Moscow Blasts Kwasniewski for Stance on Baltic Borders

The St. Petersburg Times [Russia]
July 13, 2005

MOSCOW – Moscow lashed out at Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski on Wednesday over his support for the two Baltic countries in their disputes with Russian over the order treaties.

In a stinging statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it had been “astonished” by Kwasniewski’s intervention, accusing hi of supporting potential territorial claims against Russia by Estonia.

After meeting with Estonian President Arnold Ruutel in Tallinn last week, Kwasniewski called on the EU to back Estonia and Latvia in the dispute.

Russia recently withdrew from signing border treaties with Latvia and Estonia, both members of the EU and NATO, after lawmakers in the two countries insisted on attaching unilateral declarations to the treaties indirectly mentioning the nearly five-decade of Soviet occupation of the region that ended in 1991.

Moscow said the declarations were an attempt by Estonia and Latvia to leave the door open to demands for future compensation from Russia for injustices committed by the Soviets.

“In Moscow, of course, we are aware of Poland’s active role in the post-Soviet space,” the foreign ministry noted frostily, in an apparent reference to Warsaw’s intervention in the Ukrainian presidential election crisis last year. “But Russia, in its relations with its neighbors, including Estonia, does not require intermediaries, including Warsaw,” it said.

Ties between Poland and Russia have been strained in recent months.

Formerly Communist Poland joined the European Union last year and has been one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine’s EU membership hopes.