16 MARCH 1991, Page 26

Russian counterweight

Sir: We can all be in favour of home rule for the Baltic States. But surely within a federal union for Russia is the better option. For one thing they have large Russian minorities. Your leader CA nationalities disgrace', 9 March) says that the Soviet Union is going to break up anyway. It is very important for us that it should not. Just consider: Europe is econo- mically dominated by Germany with a population of nearly 80 million. In a few years we shall be faced by an Anschluss with Austria again, making 90 million in the centre of Europe.

It is very important that Russia should hold together, as a federal union, and not break up. If only as a counterweight to the enormous power of a Germany dominating Europe. We know what that means.

Not to see that shows not much strategic sense or political judgment.

A. L. Rowse

St Austell, Cornwall