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Anna Nemtsova, Daily Beast: Ground Zero in the New Cold War
The fraught frontier between Russia and the NATO-defended Baltics is full of surprises, not least its natural beauty. But tensions are building fast.
THE CURONIAN SPIT — A bus ride from the last town in the European Union—Nida, Lithuania—across the border into Russia’s Kaliningrad region took less than an hour. The morning sun warmed sandy dunes along the shore of the Baltic Sea. There was hardly any traffic, just a few tourists and mushroom pickers stalking wild fungi in the lush vegetation of a national park. The bus glided quietly under pine trees on the only road in the Curonian Spit, a narrow stretch of land that is divided between two nations and, perhaps more critically at this moment, between two armies.
The northern part of the 98-kilometer-long peninsula belongs to Lithuania and is defended by thousands of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces, while the rest of the peninsula is Russian, and similarly militarized.
Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Lithuanian and Russian residents on both sides of the border in this once peaceful corner of Europe have been witnesses to frequent shows of military force.
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WNU Editor: What caused these tensions to explode in the first place is teh crisis in Ukraine. Solve Ukraine .... talk of a new COld War would be just that .... talk. Unfortunately .... no one appears to be interested in Solving ukraine.