Bush adds Latvia and Georgia to his Moscow itinerary
There is a lot of bad feeling in Latvia, Lithuania and the other Baltic nations about this 60th anniversary of this victory celebration in Russia. Lithuania has refused to participate, and not surpisingly, since the end of the war meant Soviet occupation for these countries, followed by massive arrests, executions, persecutions and deportations to labor camps. It was a genocide that occurred AFTER these countries were supposedly liberated by the end of the war. I'm pleased that President Bush will be visiting to make plain that it's not all celebration for these nations. Putin has also made threatening noises at the Baltic countries because of their refusal to celebrate their enslavement by invoking the dark specter of the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact, which divided the nations of Eastern Europe between Hitler and Stalin.
The Washington Post has the article:
Bush Risks Putin's Ire With Visit To Two Former Soviet Republics
President Bush expanded his planned May trip to Moscow by adding stops in two former Soviet republics that have resisted Russian influence, an itinerary seen as a pointed message to President Vladimir Putin.
Bush will visit the Baltic republic of Latvia and the southern Caucasus nation of Georgia during a trip centered on a Moscow celebration of the 60th anniversary of the victory in World War II, the White House announced Thursday. He will also stop in the Netherlands to mark the anniversary at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten near Maastricht.