This is the Coat of Arms of Estonia. Estonia is a Baltic country along with Lithuania and Latvia. For those who have played Monopoly the Baltic properties had the lowest houses and hotel values. All three Baltic countries, along with Ukraine are bordered with Russia. All three Baltic countries are members of the EU and are NATO members All three countries are heavily supportive of Ukraine, in its war with Russia. All three countries as well as Ukraine were once part of the Soviet Union. The percentage of ethnic Russians in Ukraine is near 18%. This percentage is 24% in Estonia. It is 25% in Latvia. It is only 5% in Lithuania.
Putin has long indicated that the worse to happen to Russia was the breakup of the Soviet Union. He has long desired to return to that status. One of his excuses for invading Ukraine was to protect the ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
Back in April of last year, Lithuania, with a small ethic Russian population expelled the Russian ambassador following accusations of Russians killing civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. Estonia, in the past couple of weeks, informed Russia that it would reduce the number of Russian embassy staff, in its capital of Tallinn, to the same level of Estonian embassy staff in Moscow. The Russian foreign ministry responded by saying it wanted the Estonian ambassador out of Russia by February 7. Estonia responded by expelling Russia’s ambassador to Estonia. Latvia has indicated that it will follow suit.
The evidence of tensions rising can be seen by the following statements.
The Russian foreign Ministry stated,
“The Estonian leadership has been deliberately destroying the entire set of relations with Russia in recent years. Total Russophobia and the cultivation of animosity with regards to our country have been elevated by Tallinn to the rank of a state policy,”
The Estonian Foreign Ministry, for its part, responded as follows,
“Russia’s steps will not deter us from providing continued support to Ukraine, which has been fighting for its sovereignty and the security of us all for nearly a year now. We will continue to support Ukraine as Russia is planning large-scale attacks, and we call on other like-minded countries to increase their assistance to Ukraine.”
This is all happening in a week of already rising tensions with the announcement of NATO countries of the intent to send additional sophisticated weaponry to Ukraine, including a large number of tanks.
Putin, in wanting to build up his empire, is using the same tactic that Hitler used at the start of World War 2. Germany claimed that Poland was persecuting ethnic Germans. Germany was also falsley claiming that Poland, along with France and Britain were planning to encircle and dismember Germany. Putin might want to remember that by 1945, millions had died and Germany was in ruins.
The Baltic states are NATO countries, bordering Russia with Estonia and Latvia having a higher percentage of ethnic Russians than Ukraine. This situation will be watched closely over the next little while.