Dealing in Eastern European finance is a fast way to learn that outside of a few countries, the advantages of European ties are ephemeral at best.
Lithuania’s banking and monetary systems are a bit of a mess, making this a reachable goal but a difficult one.
With Latvia’s economy outgrowing the rest of Europe’s, returning to its 2007 peak, the Baltic country is prepared to enjoy the benefits of the euro currently not really enjoyed by the European south.
Beneath the success of these individual stories is a somewhat odder truth: the Baltics only fit the European Union slightly better than they did the Soviet one.
It is not too late for Europe to win this game; but at this rate, Moscow will lose soon.
Mere money is not the same as the ability to hold a necessary resource hostage, and Moscow knows it.
While Georgia has gone very far to show its European bona fides, its recent actions speak of a nation not so much hungry for Europe as expecting it.
Latvia did not rely on sainted austerity for its recovery. Its economy is still fragile. Its banking sector is a mess waiting to happen. It cannot cut off foreign investment, and yet it must.
Getting completely out from Russia’s deeply unpleasant embrace should be Lithuania’s first, second, and third foreign policy and economic priorities.
Why would I invest in you if you’re simply going to say you should never have let me do so in the first place?