May 20, 2014 Lithuanian media roundup

On 20th of May Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a Memorandum of Peace and Concord. It calls for the de-escalation of tension in the country, full support of the Geneva agreements and the promise of Constitutional reform. (

On 30th of May -1st of June the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s spring session, with the main subject aimed at the situation in Ukraine, will take place in Lithuanian Parliament ( Read more in Lithuania Tribune:

On 20th of May Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, said that ‘Russia is being pulled into a new Cold War with the United States and its allies, who are using economic warfare reminiscent of the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev‘ (,, Watch more on Bloomberg:

On 19th of May Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Slovakia was preparing a line for reverse natural gas supplies to Ukraine. (

On 20th of May Joe Biden, United States Vice-president, during his visit to Romania said that Europe’s borders should not be changed at the point of a gun. (,

May 16, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On 16th of May Lithuanian Parliament delegated 8 Members of Parliament to observe elections of Ukrainian President, which will be held on 25th of May. (Lithuanian Parliament Press Office, BNS, ELTA,

On 17th of May Street Music Day will be held for the first time in Kiev, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa. Lithuanian artists will arrive to support European Ukraine: groups ‘Biplan’, ‘Dee&Kammy’, ‘Colors Of Bubbles’, Jurgis Didžiulis will perform in Kiev, Edgaras Lubys/Amberlife and percussionist Donatas Senkus – in Lviv. (,,,

On 16th of May Vytautas Leškevičius, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Valeriy Piatnytsk, Government’s Commissioner for European Integration of Ukraine chaired the 10th meeting of the Lithuania-Ukraine Commission for European Integration. The Commission meeting discussed the creation of a coordination mechanism for European integration in Ukraine, Ukraine’s progress towards a visa-free regime with the EU and possible Lithuania’s expert assistance to Ukraine in the implementation of the Association Agenda. The representatives of Ukraine pointed out that they highly appreciated Lithuania’s support and consultations. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs information, ELTA,

On 16th of May Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO chief, said that ‘he could no longer trust Russia’s assurances on sovereignty and the territorial integrity of countries in the region after its annexation of Crimea’ (,,, Read more in The Times of Israel:

On 16th of May second United Nations report about human rights situation in Ukraine was published. It says that ‘human rights violations have escalated in Eastern Ukraine and serious problems are emerging in Crimea, as well as a “wave of abductions and unlawful detentions” of journalists, activists, politicians, representatives of international bodies and members of the military’ (,, Read more in Reuters:

On 14th of May Bill Clinton, former President of United States, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of attempting to ‘re-establish Russian greatness, not in Cold War terms — in 19th-century-empire terms,’ warning world leaders they are perhaps dealing not with a rational foreign-policy thinker (, Read more in Business insider:

On May 16th Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany, said that ‘Ukraine’s crisis reminds the eve of World War I and danger that situation will become more tense, as it did in August of 1914, is growing everyday.’ (,,

Gabrielius Landsbergis: Russia must be stopped by force

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania

In the 2nd century B.C. Cato the Elder, veteran of the Punic Wars, was aware of the rapidly rising Carthage and was trying to convince other romans to do the ultimate trip to Africa.

To emphasize the importance of defeating Carthage, Cato used the phrase “Carthago delenda est” (English: “Carthage must be destroyed”) to finish most of his speeches.

Maybe it is not be absolutely correct to use this phase straightforwardly for today’s situation but based on the idea of the Roman senator, I declare that Russia must be defeated – stopped by force because it is not going to stop and its aggression is going to continue.

Politicians and analysts are discussing about possible scenarios of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Both scenarios, one where Russia falls back and starts negotiations, or the one where part of Eastern Ukraine will be annexed by Russia, are essentially the same. Russia’s history and its imperial logic dictates one thing – Russia’s expansion goes on until it is stopped by some natural barriers or geopolitical forces. Russia was always focused on expansion, e.g. the Second partition of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stalin’s plans to march to Pyrenees, etc.

Current government in Russia, that considers the collapse of Soviet Union as a geopolitical catastrophe, is thinking about Russia in the same way – Russia must expand its territory. In the Western world we were to believe that after Cold War history of this kind is over. Unfortunately, occupation of parts of Georgia in 2008, was a cold shower for this belief. And those that were not convinced that Russia has serious plans to expand its territory, annexation of Crimea was a crystal clear proof that they were wrong.

Illusion of the End of History and Last Man by Francis Fukuyama was offering an opinion that the era of the conventional war is over – there will be no more territorial attacks, no front lines, declarations of war, ceasefires, and defeats. The end of the Cold War created an interesting situation where the winner was obvious – there were no doubts that USA was the winner, but there were no loser declared. Modern world, guided by the dogmatic idealism, decided that it is not fair to humiliate the loser, it would be wrong to force him to sign the act of peace treaty, or to force to recognize its criminal past and crimes against humanity.

This was a paradoxical situation in which the loser was not a loser. The closest comparison would be with Germany after WWI. This Germany was humiliated but it was not defeated. It was the key which let Hitler to spread the revenge ideology: Germany was never defeated, because such great force as Kaiser Germany cannot be defeated, and only temporal weakness was the reason for the humiliation. Isn’t it the same basic idea behind Putin’s claims on Yeltsin’s government? Yeltsin was weak therefore the mighty Russia was humiliated and had the economic chaos, etc. There are way more similarities between nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia.

There is a good reason why winners of WWII in 1945 didn’t want to take risks – all Germany was divided into 4 parts. Its capital Berlin was also divided into 4 parts. USA, Great Britain, and France didn’t want any compromises – total disarmament, Nuremberg trials, and division of the country were executed to make sure that there will be no debates on who have won the war. And only when winners decide that Germany is ready, the sovereignty will be returned.

I had a neighbor whose father was nazi soldier and after the war was sent to prison. Today this man is one of many german seniors living in Southern Germany. My neighbor told me that talking about his father is very painful because it forces to feel the shame and guilt. The man also said that it is hard for him to understand motives behind German citizens that were following Hitlers, and therefore killed millions. Nowadays, Germans are very peaceful, therefore completely different from Germans that were cheering Hitler in 1938.

Can we expect such a story from a russian person, when 50% of russians are supporting sending troops not only to Ukraine but also to Baltic states? In my opinion, “soft measures” taken against Russia will only give the feeling for russian people that someone is not completely fair with them. A common russian person who is strongly affected by governmental propaganda has an idea that Russia  was only giving a helping hand for Russian speaking people in Crimea, and was punished without a reason. He thinks that Russia needs to defend itself and to prove that Russia is strong and Western countries need to show some respect.

Unfortunately, history is still here and it’s not going anywhere. This is an era of realpolitik and geopolitics. Therefore, Russia must be defeated, otherwise it is not going to stop itself. If it is not stopped in Crimea, then it must be stopped in Eastern Ukraine or Transnistria, or Baltic states, or Poland, or… Sooner or later Russia will be forced to recognize the defeat and to face the reality. Defeat for Russia is going to be extremely painful – loss of territories, trials for the elite, confiscation of property, maybe even the collapse of the whole country. But only then we’ll be able to talk about the real Russian Spring.

Russia must be stopped for its own good. If Cato’s call seems too old, we can remember George Kennan. His policy on Russia finally was accepted as the right one. He was stating that “soviet force has no concrete plans and it takes no risks. It is not using arguments but it obeys logic of power. Due to this reason it falls back and frequently does it when faces serious resistance.” Now we, the Western world, need to follow Kennan idea, we need to enforce an effective strategy against Russia that would lead to the essential renewal of its mindset.