Moscow & Lithuania: A Showdown?

An article in The Moscow Times caught my eye yesterday. I’ve been reading a lot about Russia lately, not just in this Russian history course but in other courses as well. With every reading something becomes more and more apparent: Russia has a bit of an attitude when it comes to international relations.

I get it; history shows that their path to the present wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. They are often on the defensive and find themselves with few allies that truly have their back. But isn’t it time they drop the innocent, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” act? The following excerpt from the article displays this:

“Titov (Russia’s deputy foreign minister) said that speculation about Lithuania responding with border restrictions is an attempt to create the impression that it is the “victim of some imaginary outside pressure” and accused Lithuanian carriers of violating customs rules more and more often…”

The language alone gives off a feeling of arrogance. They are belittling the actions of Lithuania in an attempt to discredit them. And certainly Russia doesn’t have a history of inflicting “outside pressure” on its neighbors, does it?  Oh, wait….

Maybe Lithuania really is making something out of nothing and Russia is completely guilt-free of the interference in Lithuanian trade of which they are being accused.  But as a historian I was taught to learn from the past, and in this case the past is on the side of Lithuania.