Lithuania’s Diplomatic Hitman Takes Aim at Irish-Russian Relations

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius is no ordinary diplomat. He is more a diplomatic hitman whose ideological mission is to blow holes in European-Russian relations at every opportunity.

One of his recent “jobs” was to write an op-ed for the Irish Times in which he castigated the European Union for appeasing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Linkevicius used a hoary old historical analogy comparing the EU with British leader Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement in 1938 of Nazi Germany’s Hitler.

Apart from the ignorant historical waffling, the other curious thing about Linkevicius’ op-ed piece in Ireland’s so-called “paper of record” was the timing. It was published on December 17, three days before EU foreign policy officials were to meet in Brussels on the issue of extending sanctions against Russia.

As it turned out, the EU agreed to extend sanctions on Moscow by another six months until July 31, 2019, when the matter will come up for review again.

For the past four years, the EU has imposed sanctions on Russia in line with Washington over pejorative claims that Moscow “annexed” Crimea. This claim is made in spite of the fact that the Crimean people voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine, which had been taken over by a NATO/EU-backed Neo-Nazi coup, and to join the Russian Federation.

EU sanctions have been rolled over every six months for the past four years, each time given impetus by some new dubious issue, such as the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in July 2014 or the alleged poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England in March 2018.

Typical of the Baltic states and their rightwing governments, Linkevicius’ world view is dominated by an abiding Russophobia.

Before becoming Lithuania’s foreign minister in 2012, he was the country’s permanent representative to the NATO military alliance. The 58-year-old politician’s top concern is to ensure that European states never normalize relations with Russia. He is frequently quoted in Western media or writes op-ed pieces in which he lambasts European calls or inclinations for re-engagement with Moscow.

His recent diatribe in the Irish Times was thus his usual run-of-the-mill Russophobia. Given Lithuania’s appalling history of collaborating with Nazi Germany, it surely is twisted irony for Linkevicius to level duff analogies about Russia.

However, the poison pen of Linkevicius is not just a simple matter of one politician airing his warped view of the world. Linkevicius and his rightwing anti-Russian ilk are appointing themselves as the arbiters of relations between the entire 28-member EU bloc and Russia. In other words, a minority of ideologues who view everything through a prism of Russophobia are trying to dictate to the rest of Europe on how to conduct relations with its biggest and, arguably, most strategically important neighbor, Russia. And that dictated conduct is to be unrelentingly hostile. How democratic of Linkevicius.

The Republic of Ireland, like several other EU members, has counted the cost of sanctions on Russia dearly. Between 2014 and 2016, Irish exports to Russia were slashed by half, from €722 to €364 million. The loss was due to Moscow enacting counter-sanctions on EU countries which badly hit Irish agricultural exports of beef, pork and dairy.

As with other EU economies, the Irish have been rueing the whole sanctions war with Moscow. Last year, a senior Irish government delegation travelled to Russia in a bid to “reset relations”. As the Irish Times reported: “Trade the target as Ireland seeks a reset in relations with Russia.”

More recent data shows that trade relations between the Irish republic and Russia have recovered hugely from the low-point in 2016. Total bilateral trade had risen by 40 per cent to €800 million for the year ending 2017, which is almost back to the level it was before the Ukraine conflict started. (Ireland’s bilateral trade with Lithuania is estimated to be about half that with Russia.)

There are plenty of indicators that the Irish economy is still struggling from the 2008 global financial crash. Ireland’s rural economy is particularly hurting with harrowing cases of farmers going bust and having their dwellings repossessed due to debt arrears.

As with many other EU countries, the Irish economy and society can’t afford the continuing futile new Cold War with Russia. The premises for the conflict are entirely bogus but the damage is entirely palpable for many ordinary people from loss of jobs and business.

The crucial thing about the EU sanctions policy on Russia is that it requires unanimity among the 28 member states for the measures to be extended.

If, say Ireland, were to have voted against the renewal of sanctions at the last December 21 European Council meeting, then the EU would be have to revoke its policy against Russia.

Given the background trends in the Irish economy and the behind-the-scenes moves by Irish officials to restore trade relations with Moscow, it can be fairly speculated that the Lithuanian foreign minister spotted a possible “weak link” in the EU chain of sanctions.

Linkevicius’ article in the Irish Times on December 17 was a diplomatic hit job, knowing that the paper is widely read by Irish representatives in the Brussels administration.

