Saturday, August 30, 2008

The dark shadow of Russia's ambition

When Putin goes on, as he did this week, to state that the whole affair was contrived by the Bush administration, to advance Republican prospects in the coming U.S. election, we get a glimpse of how reckless he has become.

However, the open display of Soviet-style thuggery has had the opposite to the intended effect. European countries are rightly alarmed, and somewhat intimidated, in the expectation that Russia will now play power games with their oil and gas supplies. But the overall effect has been to remind Europe of its military dependence on the United States, and drive wavering parties into closer association with NATO.

Ukraine, the Baltic States, and the various ex-Communist states of Central Europe have spoken out sharply against Russia's aggression, and have accelerated the pace of their integration with the West, in every possible area of endeavour. The Poles and Czechs have finished buying into the U.S. anti-missile shield. Even Belarus, Russia's most obsequious ally in the past, has been shocked into extending diplomatic feelers westward.

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Source: Ottawa Citizen

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