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U.S.: Rumsfeld's 'Old' And 'New' Europe Touches On Uneasy Divide | RFERL - Jan. 24, 2003 |

It's not clear how far Rumsfeld's comments represent official U.S. thinking on Europe, although they clearly echo remarks by President George W. Bush at last year's NATO summit in Prague and immediately afterward. It was in Prague that the military alliance agreed to invite the seven new members: Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Speaking in Vilnius the day after the summit, Bush praised the Lithuanians -- and, by extension, all of the citizens of NATO's former communist states -- by saying that life under a dictatorship had made them more appreciative of human freedom.

"You have known cruel oppression, and you withstood it. You were held captive by an empire and you outlived it. And because you have paid its cost, you know the value of human freedom."

It's also not clear yet how far NATO's new members can go toward pleasing the U.S. without jeopardizing their -- arguably greater -- interests in joining the European Union, where France and Germany hold most of the cards and where being part of the "old" Europe is vastly preferable to being part of the "new."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jun 22nd, 2022 at 10:12:16 AM EST

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