Molotov-Ribbentrop and the Birth of the Lithuanian-American Alliance

August 23, 2014

Unfortunately due to health reasons, Paul Goble has been forced to cancel his planned trip to Lithuania. However, Mr. Goble would like to address these words to all Lithuanian friends on the anniversary of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

By: Paul Goble

Paul A. GobleThe Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed 75 years ago this week is remembered as the beginning of an alliance between Hitler and Stalin that divided Eastern Europe between the two totalitarian dictators and opened the way to World War II. That it certainly was, but the accord had another impact as well: reaction to it marked the beginning of an alliance between Lithuania and her Baltic neighbors with the United States. More to the point, while the first alliance was the more immediately fateful, it lasted less than two years, the second, all often passed over in silence, has lasted throughout this period and gives promise of lasting well into the future as well.

Alliances as it is sometimes forgotten are a response to threats and challenges rather than the result of stable conditions. Hitler and Stalin made their deal because of a short-term conjunction of interests, and not surprisingly when that passed so too did the alliance. The Lithuanian-American or more broadly Baltic-American alliance came into existence because of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, it survived because of the interest of both sides in ending that occupation and its threat to the freedom of all concerned, and it has flourished since the three Baltic countries recovered their independence in 1991. Indeed, if anything, this alliance is more important now than it has ever been before.

Continue reading

South Caucasus 2008-2013: Economic and Political Developments in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia

September 27, 2013

South Caucasus report

Ronald Reagan House has published a new report on economic and political developments in South Caucasus over the last five years.

South Caucasus, a region that consists of three Caucasian states – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, was and to this day remains in the crossroads of great powers and great historical events. At least in the case of Azerbaijan it is also gifted with valuable and strategically important natural resources – oil and gas.

All three countries differ in their culture, language and history as well as their economic paths, domestic and foreign policies. The same is also true concerning the geopolitical situation that Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia find themselves in. In addition external political actors see each of the South Caucasian states in different light. Hence is it possible to think about the South Caucasus as homogeneous region? Is it fruitful to make comparisons between the three seemingly disparate neighbors?

Continue reading

Conference “Apart From Europe? Frontiers of Democracy in Russia”

May 3, 2013

On May 2nd Ronald Reagan House organized an international conference “Apart From Europe? Frontiers of Democracy in Russia: As Seen By Insiders and Neighbors. One year after May 6th Protests”.

To start the discussion about Russia, Ronald Reagan House brought together politicians, civic leaders, established experts and leading journalists from Russia and European countries. The participants of the conference shared their views on the current state of Russian society and politics, as well as possible scenarios of the EU-Russia relations in the near and middle terms. We have invited a number of political and civic actors, as well as experts and politicians from Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia to provide an additional angle to the discourse.

Continue reading

Conference “Security in Central and Eastern Europe: NATO, Russia and the Way Ahead”

January 14, 2013

19222_548320438511448_2004763898_nOn January 12th Ronald Reagan House organized  an international conference “Security in Central and Eastern Europe: NATO, Russia and the Way Ahead”.

The aim of the conference was to bring together distinguished experts of transatlantic relations and Russia to discuss the future security environment of Central and Eastern Europe. The conference will focused on CEE security issues and explored the topic in relation to three perspectives:

  • NATO’s role beyond 2014,
  • the prospects of U.S. engagement in post-Soviet countries,
  • Russia’s place in European security architecture.

Continue reading

[LT] Barackas Obama prieš Mittą Romney: ko tikėtis Vidurio ir Rytų Europai?

November 5, 2012

Nors 2012 metų Jungtinių Valstijų prezidento rinkimai vyksta išskirtinai sudėtingų ekonominių ir politinių procesų fone, ažiotažas dėl to, kas valdys JAV dar ketverius metus pastebimai mažesnis nei 2008-aisiais. Viena to priežasčių – nykoka rinkiminė kova dėl užsienio politikos. Nepaisant tam tikrų išorinių kandidatų siūlomų užsienio politikos vizijų skirtumų, atrodo, kad pats JAV užsienio politikos turinys, netgi laimėjus respublikonų kandidatui Mittui Romney, drastiškai nesikeis. Nesikeis ir Vidurio ir Rytų Europos vieta Jungtinių Valstijų prioritetų sąraše – šis regionas toliau liks JAV strateginių užsienio politikos krypčių nuošalėje. Nepaisant to, nėra pagrindo dramatizuoti situacijos: politinis ir karinis bendradarbiavimas su JAV išliks aktyvus, tačiau tam reikės padėti daugiau finansinių ir diplomatinių pastangų, o visų pirma iš pačių VRE valstybių pusės.

Continue reading