The three Baltic states that border Russia are concerned they may be Moscow’s next target and with good reason. Russia said they do not appreciate the language policy towards ethnic Russians in Estonia and they should be protected. It is the same excuse Moscow gave to justify their occupation of Crimea. Estonia might be next.
Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the U.N.’s information department.
“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.
The text of the Russian remarks, echoing long-standing complaints over Estonia’s insistence that the large Russian minority in the east of the country should be able to speak Estonian, was not immediately available.
Russia officially annexed Crimea from Ukraine on Tuesday after 90% of the Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation. Vice President Joe Biden flew to Poland on Monday and visited leaders of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia on Tuesday to assure them the US will defend their NATO allies.
Putin promised he would not invade east Ukraine or other countries, but world leaders do not believe him.
“This situation is a direct threat to our regional security,” [Lithuanian President Andris] Grybauskaite said, denouncing “the use of brutal force to redraw the map of Europe.”
On March 9, Russia’s ambassador to Latvia raised eyebrows when he told a radio station Russia will grant citizenship to ethnic Russians in the country. Latvia told the West they could be the next country Putin feels he needs to protect.