Russians are our new and very dangerous mafia.
So what you are saying is that 149,998,000 people need to put up with a mundane visa regime because of a couple of thousand bad eggs? HELLO!! Criminals will find their way into any country with a strict visa regime or not. And this the case as it is today. Hell, you even have criminals claiming (and being granted!!) political asylum in the EU after they have milked state enterprises of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Russophile, you know this could be the solution for the Kaliningrad "problem"
It could very well be a solution. But the thing is there was no problem until Lithuania joined the EU, and the bureaucrats in Strasbourg effectively cut off 1 million people from the rest of their country without a single care or concern. People might remember that such actions have started wars in the past, although I doubt that Moscow would take things that far.
The reason many ethnic Russians in Estonia and Latvia want to leave is because they don´t have full citizenship, nothing to do with EU.
Of course it has everything
to do with the EU. Are Estonia and Latvia not members of the EU? So much for the so-called rights espoused by those in Strasbourg.
And my point wasn't about Russians in the Baltic states, but rather ethnic nationalities in countries such as Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, etc -- basically, the other countries of the CIS.
Mika, I was just wondering if the CIS would have any problem with their major nation going to another union.
The CIS isn't a political unit but rather more of an economic and cultural one. So politically, there is nothing that the constituent republics of the CIS could do. The creation of the Eurasian Economic Community, if it goes ahead as planned, will surely create an 'obstacle' if
Russia wanted to join the EU, as they would then surely push for EU membership for Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan (and possibly Moldova).
When Russia joined the Council of Europe they were required to sign Protocol No. 6 dealing with the death penalty. Russia has an indefinite amnesty on the use of capital punishment, except in cases of treason, piracy and possibly terrorism. And before you go getting arky on this point, you will find that some of the current EU nations still have these exceptions codified into their own laws. Article 2 of that Protocol expressly allows for the use of the death penalty by all members states (not that I agree with the death penalty in the first instance). Sorry, but your argument is moot.
Don't compare Chechnya with IRA and Basque "terrorists".
Try telling that to Russians (including inhabitants of Chechnya) who have been killed in their apartment, on the metro, at a theatre, whilst flying on an aircraft, in public parades, at rock concerts, at bus stations, in stadiums, in their hospital bed, in their offices, etc, and then tell me what response you would get from them. I guarantee you it will be the type of response which Putin gave after the Beslan siege ordeal when he told the US and EU to fuck off in no uncertain terms.
I am not defending all Russian military actions in Chechnya, far from it, because YES, they have a lot to answer for. But remember this one thing: They did not
start the war, and it is a war they had no choice but to fight.
But people in Chechnya killing Russian military, are fighter for freedom and independence.
Tell me, have you had your daily hug of a Chechen today?
[Edited 2005-02-12 15:55:11]