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  #1121  
Old February 20th, 2013, 09:13 PM
Nekronion Nekronion is online now
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Rudolf Scharping is going to be a very weak Chancellor, squeezed between the Greens, Lafontaine and Schröder. Though he is ( and OTl was the only) Chancellor to have to go through some kind of preliminary election in his party, which is unique in Germany and might give him some more authority. Also Lafontaine and Schröder should have a strong position and ministry in the new government.



He won't be necessarily more dovish in foreign policy though, as he brought Germany into the Nato intervention against Serbia in OTl 1998 as Minister of Defense.
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*takes Communism out of fridge* "Best by December 26 1991"? What the hell? Don't you guys ever clean this thing out?!
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  #1122  
Old February 21st, 2013, 06:03 AM
Kovalenko Kovalenko is offline
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LOL, everytime I think to myself "Vladimir Zhirinovsky might be a clown, but he wouldn't honestly say something that crazy" when writing this TL the real world Vladimir Zhirinovsky comes through to prove me wrong!
Wow and I thought he was joking when he said that the real Vladimir Zhirinovsky told the press that the meteor was a US generated terrorist attack, if anything your making him too tame ITTL .

From the Washington Post

"Russian Duma member Vladimir Zhirinovsky dodges some sauerkraut thrown by an unidentified woman during a press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, where he had made some controversial remarks, as he often does"

“Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their new weapons,” Mr. Zhirinovsky confessed to journalists.
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Cooler heads? We're talking about Hitler here. His head is about as cool as Krakatoa.
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  #1123  
Old February 21st, 2013, 12:38 PM
Urban fox Urban fox is offline
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I am wonder about Kazakhstan internal situation. How will they deal with milions of Russians flooding Kazakhstan? They didnt try to oppose Moscow or even secede UIS?
OTL Russians were 35-40% of Kazakhstan's population and there was no real drive for secession. I'd expect some tension, but by at this stage Kazakstan cant really secede.
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  #1124  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:22 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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Rudolf Scharping is going to be a very weak Chancellor, squeezed between the Greens, Lafontaine and Schröder. Though he is ( and OTl was the only) Chancellor to have to go through some kind of preliminary election in his party, which is unique in Germany and might give him some more authority. Also Lafontaine and Schröder should have a strong position and ministry in the new government.



He won't be necessarily more dovish in foreign policy though, as he brought Germany into the Nato intervention against Serbia in OTl 1998 as Minister of Defense.
Agreed. It was interesting but many Greens in Germany were stunned when Joschka Fischer, leader of the Green Party, actually backed the war is Kosovo as well. We are going to see a less hawkish German government than Kohl's, but still pretty hawkish overall.
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  #1125  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:25 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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I was reading up on Kerrey, and found that he is an agnostic. He kept it to himself until last December, so I guess he's retired from politics now after losing in the Senate last year. I could see him coming out near the end of his second term as President.

Btw, I made a Leipist election map of the 1992 election ITTL.
Attachment 198153

Great Map Plumber! It really is on point. And I will admit, I didn't know that Kerrey is agnostic, that makes for an interesting possible "coming out" in this TL that would be certainly create soem fireworks.
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  #1126  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:31 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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I am wonder about Kazakhstan internal situation. How will they deal with milions of Russians flooding Kazakhstan? They didnt try to oppose Moscow or even secede UIS?
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OTL Russians were 35-40% of Kazakhstan's population and there was no real drive for secession. I'd expect some tension, but by at this stage Kazakstan cant really secede.
I really think Kazakstan might have stayed in the new USSR had there never been a coup. In many ways some of the Republics (Belarus and Kazakstan) left the USSR because of political reasons more than ethnic or cultural reasons. But with this bizzare anti-Turkic rhetoric coming from Moscow there is no doubt that Kazaks are getting nervous, and as Sasha Barron Cohen told us in the first update, when it does finally boil over it gets very ugly.
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  #1127  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:32 PM
Tongera Tongera is offline
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I really think Kazakstan might have stayed in the new USSR had there never been a coup. In many ways some of the Republics (Belarus and Kazakstan) left the USSR because of political reasons more than ethnic or cultural reasons. But with this bizzare anti-Turkish rhetoric coming from Moscow there is no doubt that Kazaks are getting nervous, and as Sasha Barron Cohen told us in the first update, when it does finally boil over it gets very ugly.
I think you mean anti-Turkic, not anti-Turkish.
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  #1128  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 07:33 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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I think you mean anti-Turkic, not anti-Turkish.
Damn Ipad auto correct! Thanks Tongera!
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  #1129  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:26 PM
MarshalBraginsky MarshalBraginsky is offline
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Also, would you bring up the Khojaly Massacre as well? It's for the Armenian update if you're gonna make it since it could be one of the nastiest events in the Nagorno-Karbakh War.
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  #1130  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:33 PM
Tongera Tongera is offline
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How would "disappearing" of journalists go?
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  #1131  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:48 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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Also, would you bring up the Khojaly Massacre as well? It's for the Armenian update if you're gonna make it since it could be one of the nastiest events in the Nagorno-Karbakh War.
Since the Arzerbaijani invasion occurs ITTL before the Khojaly Massacre, it is safe to say the Khojaly Massacre is butterflied away. Sadly for the Azeris, it was replaced by the Massacre on the Road to Alat, which was much, much worse.
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  #1132  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:50 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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How would "disappearing" of journalists go?
There is a little bit of a thaw right now, with the UIS looking a lot more "liberal" than it did in 1992. But the gulags are not closed yet, and before long (around 1997) when Zhirinovsky becomes president of the UIS, we see some horrible things happen all over the UIS and the Balkans. Most of the war crimes Zhirinovsky was charged with in the Prelude happen in 1997. By then it is safe to assume that this roller coaster ride between democracy and totalitarianism is over, and totalitarianism emerges.
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  #1133  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:50 PM
Tongera Tongera is offline
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Since the Arzerbaijani invasion occurs ITTL before the Khojaly Massacre, it is safe to say the Khojaly Massacre is butterflied away. Sadly for the Azeris, it was replaced by the Massacre on the Road to Alat, which was much, much worse.
That just bought to mind something. Would Zhriniovsky attempt to somehow get some of Wilsonian Armenia or raise the profile of the Genocides in Anatolia during WW1?
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  #1134  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:58 PM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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That just bought to mind something. Would Zhriniovsky attempt to somehow get some of Wilsonian Armenia or raise the profile of the Genocides in Anatolia during WW1?
Right now Armenia is very content with the status quo. They are not independent per se, but they are virtually independent. There are no Russian troops in Armenia and no interference from Moscow in regards to internal matters. But these sanctions are going to start taking a toll on every country in the UIS so Armenia will get at least a little restless. The big problem right now is Armenia cannot leave the UIS because they are surrounded by enemies. Iran, Azerbaijan (if it were to emerge as independent), and Turkey will almost certainly impose massive sanctions to try and bleed the Armenians out of N-K. If they say they want to leave and the UIS says "fine, but we are imposing sanctions as well" then Armenia is screwed. They have a choice: remain independent in all but name and have N-K and Russia's support, or be independent in name only and be surrounded on all sides by hostile countries with massive sanctions on them (and possibly lose N-K, which could then say they want to stay in the UIS, remember Armenia is a dual republic right now). As a result, Armenia will look like a more "loyal" member of the UIS to Moscow and the Russians will sometimes take steps to foster that loyalty (perhaps with claims on Mount Ararat). Especially in times of hardship when Armenia might be second guessing the whole UIS thing.
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  #1135  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 12:00 AM
MarshalBraginsky MarshalBraginsky is offline
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So the Road to Alat becomes TTL's version of Khojaly.
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  #1136  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 12:03 AM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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So the Road to Alat becomes TTL's version of Khojaly.
Even more so. So far the Road to Alat is the worst war crime in this TL (which is pretty frightening)
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  #1137  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 01:00 AM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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PART FIFTY EIGHT: NO SMALL THING

PART FIFTY EIGHT: NO SMALL THING

Well, we go back to the Baltics with an answer on how the Vance-Carrington Plan comes into effect in regards to Latvia as well as what is going on in Lithuania as well. Some new names in this update:

Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martti_Ahtisaari

The Terehova-Zasitino Border Crossing
http://hitchwiki.org/en/Terehova-Zasitino_border_crossing

Former Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algirdas_Brazauskas

The Lithuanian Seimas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seimas

Lord Carrington
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Carington,_6th_Baron_Carrington

Cyrus Vance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Vance

Some interesting OTL info on the transit from Russia to Kaliningrad
http://www.euro.lt/en/lithuanias-membership-in-the-eu/transit-from-to-kaliningrad-region/

__________________________________________________ ___________

Lithuanian President Brazauskas clashes with Parliament over proposed closure of border with Kaliningrad enclave


Former Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis and current Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas discussing the proposed closure of the border with Russia

By Jack Horn
Denver Post- April 13, 1994

(VILNIUS, LITHUANIA) In what is emerging as one of the most contentious political battles in the former Soviet Republic of Lithuania, former president Vytautas Landsbergis (leader of the conservative Homeland Union Party) and his successor, Algirdas Brazauskas (leader of the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania) clashed over Landsbergis’ proposal to close the border around the Kaliningrad enclave.

“We cannot make unilateral proclamations that serve little purpose outside of saber rattling,” Brazauskas said forcefully in a television interview yesterday, “we need to work with the international community to implement a cohesive policy in regards to the UIS.”

Landsbergis, who was defeated by the former Communist Brazauskas in 1992, rebounded to form the Homeland Union Party, which subsequently won a majority of seats in the Seimas, or Lithuanian Parliament, in 1993. Since then he has clashed with the President over his handling of the “great Russian threat to the east.” However, the recent crackdown on Communist in Russia has given the conservative Landsbergis an unexpected ally in recent months: hardline Communist in Brazauskas’ own Democratic Labour Party.

“It is a very strange coalition that is emerging in opposition to the President,” commented an official with the US embassy who asked to remain anonymous, “we have the right and the hard left merging in opposition to the center-left President.”

Many Lithuanians resent the open border policy that has been unofficially embraced by the President. Russian military forces and civilians are given free and total access to the Kaliningrad enclave, some not even requiring a passport. Many have in turn used this pours border for more nefarious activities, however.

“There is little question that criminal gangs and smugglers are taking advantage of the loose visa restrictions,” Landsbergis said in an interview last month, “almost all of our problems in regards to illegal drugs, crime, rape, and murder can be directly linked to that border. This administrations refusal to close that border and join the international community in imposing sanctions on the UIS has left Lithuania weaker than it has ever been since the Nazi occupation.”

The UIS does not recognize the independence of Lithuania. However, as of yet it has not taken any steps to retake the breakaway republic, which is recognized by nearly 130 countries in the United Nations. However, many in Lithuania fear that a closed off Kaliningrad and the imposition of sanctions could change that.

“Kaliningrad would starve to death if Lithuania closed the border,” commented the American embassy official. “It would die. And Russia has a major lifeline right now going through Lithuania. Many of the black-market goods that helps keep Russia afloat right now are coming through Lithuania. This silent contract is the only thing that has kept the Russians out of Vilnius up to this point, and Brazauskas knows that if he breaks it there would be no way the Russians will ignore it. Bosnia and Croatia showed the world that Russia can be easily provoked by the smallest thing. And Kaliningrad is no small thing to Moscow.”

__________________________________________________ _________

UIS Presidential Candidate Vladimir Putin in an interview with the BBC on August 1, 2011.

Discussing the Vance-Carrington Plan that ended the Latvian Civil War in 1994.


BBC: In the summer of 1994 Yuri Luzhkov was really emerging as the face of the UIS as opposed to Zhirinovsky. Many were also optimistic after the UIS not only recognized the independence of Latvia on the first day of negotiations, but also announced that they would accept all terms of the Vance-Carrington plan. They called on Pro-Russian Latvian fighters to accept the terms as well. What role did Luzhkov have in these generous concessions?

Putin: None. We knew Latvia was unwinnable in the long run. We had too many fires going at once and we saw a disturbing trend emerge.

BBC: What was that?

Putin: The early months of the war featured thousands of Russian nationalist flooding into Latvia to assist the pro-Russian militias. But these forces never organized like their counterparts in Estonia or Latvia. They never quite accomplished what they set out to do, which was to turn the conflict into one of two armies. It always looked like a state with a weak police force unable to put down some troublesome rabble rousers. But the Latvians were getting stronger, and the Russians were getting weaker.

BBC: How so?

Putin: The Russians who flooded into Latvia were drunk with nationalism and believed the war would resemble to UDR intervention in Azerbaijan. But they were badly mistaken and they were poorly trained. Once they realized they were getting shot at, and that living in a country in the middle of a low level civil war was not nearly as much found as it sounded in Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s speech, they packed up and went home. There were some estimates that in 1992 over 100,000 Russians flooded into Latvia. But we knew they were not staying. We had over 150,000 Russian pass through the Terehova-Zasitino border crossing alone, so we knew that the pro-Slavic forces in Latvia were only getting weaker as more and more of the Russians left.

BBC: So you are saying the Military Junta authorized the peace accord?

Putin: Yes. General Lebed for one believed that we were nearing what he referred to as the Somali Line in Latvia. We would either need to invade Latvia or find a way to reach a viable peace accord. We decided that the best thing to do was to try and use the Latvian peace accord to accomplish two goals.

BBC: Which were?

Putin: To weaken sanctions imposed by the UN, and to create a permanent “Transylvanian Corridor” through Lithuania.

__________________________________________________ __________

Excerpts from the book “A Diplomat’s Life: An Autobiography of Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Published by Hyperion © 2003


Chapter X: A Global Baltic Peace Accord

President Kerrey rubbed his eyes I closed my folder. I couldn’t blame him. There had to be a catch. There was no way the UIS was going to agree to anything short of the partition of Latvia. And they might even use the entire peace process as a cheap ploy to embarrass us; to make it look like we were the one’s opposed to peace.

“We can’t afford to just ignore this,” President Kerrey said with a sigh, “but after the midterm elections I got to admit, I would have liked a little more time before the media bent me over the table again.”

“They are asking that the negotiations be held in Germany,” I replied, “undoubtedly an attempt to try and win favor with the new chancellor, Rudolf Scharping. But he’s already refused.”

“Didn't think he’d go for that,” the President replied, “not after Prussiagate.”

“He won’t,” I countered. “He called and told me that there is no way Germany is going to give Vladimir Zhirinovsky permission to enter the country. Not only would it would be political suicide, but to be honest, I think he hate’s Zhirinovsky even more than Kohl did.”

“So naturally that leaves us,” Kerrey said with a sigh, “we have to be the country that hosts this circus act.”

“Not necessarily. We do have one country that may work out. They have indicated that they might be willing to host the peace negotiations as long as it is part of a global Baltic Peace Accord.”

“Where is that?” the President asked.

“Finland.”
__________________________________________________ _________

A Step in the Right Direction: An American diplomat remembers the peace negotiation that ended the Latvian Civil War

December 24, 2004
By Timothy Welch

Foreign Affairs


Madeline Albright still remembers how much different the mood was for the American delegation in Helsinki than it was in Split just 20-months earlier.

“We really were not worried about Latvia spiraling into World War III like we were with Croatia,” Albright said, “I hate to admit this, but perhaps we went into it with a ‘nothing to lose’ mindset. Well, the Latvians had a lot to lose if the peace accords failed, as we would discover when an agreement on Estonia could not be reached.”

Albright and American Secretary of State Warren Christopher stepped of the plane in Helsinki wondering if they would have to spend Christmas in Finland. It was late December and both of the career diplomats knew that there was a very real possibility that this was all going to be smoke and mirrors.

“We half expected the Russian delegation to declare Latvia ‘NATO occupied territory’ or something silly like that,” Albright said with a laugh, “If they did we would simply turn around and go home. We had absolutely zero patience for sitting through another circus act like the one they tried to pull in Split.”

Much to their surprise however, they were met with a receptive Russian delegation.

“Russian Secretary of State Gennady Burbulis was sitting on a couch laughing and joking with his Latvian counterpart when we arrived at the hotel,” Albright recalled, “we were cautiously optimistic. The delegates looked like old friends at a reunion.”

However, the biggest surprise would come the following day before the actual negotiations began. UIS delegate, Konstantin Lubenchenko, announced that the UIS had reached preliminary agreement with the Latvians, and that they were prepared to make a shocking concession as an act of “good faith.”

“Lubenchenko said that the UIS and Latvians were very, very close to an agreement,” Albright said, “he said that they had reached a preliminary agreement and were still working out details. But as an act of good faith, that the UIS would recognize the independence of Latvia even though the agreement was not yet finalized. I honestly though Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari would fall out of his chair when he heard that.”

The Latvian delegation then stood an applauded as Lubenchenko walked over and hugged the Latvian President, Algirdas Brazauskas. The moving scene prompted one of the Latvian delegates to begin singing the old national anthem of the Soviet Union. That in turn prompted the UIS delegation to follow suit.

“It was really strange,” Albright recalled, “the song had just been outlawed in Russia and Latvians never had a soft spot in their hearts for the Soviet occupation. But at that moment I honest think Warren and I would have stood up and started singing it too if we knew the words. It was just such a powerful moment.”

As soon as the parties returned to their Cyrus Vance (the man who was first contacted by the Russians) leaned over and whispered in Albright’s ear.

“He said ‘you know Madeline, we might just be home for Christmas after all’,” Albright said, “to this day he is mad at himself for that. He was a former Hockey player at Yale and he was superstitious like only an athlete can be. He honestly thought that he jinxed the whole thing.”

Russian Secretary of State Gennady Burbulis soon asked the committee to move on to the issue of Lithuania, a move that perplexed the American and Finnish delegates.

“The Lithuanians and Russians were not fighting,” Albright recalled, “they were just invited as almost an afterthought since the Fins wanted to hold a ‘Global Batic Peace Accord’.”

The Americans and Fins, cautiously optimistic over the major concessions just made by the Russians, didn’t object. They didn’t want to be seen as rocking the boat.

“Lubenchenko announced that the UIS was prepared to recognize Lithuania’s independence under one condition,” Albright recalled, “they wanted Kaliningrad to be exempt from sanctions and they wanted free access to the enclave through Lithuania.”

Secretary of State Christopher, who had been silent up to that point, angrily voiced his objection.

“This is not the time or place to discuss UN sanctions,” Christopher angrily retorted, “You know the terms that the United Nations put in place and you know what you have to do to get them lifted. It starts with withdrawing troops from Bosnia, Croatia and Romania.”

“Your predecessor signed a peace agreement in regards to Bosnia,” Burbulis coldly replied, “I was there. If you are having buyer’s remorse then perhaps you should have considered the consequences before you signed the peace accord. As for Romania, we already have signed a peace agreement with the legitimate recognized government of Romania. We have no intention of groveling to that dictator you propped up in Bucharest.”

Christopher looked stunned as the Finnish President shot him an angry glance.

“I put my hand on his shoulder and gently sat him down,” Albright said, “we had to change our game plan and Warren was still using the old playbook.”

“Everything should be on the table,” Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas said nervously, “nobody is suggesting that we unilaterally overturn United Nations Security Resolution 777. But we do have an opportunity here.”

However, American Secretary of State Warren Christopher was not willing to negotiate on that key provision, even to the slightest degree. Kaliningrad was Russia and it would have to take its lumps just like the rest of Russia. It would have to deal with the sanctions.

“Sanctions are not negotiable,” Christopher said firmly, “and that is final.”

UIS delegate Lubenchenko looked intently in the eyes of Warren Christopher, wondering if, perhaps, he was bluffing. But everyone in the room knew that he wasn’t. The Americans were not going to lift sanctions, not even an inch. Lubenchenko then stood up and turned to his Finnish host.

“President Ahtisaari,” he said as the UIS delegation stood in unison, “please accept my humble thanks for hosting these negotiations. On behalf of the UIS and, I think I can say this as well, on behalf of the independent Republic of Latvia, we thank you. Please also express our thanks to Prime Minister Aho as well.”

The UIS delegates began to leave when Ahisaari jumped out of his chair.

“Wait,” he said, “we shouldn’t let this minor disagreement derail this opportunity! We can still negotiate! I will call Prime Minsiter Aho right now and ask him to join us!”

“Thank you Mr. President,” Lubenchenko said as he started putting folders into his briefcase, “but a negotiation requires compromise, and quite frankly, I don’t see this as working.”

Albright was not sure what would be worse for President Kerrey: another debacle like Split, or this. She admired Christopher for his firmness, but she knew that there had to be another way.

“Mr. Lubenchenko,” Cyrus Vance said calmly in an attempt to rescue the situation without conceding the Americans most important position, “what about Latvia? We have not finalized the agreement. Perhaps we can stay another day or two, and we can further discuss Estonia and Lithuania while Lord Carrington from the UN delegation and I finalize the paperwork?”

“That won’t be necessary,” Lubenchenko said as he headed for the door, “you can fax it to us in Moscow. We trust you.”

In desperation the Finish President made one final proposal, hoping to stop the Russians from walking out.

“A recess!” he yelled as Lubenchenko began walking out the door, “let’s just call this a recess and we will reconvene in several weeks!”

Lubenchenko stopped in his tracks and slowly turned around. He was clearly thinking about the proposal.

“Fine,” he replied, “we’ll meet back up in three weeks.”

“We have prior commitments,” Christopher said, “we can’t come back in January.”

“March then,” Lubenchenko said, “That gives us both plenty of time to clear our schedules.”

“But we are not going to change our position on sanctions,” Christopher reiterated, “Any agreement to lift sanctions will have to go through the UN.”

“Well, I suppose you will have time to make the necessary proposals to the United Nations before we reconvene,” Lubenchenko said as he started to turn around and head back towards the door.”

What followed was something that Albright would never forget.

“He said one thing as he walked out the door,” Albright recalled solemnly, “but it still haunts me to this day,”

“May God protect Estonia until March,” Lubenchenko said sadly as he walked out, “because Hell is coming to Tallinn.”
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Last edited by Pellegrino; March 1st, 2013 at 11:44 PM..
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  #1138  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 01:10 AM
MarshalBraginsky MarshalBraginsky is offline
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What does it mean, 'Hell is coming to Tallinn?' If that is what I think it is, then Estonia's territory will shrink a lot smaller.
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  #1139  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 01:15 AM
Tongera Tongera is offline
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I don't think they will firebomb Tallinn. They will funnel arms to separatists?
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  #1140  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 01:16 AM
Pellegrino Pellegrino is offline
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What does it mean, 'Hell is coming to Tallinn?' If that is what I think it is, then Estonia's territory will shrink a lot smaller.
Remember that one of the main purposes of the Latvian Peace accord is because the Russian military is over-committed. All these pro-Zhirinovsky nationalist now don't have a war to fight in Latvia. Where is the most logical place for them to continue the fight for Greater Russia?

Also, if you go back to the "Mikhail Popov" update on page 10 you note the the difference between the borders of the Russian Republic of the Baltic and the Estonian front lines in 1992. Russian Republic of the Baltic is much, much larger. The Russians may be planning something similar to Operation Storm.
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