Thursday, March 15, 2007
One of the argumentd deployed against Greece signing a pipeline deal with Russia is what we pointed out here:
"“As we have seen before in Lithuania, Poland and elsewhere, EU and NATO memberships are not enough to protect a country from Russian pressure.”
"This is an amazing statement. NATO is the world’s most powerful military alliance, and member states subsist under an Article 5 guarantee of their security—including the protection of the U.S. nuclear umbrella. The United States is preparing to deploy missile defense systems in the former Soviet bloc. The European Union—in terms of its population and economic might—far dwarfs the Russian Federation, even one flush with oil revenues.
"Yes, Russia is a recovering regional power, and certainly its strength has grown in recent years—but let’s not get carried away here!"
Are we so eager to go back to the Cold War (perhaps because we are having such problems adjusting to the post-Cold War environment) that casting Russia as being the equal of the combined nations of NATO and EU is taken seriously?
Having said that, it is also clear that from both a military and political point of view NATO membership offers no protection to states such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
Neither US nor NATO are going to go to war with Russia over these states. Moreover, these states, and states such as Romania, Poland, and Hungary cannot afford NATO costs - common weapon systems, upgrade C3I etc.
NATO is an old gentlemen's club that ought to be understood as such.
Second, just wanted to say I was glad I stumbled across your piece because it reminded me about something I had come across quite a while ago now: http://www.mosnews.com/money/2006/08/23/russiaoil.shtml
The Capian has no straits. :)