All posts tagged: lithuania

Trump buys Lithuania, EU cannot stop it

Adomas Abromaitis The US President Donald Trump is no doubt a successful businessman who rules his country as if it is a huge enterprise. And this kind of management, to his mind, should lead to success. And very often it really works. As a wise leader he uses different tools to reach his goals. Thus, the most cunning one, which the US exploits in Europe – is indirect influence on the EU countries to gain the desired aim. The EU just becomes a tool in “capable hands” of the US. Let us give the simple example. Last week the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania announced that the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai would get de-icing equipment for the aircraft. It would be acquired according to an agreement signed by the Ministry of National Defence and the AF Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate (AFSACD) on behalf of the Government of the United States of America. It is known that the new equipment is capable of removing ice from aircraft at the necessary height which …

Neoliberalism and its Discontents

Frank Lee Pure economics is not a theory of real-world economics, of actually-existing capitalism, but of an imaginary capitalism.” Samir Amin, The Liberal Virus (2004) According to orthodox economic trade theory, free movement of labour, capital and commodities, will result in flows into the most optimal investment and growth areas. In doing so this process will be seen to maximise social welfare in terms of growth of income and output. At the level of theory this may seem disarmingly plausible; in practise, however, the theory begs a number of key questions and is not necessarily always the case. Like much orthodox economic theory, the free-trade paradigm is a one-size fits all prescriptive model; always and everywhere it is thought to be the policy of choice. Free-up the markets and they will deliver the goods. This is, to say the least, a questionable view. The quasi-religious belief in the efficacy of free trade and factor input movement is the cornerstone of trade agreements such as free-trade areas like NAFTA and trading blocs like the EU and …

The Russian minority in the Baltics live under ‘apartheid’ states

Max Parry It has been nearly three decades since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Despite Russia’s reemergence on the world stage as a respected power after market-oriented ‘reforms’ destroyed its economy for the duration of the nineties, the breakup of the USSR is an event regarded by an increasing amount of Russians as a catastrophic tragedy rather than a triumph of ‘freedom and democracy.’ In recent years, there have been numerous polls showing that more than half of Russians not only regret the collapse of the Soviet Union but would even prefer for its return. However, the nostalgia only comes as a surprise to those who have forgotten that not long before the failed August Coup that led to its demise, the first and only referendum in its history was held in March of 1991 which polled citizens if they wished to preserve the Soviet system. The results were more than three quarters of the population in the entire socialist federation (including Russia) voting a resounding yes with a turnout of 80% in the …

Lithuania to militarize largest sea-port

by Adomas Abromaitis A NATO defense ministers meeting that took place in Brussels on November, 8-9 resulted in the new and very important decisions for the future of Europe. Speaking at a meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is vital that European roads, ports, bridges and rail networks are able to carry tanks and heavy military equipment. Stoltenberg also added that NATO countries have agreed to cooperate to improve civil infrastructure objects to make them usable for military needs. What does it mean in practice for Europe in general and for the Baltic States in particular? Lithuanian authorities, for example, will for sure try to attract NATO attention to the capabilities of its largest sea port – Klaipėda. As it is well known, that Klaipėda is one of the few ice-free ports in northernmost Europe, and the largest in Lithuania. It serves as a port of call for cruise ships as well as freight transport. The port was always an important gateway of trade between East and West. But times have changed. The gateway …

The Baltic Holocaust and Russophobia

by Frank Lee On 23 June 2017 in the Parliament Square of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, an official celebration of the uprising of 23 June 1943 against Soviet rule took place. The event was orchestrated mainly by veterans of the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters Association, a far-right militia group. During these celebrations an exhibit of more than 12 posters were hung which presented the anti-Soviet insurrection one that “drove terror into the Bolshevik occupying army and the lackeys of the occupation forces.” Some historical context is needed here. In June 1941, Hitler had launched a surprise attack on the Soviet Union, overrunning the Baltics in a few weeks. As documented by eyewitness testimony, photographs, and Nazi records, the Christian majority welcomed the Germans as liberators and right-wing paramilitary groups began massacring their Jewish neighbours before German rule had even been firmly established. Over the next three years of German occupation, around 200,000 Jews, more than 95 percent of Lithuania’s Jewish population, were murdered—a more complete destruction than befell any other European country. In an of inversion …

Russian TV Says U.S. Breaks Peace Treaty

Eric Zuesse Headlining “‘More US troops at our borders’ – Russian Defense Ministry”, Russian Television (whose U.S. broadcasts the U.S. Government is considering to ban) reported, on Friday, October 13th, that “On Thursday, the U.S. announced the presence of a second [U.S.] regiment in the already very tense Baltic region, and Poland, and that’s a move which Moscow claims violates that fundamental peace treaty signed between Russia and NATO.” This report was referring to the NATO Founding Act, which had been signed in 1997 after Russian President Boris Yeltsin learned that the verbal promise which the agents of America’s President George H.W. Bush had made to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not move “one inch to the east”, was soon going to be broken, and that Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland would be the first former Warsaw Pact nations to be added to NATO. Yeltsin was furious to learn of this, and so there were negotiations; and, this time around, Russia got the West’s signatures upon what was to be the …

