torsdag 24 april 2014

Carrot as well as stick

Riga Coal Dock

I watch with some dismay the hostile attitudes that are hardening in the relationship between Russia and the EU and USA. What is being ignored here is that there are genuine issues which ought to be conceded. The borders following the break-up of the Soviet Union do not correspond to linguistic and national borders. Adjustments and exchanges of territory (this goes in both directions), subject to referendum, could reduce dissatisfactions.

There is also a better need for economic development and collaboration. The Russian populations in the Baltic countries seem to have missed out quite badly. The EU could play a role here, in particular in relation to parts of Latvia and the Russian enclave which was formerly East Prussia, with joint infrastructure projects and other investments.

The economic dependencies are closer than is generally appreciated. For example, coal from the eastern Ukraine goes by train to Riga where it is shipped to.... Tilbury.

Carrot as well as stick.

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