Whose victory anyway?

  • 2004-12-15
  • Ian Billingham
I am writing to express my sincere hope that the three presidents of the Baltic states will stand their moral ground and refuse to attend the VE day celebrations in Russia on May 9. I cannot believe the sickening bullying tactics that Russia has been using over the past year in relation to various issues in the Baltics, and if the presidents were to attend this event, it would only serve to vindicate Russian aggression.

Russia is trying to coax the Baltic states, or rather Latvia and Estonia, into attending the celebrations by saying that the hotly debated border agreements can then be signed. Russia no doubt hopes that the EU will exert a little pressure on Latvia and Estonia to attend for this reason. Russia has also mentioned that Germany will be attending the ceremony for the first time.

But all three Baltic countries should stand firm. It's clear from their very public silence on the matter that they don't wish to attend, and that they are carefully weighing up all the consequences of any possible decision. The simple fact is that they should not attend because it would be wrong to do so. Germany has publicly atoned for its horrendous war crimes. Russia has not. Until the Kremlin officially acknowledges that it illegally occupied and committed crimes against humanity in the Baltic states, it would be a moral crime for the Baltic presidents to attend this dubious ceremony.

Related Articles