Russia and Ukraine are have apparently signed a deal that could signal a peaceful resolution to the terrible events of recent days. Everyone welcomes a peace deal, but it doesn’t actually fix the root problem. The root issue is that Russia continues to act aggressively towards their neighbors while also surreptitiously working to destabilize their governments.
With that in mind the member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) met this week in Estonia to show solidarity with the small Baltic nation and to remind Russia that Estonia has powerful allies. (NATO also met to discuss the growing threat of Islamic terrorism – particularly ISIS.)
Let’s take a quick look at Russia’s recent history:
2008 – Russia invaded the nearby Caucasus nation of Georgia – seizing portions of Georgian territory after a short, unprovoked war in 2008.
2014 – Russia invades Ukraine and annexes the Crimean peninsula before pushing further west into Ukraine.
2014 – A breakaway section of the nation of Moldova (with ties to the former Soviet Union) called Transnistria has officially asked to become part of the Russian Federation. If Russia accepts, which seems increasingly likely it will in effect annex a large portion of Moldova.
Now both the small nations of Moldova (bordering Ukraine and Transnistria) and the Baltic nation of Estonia are growing increasingly concerned about Russian aggression towards their sovereignty.
Estonia could very likely be the next domino to fall and will serve as a barometer for how far Putin is willing to push. Unlike Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – Estonia is a member of NATO and has a treaty with the other member nations of mutual defense. If Russia attacks/invades Estonia the other members of NATO are bound by treaty to intervene. The question is… will we do so militarily?
If Putin invades Estonia he’s probably betting we won’t send troops. If we don’t send troops – does NATO even matter?
We may find out the answers to all of these questions very soon, because the Russians just did something very provocative.
According to the Internal Security Service (ISS), Estonia’s national agency for counterintelligence and high-profile corruption investigations, one of their officials was abducted at gunpoint on Friday morning at Luhamaa border checkpoint, where he was discharging service duties, and taken to Russia.
Since news of the abduction broke Russia has claimed that the agent was caught on Russian soil – but Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves isn’t buying it.
Just back from KAPO. Confirmed that abduction occurred in the course of cross border corruption investigation. Documented. On Estonian soil.
— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) September 5, 2014
What is Russia doing? Putin seems awfully sure that the US and NATO will leave him alone while they do it… is he right?
Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Estonia… who’s next?