According to a news piece disseminated by Golos Rossii (The Voice of Russia), President Obama has sent Putin a message containing a passage of particular interest to the Baltic states.
The passage says that, in keeping with the “reset” policy, THE UNITED STATES WILL NO LONGER OPPOSE MOSCOW’S ASPIRATIONS TO RE-SOVIETIZE ITS SO-CALLED “NEAR ABROAD”.
The Golos Rossii gives a short abstract of President Obama’s letter. It will formally reach Putin in late January (that is, after his next inauguration), however there apparently is a custom of sending messages informally in advance for reference. Also, I am not surprised that a part of the message has been “leaked” (certainly on purpose) to check the general reaction before saying anything officially.
Although no newspaper piece should be taken as absolute truth, news like this deserves exploration. The actual text of the President’s letter may contain nuances affecting its main message. It is important to know the precise text.
However, the fact in itself that the idea has been said loudly – even in informal leakage – is fearsome and worth noticing. First, it should be recalled that as one of the pre-conditions to being accepted into the Council of Europe, Russia agreed to stop using the term “near abroad” when referring to nations in Europe which the USSR had illegally occupied. Second, these nations, now free, are alarmed by Russia’s unceasing aspirations to get them back under her control.
Member of the Board, Estonian Institute for Human Rights
Obama and re-Sovietization (8)