Baltic States Sacrifice Economy on Altar of Politics

by Adomas Abromaitis Making negative statements concerning Russia, the Baltic States set Moscow against themselves and force it to respond. Especially they irritate it making unproven warlike statements for the sake of “common line” of the EU or NATO on the issue. But as John Steinbeck said “all war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.” After major information campaign in the Baltic States aimed to discredit Zapad 2017 military exercise, Russia tries to find the most vulnerable places to hurt the Baltic States. It is absolutely evident, that such sphere is economy. For a long time Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have been tightened to Russia and even remain to be dependent on it. Instead of finding points of contact (as Germany does) the Baltic leaders make their best to worsen the situation. The trouble is Russia responds not only with words but with real actions. The last example is the Moscow’s decision to develop the capacity and infrastructure at own ports in order to re-direct export cargos away from the ports …

Is history a new NATO weapon against Russia?

by Adomas Abromaitis On Wednesday (July 11th) NATO and Russia have got a new reason to argue and make claims to each other. NATO posted an 8-minute online documentary feature video, glorifying activity of the Baltic partisan movement “Forests Brothers” (see above). The matter is for the Baltic States WWII did not end in 1945, as well as for the Soviet army soldiers who faced unexpected violent resistance from national partisans. The Forest Brothers actively fought the Soviet army from 1948 until the late 1950s or early 60s. It should be noted that the Forests Brothers’ activity is little known and controversial piece of history of the Baltic States. There are two radically opposite points of view. From one point of view the Forest Brothers were partisans who continued armed resistance to the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after the end of the Second World War. From the second point of view such treatment of their activity is very contradictory, because there are facts that many of the Forest Brothers were former Nazi …

The Ukrainians as “Imagined Community” Nation

by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic Ukraine is an East European territory which was originally a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. Present-day it is an independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson’s theory-model of the “imagined community” – a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. According to Anderson, “the nation” is an abstract and firstly subjective social construction that defies simple, objective definition yet have been for the last two centuries the crucial basis of conflict in world politics and international relations, through assertion of their expressed nationalism. However, nationalism is quite broad ideology which can be easily transformed into political movement. That became the case, for instance, exactly with the Ukrainian self-imagined ethnonational identity. Acting politically, in principle by all means, on behalf of its own nation usually encompass pretty much a large scale of political ideas and practices including and ethnic cleansing or/and genocide on particular other national groups that happened, for example, in the WWII Ukraine when the Poles, …

Putin’s “Threats” to the Baltics: a Myth to Promote NATO Unity

by Gary Leupp, for CounterPunch In his book 2017: War with Russia published a few months ago, former deputy commander of NATO Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff predicts that to prevent NATO expansion Russia will annex eastern Ukraine and invade the Baltic state of Latvia in May 2017. Most dismiss the book as sensationalist fantasy, but it draws attention to the fact that NATO is in fact aggressively expanding, and holding large-scale war games in Romania, Lithuania, and Poland, and Russia is truly concerned. Why Latvia? Shirreff is not alone in trying to depict Latvia and the other Baltic states (Estonia and Lithuania) as immanently threatened by Russia. The stoking of Baltic fears of such are a principle justification for NATO expansion. The argument begins with the assertion that Vladimir Putin (conflated with Russia itself, as though he were an absolute leader, a second Stalin) wants to revive the Soviet Union. His occasional comment that the collapse of the USSR was a “catastrophe” is repeatedly cited, totally out of context, as proof of this expansionist impulse. It …

Merkel Rearms Germany

by Johannes Stern, for WSWS On the eve of this weekend’s NATO summit in Warsaw, Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) delivered a government statement to the Bundestag (parliament) demanding the acceleration of German re-armament. In addition to expanding the military budget by almost two billion euros in the next year, and “more than an additional 2.5 billion euros” after 2018, Merkel announced that the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) would engage more actively alongside NATO in Iraq, Syria, Libya, the Mediterranean and Afghanistan. At the heart of the chancellor’s speech was a justification for war preparations against Russia, which NATO plans to announce in Warsaw. Right at the start, Merkel praised the so-called “Readiness Action Plan,” which NATO had already adopted in 2014 at its last summit in Wales. In particular, Merkel praised the “nine NATO rapid intervention forces, deployable throughout the alliance territory, the so-called Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, and the building up of Force Integration Units in our Eastern NATO partners.” Germany is making “a substantial contribution to these measures,” said …

A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence

I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, “Where is that?” If I offer a clue by referring to “Bikini”, they say, “You mean the swimsuit. Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island.

CIA Black Sites and Washington’s Allies

They certainly sought to please in those initial dark days when a position at the NATO table was at stake. This was something of a New World Order – the attacks after September 11, 2001 did certainly allow Washington to make that spurious case. The stakes were high, and the “need” for pressing intelligence saw a crude clipping of various liberties and protections.

Unfortunately, in so doing, willing allies and proxies lined up their maps, their facilities, and their accomplices in what became a global program of interrogation and torture. These locations willingly offered by host states came to be known as “black sites” and proved all too attractive to powers and institutions.