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Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Baltic Question: Allied by K. Piirimäe

By K. Piirimäe

In 1940, the USSR occupied and annexed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, resulting in calls via many who the Soviets had violated foreign legislation. This e-book examines British, US, and Soviet regulations towards the Baltic states, putting the genuine value of the Baltic query in its right geopolitical context.

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Extra resources for Roosevelt, Churchill, and the Baltic Question: Allied Relations during the Second World War

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With some regret, perhaps, he noted: “I never saw the inside of an Estonian home, either . . I was, after all, not primarily interested in Estonia . . ”11 Kennan was fascinated by the culture of imperial Russia. The Baltic states, especially Riga, were not interesting in their own right, but merely as the best scenery and stimulus for embracing “old Russia”. Riga, he thought, was a copy of St. Petersburg, and to live in Riga was to live in Czarist Russia—the only place in the world where he thought this was still possible.

That required financial resources and coordination. The governments needed to transfer funds abroad, preferably to private accounts, so that they could not be claimed by the annexing power. In the autumn of 1939, Estonian diplomats had urged the government to take such measures in order to prepare for a diplomatic mission abroad that could last two to three years. 55 The Estonian government, as well as the Latvian and Lithuanian governments, did nothing. 56 As to the coordination of diplomatic activities in case the government was not able to function, preparations were equally inadequate.

62 Only when elections to new parliaments were held and these parliaments decided to apply for membership in the Soviet Union did the Estonian diplomats file in their protests against the Soviet aggression. Chapter 2 British Perceptions and Reactions, 1939–1940 At the same time as Moscow started to activate its policies in the eastern Baltic, it became clear that the British strategy that had been pursued so far was in ruins. After the dismal performance of British forces in Norway, Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister on May 8, promising to steer Britain’s war effort with more vigor and military acumen.

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