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Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Massive Jolt for Russia in Estonia

On September 23rd the BBC reported that Toomas Hendrik Ilves had been elected President of Estonia. Not only doesn't Ilves speak a word of Russian, he's a former American citizen with a degree from Columbia University in New York City who gave up his citizenship to return home when Estonia obtained its independence in the mid-1990s. In other words, he's a real nightmare for Russia, a clear expression of the Estonian people's remembrance of the barbaric imperialism of Russia during the Soviet era and firm committment not to return that that time if they can help it. Already a member of the EU, Estonia will now move even more rapidly away from Russia's sphere of influence. In November, neighboring Latvia will host the NATO summit.

Once again, we see crazed Russian policy alienating the entire world, most especially its former Soviet peers.

1 comment:

Don N. Reval said...

You write of Ilves that, "he's a real nightmare for Russia, a clear expression of the Estonian people's remembrance of the barbaric imperialism of Russia during the Soviet era and firm committment not to return that that time if they can help it."

I think that you should make your readership aware that Ilves was NOT elected by popular vote and was in fact voted in by an Electoral College of MPs and local councillors. His election had been blocked in parliament by the very Russo-friendly Centre Party which is the largest single party in the country.

The Centrists' position will be cemented later today as they are expected to take the largest share in the vote in the Estonian general election again.

Estonians have no warmth to Russia in particular but this is becoming more of a lack of interest than any great antipathy. Indeed it is the Russian media with its anti-Estonian stance that keeps any atmosphere of aggression warm.