Moscow 'Concerned' for Ethnic Russians in Estonia - Just Like it Was in Crimea
A Russian diplomat signalled 'concern' for Estonia's treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority yesterday. Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the diplomat said Russia "fully supported" the protection of linguistic minorities, according to Reuters.
"Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups", the diplomat said, adding that Russia is "concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine".
In 2008, Russia used concerns over the treatment of ethnic Russians in Georgia as a pretext for attacking the country. It also spoke of concerns over the Russian population in Crimea before and during the current crisis in Ukraine.
Its latest comments will therefore raise concerns about its intentions regarding the Baltic States. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are all former Soviet republics that declared their independence during the collapse of the super-power in the early 1990s. They still have large Russian-speaking minorities.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is currently in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius as a show of support for Baltic States. All three countries are NATO and EU members.
In a recent poll, 43 percent of Britons said they would favour military intervention if Russia attacked the Baltic States.