Russia Starts Another Fire -- This One in a Baltic State
Estonia is one of the Baltic States. A former Soviet state that was forced into the USSR, it joined NATO in 2004. It sits right next to Russia and has a Russian minority.
Russia used a non-existent threat to Russian minorities in Ukraine to justify seizing Crimea. It is using that same threat to menace eastern Ukraine and Moldova, neither of which are NATO allies.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia's treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.
Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment.
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 most significant international action taken by the Obama administration today was to gripe at Israel, our ally -- on the same day that Russia signaled it may change its stance on Iran's nuclear weapons program.
At a time of real crisis, we're in the very worst of hands.