There was no news value in Linkevicius’ op-ed piece. It was a pointed sabotage against any notion of normalizing trade ties between the EU and Russia. Historical appeals about appeasing Nazi Germany were grotesque falsification of current events, and a blatant bid at moral blackmailing. The article was headlined: “How many wake up calls about Putin do we need?” More to the point, the Irish Times should publish an article with headline: “How many wake up calls about Russophobia do we need?’

Here’s a prediction. Next time the EU meets to decide on extending sanctions against Russia on July 31, you can bet Linkevicius will dust off another poison pen piece to some paper in a European capital considered to be going soft (that is, coming to its senses) on ending sanctions.


Originally published on 2018-01-13

About the author: Finian Cunningham is a former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages.

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
Who will Secure Lithuania?
The term “security” is a very multifaceted one. But today’s geopolitical situation forces us to think about its military aspect above all. Our attention is completely absorbed by news about wars, conflicts, military exercises and increasing defence capabilities. An average European reader has no chances to skip this kind of news while looking through news feeds of popular media. Even planned further militarization of the European region and Russia pose the real threat today. A whole generation of European children is growing in the firm belief that the war is approaching. We destroy ourselves by our fears. We notice everything concerning military ...
READ MORE
Greece in the Mediterranean Security System
With respect to Greece’s role in the Mediterranean security system, the multilateralist formula applied to the region including the Balkans as well as is the orienting principle for the Greek foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Since 1994, the opportunities for NATO’s and EU’s initiatives were more than apparent for Athens when Greece (wrongly) understood the Euro-Atlantic community as a fundamental security player for the extending the values of security and co-operation into this structurally unbalanced region. During the Cold War, the Greek policy-makers also found (wrongly) since 1952 that the US-led NATO offered allegedly excellent opportunities ...
READ MORE
Real or Rigged “International Conference on Fascism and Antisemitism” in Vilnius on 9 November?
Yet again, a conference here in the Lithuanian capital dedicated to combating fascism and antisemitism is announced, without there having been a public call for papers, without a single speaker from among those who actually combat fascism and antisemitism in the country, with nobody from the democratically elected Vilnius Jewish community (not even the long-time editor of Jerusalem of Lithuania who has exposed and combated antisemitism for decades). No Holocaust survivors. None of the nationally relevant questions of the day can be found on the conference program. As ever, outstanding academic personalities from abroad are recruited to lend the gravitas and provide serious papers ...
READ MORE
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
Will the election of Republican George W. Bush as President usher in changes in foreign policy with regard to Serbia, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans? Will there be a continuation of „humanitarian interventionism“, „military humanism“, „economic globalism“ and „globalization“? The Bush Administration foreign policy team has rejected the selective humanitarian interventionism of the Bill Clinton/Al Gore Administration, as espoused by Madeleine Albright and James Rubin. John Hulsman, Balkans adviser to Bush, announced that Bush was concerned about „imperial overstretch“ and has rejected a foreign policy that uses the US military in „nation building“. Hulsman has announced a „philosophical sea change“ in Balkans ...
READ MORE
The Criminal Actions of the Kiev Regime in East Ukraine
More than 6,400 civilians have been killed and nearly 16,000 injured as result of criminal actions of Kiev regime during the conflict in Donbass, Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin said on Thursday. Also, more than 10,000 residential infrastructure facilities have been fully or partially destroyed and burnt. Since last April, more than 1 million Russian-speaking residents of Lugansk and Donetsk regions had to flee their homes, and more than 110,000 people having a refugee status have applied for the Russian citizenship. The war has been continuing. Ukrainian capital being wrapped in smoke due to a spate of regional ...
READ MORE
Air Strikes against Syria: Who are the War Criminals?
America is coming to the rescue of Al Qaeda under a humanitarian mandate. The unspoken agenda is to undermine the Liberation of Aleppo.  The pretext and justification for these actions are based on America’s “responsibility to protect” (R2P) the “moderates” in Aleppo from Syrian and Russian attacks and bombing raids. On October 3, the US State Department announced the suspension of bilateral relations with Russia pertaining to Syria (see document below), in response to which, France’s foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault was called upon to intermediate at the diplomatic level.  Pointing his finger at Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jean Marc Ayrault casually accused Moscow ...
READ MORE
