States which only two decades ago escaped their forced Soviet embrace grew mightily from their increased contact with the rest of Europe. But they remain vulnerable to chills emanating from the Eurozone.
In the first half of 2012, private equity firms raised more money in Central and Eastern Europe than they did all last year, the greatest increase since 2008. Investors obviously expect future growth in the region.
The increasing cooperation between Poland, Lithuania, and wider Eastern Europe on energy could be one reason why Moscow has been seen recently as trying to drive a wedge between the Baltic neighbors.
June opened with a shadow war against two former Eastern Bloc hostage nations by the British media and the governments of some EU member states. It closed with proof that the countries could be and were good citizens of Europe.
By urging boycotts and focusing on alleged racism, the West is undermining civil society at a moment when it is needed most. That is the real lesson of the cultural events of the last two months.
Fairness dictates that we not hold against the President words from a speech he likely did not read before it was put before him; it is entirely fair to hold against him the wretched mess of a foreign policy his Administration has propounded in the region.
Poland and Lithuania unfortunately are stuck in a “bad” neighborhood with a large, over-bearing former overlord next door. They have an obvious incentive to work through their problems and cooperate, given their shared concerns.
Because of Poland’s unique history as perhaps the single modern nation most oppressed by outsiders, victory in the Cold War, often thought of as an American story, can be, with justice, thought of as a great vindication of Polish perseverance.