to come to terms with the fact that as of now he is “the boss,” and they will have to behave like all serfs do in the presence of the master.

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