Obama points to Baltics as example for Ukraine

President of the United states of America, Barack Obama, took the opportunity of his final address to the general assembly of the United Nations on September 20 to point to the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as an example for the aspirations of Ukraine.

Addressing the annual gathering of world leaders, Obama talked ona  wide range of subjects, but repeatedly stressed the need to reduce inequality and give ordinary people the chance to participate as fully in their societies as the wealthy and connected.

"In Europe, the progress of those countries in the former Soviet bloc that embraced democracy stand in clear contrast to those that did not.  After all, the people of Ukraine did not take to the streets because of some plot imposed from abroad.  They took to the streets because their leadership was for sale and they had no recourse, Obama said.

"They demanded change because they saw life get better for people in the Baltics and in Poland, societies that were more liberal, and democratic, and open than their own."

"In a world that left the age of empire behind, we see Russia attempting to recover lost glory through force... And in Europe and the United States, you see people wrestle with concerns about immigration and changing demographics, and suggesting that somehow people who look different are corrupting the character of our countries."

"If Russia continues to interfere in the affairs of its neighbors, it may be popular at home, it may fuel nationalist fervor for a time, but over time it is also going to diminish its stature and make its borders less secure," he added. 

He also praised the US as a "rare superpower" that had been a "force for good" in the world over a 25 year period.

You can watch his full address below.

There was another Baltic item on Obama's agenda this week with Latvia's new ambassador to the US, Andris Teikmanis, presenting his credentials at the White House.

 

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