Russia’s Tough Talk toward Neighbors Backfires

Another reminder that the Kremlin’s spy instincts, paranoia, and tough talk toward Eastern European nations can encourage an opposite outcome. When it comes to US missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, it seems that carrots would function better than the stick. kaczynski.jpg Is Europe beginning to believe Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s warnings about Russia? From the Financial Times:

Russia has warned Poland and the Czech Republic against hosting elements of a US anti-missile defence shield. For the former Soviet satellites Moscow’s sabre rattling underlines the need to forge strong military links with the US. … “Considering the relative weakness of the EU’s common foreign and defence policies, it comes down to a single question, ‘Do we want the Americans in or do we want the Americans out?'” said Eugeniusz Smolar, president of the Centre for International Studies, a Polish foreign policy think-tank. … Although no one foresees Russian tanks clanking westwards any time soon, Warsaw is apprehensive about overdependence on Russian energy. For years warnings about Russian intentions were treated as Polish paranoia by west Europeans, who had no experience of Soviet occupation. But the recent murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy, and cuts in oil and gas supplies have tarnished Moscow’s image in the west.