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių, Vilniaus gyventojai džiaugsmingai sutiko tarybinius karius-išvaduotojus. 1939 metų kovo 22 d. Lietuvos prezidento A.Smetonos įgaliotas premjeras Mironas, Užsienio reikalų ministras J.Urbšys, Lietuvos pasiuntinys Vokietijoje ir kartu Abvero agentas K.Škirpa “patriotiškai” atiduoda Klaipėdos kraštą nacistinei Vokietijai “istoriniam teisingumui atkurti” , kaip teigiama pačioje sutartyje. http://www.xn--altiniai-4wb.info/files/istorija/IH00/1939_03_22_Sutartis_d%C4%97l_Klaip%C4%97dos_atidavimo_Vokietijai.IH2407.pdf  Anksčiau A. Smetona nuolankiai atidavė Vilnių ir Vilniaus kraštą Lenkijai, Europos hienai, kaip ją pavadino Anglijos premjeras V. Čerčilis. Lenkija viena iš pirmųjų 1934 metais pasirašė su nacistine Vokietija Hitlerio-Pilsudskio Nepuolimo paktą ir iki pat 1939-09-01, kai nacistinė Vokietija užpuolė savo “partnerę”, bendradarbiavo su nacistais, laikė juos savo strateginiais ...
READ MORE
In Lithuania, some Nazi Killers are also Heroes
It’s not a common occurrence to be able to have a court establish the guilt of a criminal 72 years after his death, but such an opportunity has emerged in Lithuania and will be taking place in a courtroom in Vilnius next week, more precisely on Wednesday, January 16 [2019, editor].Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite: Shouting on Russia but keeping silence about Jonas NoreikaThe circumstances of the case are quite unusual. The charges against the alleged criminal were not brought forward by the government or its prosecutors, but rather by a private individual, who does not represent any political entity, but ...
READ MORE
Clash of Imperialists: 21st Century Competition and Confrontation by the Great Powers
Led by the US and NATO, the clash of imperialist powers accounts for the absence of stability not just in the Middle East and Africa, but also the Ukraine and parts of Asia. Behind the rhetoric of democracy, national security, and anti-terrorism there are direct diplomatic and indirect diplomatic efforts through government-financed and pro-business NGO’s. There are overt and covert military operations carried out by the US, EU, China, Russia and their less powerful allies motivated by aggressive intentions for spheres of influence and markets. Behind the “war on terror” and regional conflicts around the world rests the reality of ...
READ MORE
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
First of all, taking into consideration the particular region of the Balkans in the context of Russia's national interests, we should consult official documents reflecting the wishes and intentions of the government. It is therefore necessary to consider Russia’s foreign policy doctrine. Foreign policy strategy The Russian Federation's previous foreign policy doctrine was made public on July 15th, 2008. Russian objectives were marked as the following: - Impacting global processes in order to establish a just and democratic world order based on collective principles in solving international problems and on the rule of international law, primarily the UN Charter provisions as well as equal ...
READ MORE
Russophobia and the Specter of War
Could global warming pose the greatest threat to the future of life on the planet? Quite possibly, if we believe the international (and scientific) consensus, despite a widening stratum of debunkers, deniers, and skeptics. What about the prospects of thermonuclear war between the United States and Russia, two countries armed to the max and seemingly moving toward the brink of military conflict? Where does that rate? If the question is asked of most any Beltway denizen, the response might be something along lines of “sounds frightening, but right now we have other priorities, and we can’t lose sight of the ...
READ MORE
The Idea of a Greater Croatia by Pavao Ritter Vitezović (III)
Part I Part II The Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vitezović’s anthropological-political ideology One of the most significant questions of our interest, which needs a satisfactory answer, is: Why P. R. Vitezović considered Lithuania as a Croato-Slavonic land, and therefore, Lithuania’s inhabitants as the Croato-Slavs? The most possible and realistic answers to this question are: 1) Because of the historical development of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which brought the ethnic Lithuanians into very closer cultural relations with the Slavs (the Eastern and the Western) that resulted in the graduate process of Slavization of Lithuania’s cultural life and Lithuania’s ruling class. This historical fact influenced ...
READ MORE
Russia’s Balkan Politics: From the Politics of Pan-Slavic Reciprocity of the Tsarist Russia to the “Realpolitic” of the Republic of Gazprom Russia
Abstract: This article investigates the Russian foreign politics at the region of the Balkan Peninsula after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the time of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) World Order in relation to the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. The particular stresses are put on four main research topics: 1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia; 2. Relations between pro-Western and pro-Orthodox approaches of the Russian national interests on Russia’s domestic political scene; 3. Different attitudes towards the Balkans in Russia; and 4. Historical ties and future perspectives between Russia and the Serbs. A research ...
READ MORE
Will Macedonia be Removed from the Map in 2018?
