This is Getting Serious

Putin has delivered his strongest public remarks to date regarding the missiles placed by NATO on the borders of Russia – active in Romania and soon to be active in Poland:

“If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,” Putin said in a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“It will be the same case with Poland,” he said.

The US claims that the missiles are to protect against Iran.  Putin suggests this is unnecessary as there is now an agreement in place with Iran regarding nuclear weapons.  It seems to me the point is irrelevant – given the location of the missiles, they could strike either Iran or Russia just the same.

“We won’t take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbor us,” Putin added.

At least for the west, diplomacy does not appear to be an option:

“We’ve been repeating like a mantra that we will be forced to respond… Nobody wants to hear us. Nobody wants to conduct negotiations with us.”

These central European countries are playing a dangerous game that Poland has lost once before.  They are counting on promises of salvation from the west instead of remaining focused on developing good relations with regional neighbors.  Instead of creating alliances with neighbors who share similar (and strictly limited) security concerns, they are willingly becoming pawns in MacKinder’s very great game.

There was once such a plan proposed – an alliance of these several central European countries:

Międzymorze, known in English as Intermarium, was a plan, pursued after World War I by Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, for a federation, of Central and Eastern European countries. Invited to join the proposed federation were the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.

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