Letter: Russia's pride endangers peace

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrei Orlov in his comments on Russia's fear ('Nato: friend or bigger foe?', 10 January) states that 'if Nato were to admit the Baltic countries - which were formerly 'ours' - Russians would see that as a slap in the face of Russian national pride'.

This ominous statement reflects Russia's misplaced paranoia and lack of confidence in the ability of its people. If Russian national pride depends on subjugating its small, peaceful neighbours and not in developing Russia itself, with its vast territory and rich natural resources, into an economic power, that is an admission of its own incompetence. It is not Russia's neighbours and Nato that threaten Russia, but Russian aggressive imperialist aspirations that threaten its neighbours and ultimately Nato.

Russian national pride would be best served by the country concentrating all its efforts on rebuilding Russia from the ravages of Soviet mismanagement.

The West should encourage this, but not at the expense of the security of the Baltic states and Russia's other neighbours. Yalta must not repeat itself.

Yours faithfully,


Baltic Council

in Great Britain

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

London, W11

10 January