Baltic states and Russia

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Published on October 12, 2007

Author: Techy_Guy

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The Baltic states and Russia Mindaugas Jurkynas Vilnius University:  The Baltic states and Russia Mindaugas Jurkynas Vilnius University Structure of the Presentation:  Structure of the Presentation 1. General Info 2. Overview of Post-Communist Transformation 3. Quick outlook of the post-Cold War era 4. The Baltic states and Russia 5. Kaliningrad issue From Cats to Tigers: Post-Communist Transformation:  From Cats to Tigers: Post-Communist Transformation Quadruple transition: Market Economy Democracy Nation and State building Transatlantic integration Different from Southern Europe Transition to Democracy:  Transition to Democracy Baltic way 1988 Singing Revolutions 1990-1991 Baltic fight for independence Elections Constitutions and Institutions Parties The only game in town Dissatisfaction with socio-economic benefits Nation and State building:  Nation and State building Minorities (Estonia and Latvia) Citizenship (zero option and political problems) Bureaucracy and elites (ethnicity and acceleration of reforms) Transatlantic Drive:  Transatlantic Drive Why Europe? Historical justice, security and “golden Eldorado” 1995 Association agreements with EU 1997-99 start of negotiations 2004 membership The Baltic states and Russia:  The Baltic states and Russia Carl Bildt 1994: Litmus test idea The Baltic states as a barometer of Russia’s behaviour Russian and Baltic attitudes have been hostile so far. Why? Identity is the key The role of Us/Them and (De)securitisation Baltic return to Europe and distancing from Russia Russia in search for national identity after 1991 Collapse of USSR, political and economic instability Russia as successor of the Soviet Union and Russian empire Identity as the Factor:  Identity as the Factor Russian compatriots abroad (Estonia and Latvia) with Russian identity – issue of loyalty? Russia as guarantor of security in post-Soviet area Baltic national identity built on negation of the gloomy Soviet past: compensation, May 9, “occupation” Baltics for Russia – “false” Europe (Russian minorities, Chechen, case, “Nazis”, “outdated” NATO) Russian national identity in “golden” Soviet times (anthem), May 9, no criticism on Russian history, no apologies, no “German” approach to history Hostages of history? Biggest enemies – Latvia 49%, Lithuania – 42%, Georgia – 38%, Estonia – 32%, then Ukraine and US. 70% believe the Baltic occupation was voluntary 80% of the Russian parliament consist of nationalistic and neo-imperialistic forces Russia as Façade Democracy:  Russia as Façade Democracy Genocide in Chechnya Increasing racism Violation of Human Rights Political destruction of YUKOS company Control of media Appointments of governors Holding Baltic embassies (e.g. Italy) Information attacks and revision of history Political black technologies in parties and campaigns Manipulation of energy resources Ban on imports of Georgian wines EU, Baltics, New Neighbourhood:  EU, Baltics, New Neighbourhood Kaliningrad problem:  Kaliningrad problem Post-1945 administration, 1 mln. inhabitants, demilitarisation Kremlin conceptions towards Kaliningrad as Cold-War Fortress Fears of secession yet hard security issues ebbed Free Economic Zone – a new opening? Economy and FDI low, no possibility for foreign relations Russia’s centralisation and Kaliningrad: centre-periphery Status indeterminate due to disagreements between local and central government Geopolitical hostage? EU enlargement and Schengen pressure Kaliningrad as a “black hole”:  Kaliningrad as a “black hole” 65 times poorer than EU citizens one third of the population lives below subsistence level highest rate of HIV infection in Russia and one of Europe’s highest HIV rates overall second highest rate of drug-related crimes in Russia Kaliningrad leads Europe in confiscated drugs Death by alcohol poisoning is 70 % higher than the Russian average crime, health, and environmental decay: cross-border spill-over What would you do?:  What would you do?

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