Backdrop To The Balkans The tiny South-Central Balkan country of the Republic of Macedonia is in dire straits right now, but most of Europe – let alone the rest of the world – has no idea that this is the case because the Mainstream Media narrative is that the state’s two-year-long political crisis was “resolved” when the patriotic VMRO-DPMNE government of Nikola Gruevski was replaced in a “constitutional/electoral coup” that followed Color Revolution and even Hybrid War provocations. The author wrote about this in a Sputnik piece at the time from May 2017 titled “The Macedonian Crisis Isn’t Over, and a ...
READ MORE
Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies
With a critical public increasingly turning to social media to scrutinize the claims of the mainstream as well as the credibility of the assertions made by the various NGOs and government-funded human rights organisations, it’s arguably becoming more difficult for the corporate press to pass their propaganda off as legitimate news. This is particularly the case during periods when the establishment pushes for military conflicts. One salutary lesson from the Iraq debacle, is that the public appear not to be so readily fooled. Or are they? It’s a measure of the extent to which the mass media barely stray from their paymasters ...
READ MORE
Why Theresa May Must be Impeached
So the moment we’ve been holding our breaths for a week finally came. In the end, I am mighty glad that this particular strike seems more like the impotent thrashing of the neocon snake that didn’t dare to attack places where Russian servicemen were likely to be killed, than it does the start of World War III. For the moment, at least, thank God. But the fact that it was a fairly limited strike — compared to what it might have been — in which the majority of missiles failed to hit their targets, having been eliminated by Soviet-era air defences, ...
READ MORE
Russophobia and the Dark Art of Anti-Russian Magazine Covers
Chances are, if a story about Russia appears on the cover of a major Western magazine, it’s not good news. Most likely, there’s been an international scandal, a breakout of geopolitical tensions, the resumption of Cold War hostilities, or some nefarious Russian plot to bring the entire free world to its knees. Russophobia — or the unnatural fear of Russia — generally leads magazine editors to choose the most over-the-top images to convey Russia as a backwards, clumsy, non-Western and aggressively malevolent power. Unfortunately, that’s led to a few rules of thumb for anyone trying to create a magazine cover featuring ...
READ MORE
The Ancient Spiritual Roots of Russophobia
Introduction The term “russophobia” (the hatred and/or fear of things Russian) has become rather popular in the recent years, courtesy of the anti-Russian hysteria of the AngloZionist Empire, but this is hardly a new concept. In his seminal book “Russie-Occident – une guerre de mille ans: La russophobie de Charlemagne à la Crise Ukrainienne” (“The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war: russophobia from Charlemange to the Ukrainian Crisis”) which I recently reviewed here, Guy Mettan places the roots of russophobia as early as the times of Charlemagne. How could that be? That would mean that russophobia predates the ...
READ MORE
Russia vs. America
GR Editor’s Note Moscow is accused of doping as part of a US dirty tricks campaign to prevent Russia from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. What is the record of the US with regard to doping? The main sports organizations including the NFL, MLB, and NBA have allowed unusually relaxed policies for performance-enhancing drug testing and punishment. The USADA is the US government agency responsible for the implementation in the United States of the World Anti-Doping Code, Yet, the record suggests that the USDA does not actively intervene in “big money sports” and often turns a blind eye ...
READ MORE
The Refugee Crisis and the New Holocaust
The world has suddenly realised that there is a “refugee crisis”. There are more refugees now than at any time since World War II. The number has grown three-fold since the end of 2001. The problem is treated as if it arose just recently, but it has been a long time coming. The pressure has been building and building until it has burst the dams of wilful ignorance. Death and despair has migrated to the doorsteps of Europe. But tens of millions of people do not simply abandon home and native land for an insecure dangerous future of desperate struggle. The ...
READ MORE
Who will Secure Lithuania?
Greece in the Mediterranean Security System
Real or Rigged “International Conference on Fascism and Antisemitism” in Vilnius on 9 November?
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
The Criminal Actions of the Kiev Regime in East Ukraine
Air Strikes against Syria: Who are the War Criminals?
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
In Lithuania, some Nazi Killers are also Heroes
Clash of Imperialists: 21st Century Competition and Confrontation by the Great Powers
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
Russophobia and the Specter of War
The Idea of a Greater Croatia by Pavao Ritter Vitezović (III)
Russia’s Balkan Politics: From the Politics of Pan-Slavic Reciprocity of the Tsarist Russia to the “Realpolitic” of the Republic of Gazprom Russia
Will Macedonia be Removed from the Map in 2018?
Why the Latest Claims Against Assad are a Pack of Lies
Why Theresa May Must be Impeached
Russophobia and the Dark Art of Anti-Russian Magazine Covers
The Ancient Spiritual Roots of Russophobia
Russia vs. America
The Refugee Crisis and the New Holocaust
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu