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Lietuvos žinios - Lithuania | Monday, August 6, 2012

Fears about the end of the Baltic states

During an appearance on a Latvian TV programme Latvia's president Andris Bērziņš on Tuesday expressed doubts about whether the three Baltic states would survive unless they start cooperating more closely with each other. Writing for the conservative daily Lietuvos žinios political scientist Kęstutis Girnius notes a lack of clarity in his remarks: "The statements made by the Latvian president are dramatic, but it remains unclear what he meant by them in concrete terms. I don't believe he is contemplating the establishment of a political union or a federation. Such and option wouldn't be acceptable to any of the Baltic countries at present. They see themselves as individual nation states. … Bērziņš mentioned economic interests. Perhaps he believes that without closer economic cooperation the Baltic states won't thrive, that people will continue to leave in droves and that domestic tensions and above all national hostilities will be stirred up in these states. In this respect Latvia is the weakest country of the Baltic region."

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