Let’s not question the future of Königsberg

Next time you think the Russians are paranoid for believing that NATO might attack them, keep this in mind:

Jüri Saar has an article titled “The Future of Königsberg” in Diplomaatia, which is an Estonian think tank publication. In this he argues that the 1975 Helsinki Accords are no longer valid, and that Kaliningrad is essentially an illegally occupied territory which the West should demand to get back.

“The issue of the territorial ownership of the Kaliningrad Oblast after the Russians leave is considered a problem. The area could become a new bone of contention between Germany, Poland and Lithuania. For this reason, it must not be merged with the territory of any existing country. The solution, however, is also as plain as day. Königsberg must become the first region solely under the jurisdiction of the European Union, similar to the capital of the US, which forms a separate administrative unit, the District of Columbia.”

This is probably the worst idea I’ve seen all month. In fact it’s so bad I had to read the article twice to look for signs that it is meant as a joke.

Saar more or less proposes that the West should seek regime change in Kaliningrad through a series of hybrid warfare operations. This is exactly what the Russians believe to be the Western doctrine, and what chief the the general staff Valery Gerasimov has pointed out that Russia needs to prepare for. If I were a Russian military strategist, I’d be pretty happy about those Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad now.

What we need is to create certainty about the existing borders. Both sides must believe that the opponent accepts the borders as they are. It may require some fortification before we get to that point, but it also requires cogency.

Silly suggestions like this one which question the border drawing in the Baltic region are flat out dangerous.




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