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Realistically, any supra-national Baltic Sea organization that includes Germany and excludes Russia would have the latter freaking out.  Russia has strong memories of WW 2 and from that a fear of a (what they would see as) German-dominated alliance on their western border.

Plus Poland doesn't exactly have warm fuzzies for either Germany or Russia.  

So it's complicated.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus Poland doesn't exactly have warm fuzzies for either Germany or Russia.  

The relationship between Poland and Germany hasn't been this good since the siege of Vienna. That is not the problem.

by IM on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:04:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The relationship between Poland and Germany hasn't been this good since the siege of Vienna.

That is very true. In his speech on a possible Brexit, the Polish foreign minister made it very clear that the country's future is with Germany and continental Europe.
I don't see any Northern or Eastern country (except the UK, and Ireland) not joining a Northern alliance around Germany. The UK and France are the wild cards in this game.
by The European on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:17:26 PM EST
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If it is about staying in a rump-EU, Sweden would stay. If it is a new alliance that comes close to EU in importance, I doubt Sweden would join. Both the nationalist right and anti-EU left is much stronger now then when Sweden joined the EU, and that was a close call. For Finland it depends on how much they got burnt when the EU collapsed vs how scared they are about Russia. Both Sweden and Finland could end up going back to EFTA.

The Baltic countries will probably cling to Germany for safety whatever austerity may come.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:34:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is about staying in a rump-EU, Sweden would stay. If it is a new alliance that comes close to EU in importance,

The difference is in name only. Any new alliance would invariably integrate most of the things we have already in the EU. As to its potential importance, only time can tell.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:38:55 AM EST
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I find it difficult to believe anything like the euro or the EU-as-political-project would emerge if the EU collapses.  Those, in my mind, are based on a Top/Down Model of organization of human interaction during a time of increasing Bottom/Up P2P links.  

I'm no Techno-Utopian but it seems clear, to me, the global linkages allowed by the Internet will have profound consequences, some of which we can't even begin to imagine.  As an example, what happens to Big-Box Brick-and-Mortar Stores when customers routinely purchase commodity consumer consumables over the internet?  What happens to continual consumption (purchase) of consumer durables after somebody figures out they can make a bloody fortune by junking planned obsolesce and receive long-term income from parts and service?  

A major change in Communications must lead to other major changes, across the board.  See what happened after the invention of the moveable type, as an obvious 'bit of proof.'  

Granted TPTB, who became TPTB under the previous circumstances, are going to do everything they can to prevent a phase transition.  However under foreseeable meta-changes, e.g., Global Warming, I think, in the end, there is bugger-all they can do about it.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:14:23 PM EST
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I think anything like EU-as-political-project is unlikely if the EU collapse, but for another reason. The EU is as a project to build a federal European state a project that tries to create and depends upon a European identity. And when those fail competing identities are strenghtened, which would be the member states as Neuro/Seuro identities are not developed. If the project returns in force it takes a generation or so.

So if EU fails I predict member states going their own ways with overlapping, weaker intergovernmental collaborations.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 04:21:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should Russia care about the Baltic? The Arctic is the future!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 07:46:00 PM EST
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The Baltic is their only sea route on their west coast.  Somebody in Russia thinks that is important because they held onto the Kaliningrad Oblast.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 01:36:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this respect as well, the Arctic may be the future...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't dispute it.  

I'm saying it's not an Either/Or situation.  I submit Russia can manage to do two things at the same time.  

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 12th, 2013 at 02:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
any supra-national Baltic Sea organization that includes Germany and excludes Russia would have the latter freaking out

One of the reasons we should fear a EZone/EU breakup is that Germany will look for new partners and find them in the East in Russia or even in the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), which would dwarf the Anglo-Saxon trade empire. Both China and Russia will be among Germany's most important trading partners and German industry will depend on Russia and Central Asia for resources.
In fact the very raison d'être for the EU and the EZone is France's determination to "bind" Germany to continental Europe.
by The European on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 07:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This analysis raises a number of questions:

a) Under what geopolitical model is a Sino-German trade bloc possible independent of the American empire?

b) What does Germany offer as third wheel of a Sino-Russian trade bloc?

c) In which political universe is Germany going to accept being the (very) junior partner in a Russo-German trade bloc?

d) In what universe is the US going to tolerate a Russo-German trade bloc (remembering that the US has a number of current and potential clients in the ECE buffer states who will be more than eager to play spoiler on their behalf)?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 03:50:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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