East Europe tries to protect itself from Russia | SummitDaily.com

East Europe tries to protect itself from Russia

WARSAW, Poland ” Poland strikes a deal on a U.S. missile defense base. Ukraine tries to limit the Russian navy’s movement in its waters. The Czech Republic’s leader warns his nation is in danger of being sucked back into Moscow’s orbit.

Russia’s attack on Georgia has sparked fears across the young democracies of Eastern Europe that Moscow is once again hungry for conquest ” and they are scrambling to protect themselves by tightening security alliances with Western powers.

On Friday, Moscow sent a new jolt through the region when a top Russian general was quoted as saying that the missile defense deal signed the previous day by Washington and Warsaw exposes Poland to an attack.

“Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike ” 100 percent,” Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said, according to Interfax News Agency.

Around the region, memories are being revived of the darkest days of Soviet oppression.

In Prague, where Czechs on Wednesday will mark the 40th anniversary of the Soviet invasion that crushed a reform movement, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek expressed fears of history repeating itself.

“The Russian tanks on the streets of Georgian towns remind us … of the invasion in 1968,” Topolanek wrote in Mlada Fronta Dnes daily, the country’s biggest newspaper.

“But it is not just history. It is still, even now, a relevant question whether we will or will not belong to the sphere of Russian influence.”

He appealed to his political opponents to support his unpopular plan to host a U.S. missile defense shield.

Since fighting broke out more than a week ago between Russia and Georgia, the crisis has dominated headlines and sparked pro-Georgia rallies across Eastern Europe.

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