Friday, 12 September 2008

Lithuania caught between a rock and a hard place

One of the conditions imposed on Lithuania by the EU before it could become a member was that it had to agree to close down its nuclear power station at Ignalina. It has agreed to do this by 2010. However, since the power station produces 90 per cent of Lithuania’s electricity, it will become even more dependent on Russian energy exports than before once it is closed. Moreover, Russia has just announced that it is building a new nuclear power station in Kaliningrad region, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania, and that it will use this station to export electricity to those states and elsewhere in the EU. The Estonians are also claiming to be afraid of a newly resurgent Russia: their secret services claim that a lot of new Russian passports have been given out recently. About one-third of Estonia’s inhabitants are Russians but the Estonian state, like the Latvian, has done everything to make them feel unwelcome, especially by refusing to give them citizenship. Many of them are therefore stateless. But, the Estonian authorities claim, if they now have Russian passports then Russia will claim the right to defend them just as it defended the South Ossetian Russian passport holders in Georgia. [Handelsblatt, 28 August 2008]

-- From The European Journal. Sign up for FREE to John Laughland's 'Intelligence Digest' to find out what’s really happening in Europe --

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