Sunday, May 6, 2007

Quote of the Day

The Russia Journal (primarily a news site about Russia) provides today’s quote from their “Sunday Sermon” piece called “Stand Up for Estonia!":

That’s what makes this important. Estonia picked itself up from the gray rubble of Soviet colonization in 1991 and transformed itself into a first-world state with a true national identity. Its success is a standing rebuke to the backwardness of what Russia remains and what other oppressed nations can become if they are left alone.

Other countries in Eastern Europe are still trying to dig out from the legacy of the Soviet past. Estonia’s clean governance, low taxes, steadily growing economy, soaring foreign investment and 4% unemployment are an amazing and atypical transformation in just a decade and a half.

The last sentence of the first paragraph above particularly resonates with me…

From the news reports I’ve read in the past 48 hours, it appears that the Estonian/Russian tensions are easing a bit, and that Russia’s cutoff of trade with Estonia is backfiring. Little Estonia is getting lots of diplomatic support, including EU resolutions, threats about Russia’s bid to join the WTO, and a resolution from the gasbags in the U.S. Senate. I can’t imagine Putin being intimidated by any of these publicly visible reactions — after all, it’s just politicians yakking away and thinking themselves important — but I do have some hope that there have been some behind-the-scenes events that have made a difference…

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