Letter: Beware of building a wall of indifference

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The Independent Online
Sir: It was refreshing to read the article 'Time for the twain to meet' (24 January). Too often, the Western European media have been deeply concerned with their own recessionary or political problems - as if isolation from Eastern Europe would stop its economic and security problems at the gates of the West. After four years of transition in the Eastern European countries, the time for a real integration in Europe has come - the faster the better for both sides. We need each other. A new wall between East and West - a wall of indifference - won't work.

Western help for economic recovery and adequate help to fight against the high levels of inflation is much needed. The terrible social problems have to be addressed urgently for Europe's security. This might cost the West some sacrifice now; but in the long run, it would gain greater benefits. Eastern Europe could be the answer to the West's long recession by offering a huge new market and the competitiveness necessary for a new wave of economic expansion.

My personal fear is not only about the delay in taking practical steps, but that the continuous attention to Russia will be at the expense of the other small countries such as mine.

Yours faithfully,




24 January