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Russia and the Baltic states: on the road toward a new Europe

erschienen in der Publikation "Die Beziehungen zwischen Russland und den Baltischen Staaten (23)" - Oktober 1999

Vollständiger Beitrag als PDF:  PDF ansehen PDF downloaden  9 Seiten (47 KB)
Schlagworte zu diesem Beitrag:  Russland, Politik, Sicherheitspolitik, Außenpolitik, Bilaterale Beziehungen, Diplomatie


Since 1990, when the Baltic republics Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania proclaimed their independence, Russian-Baltic relations have evolved through at least two distinct periods. The first one, that of 1990-1991, could be characterized as "romantic"; many in Russia believe that in that time both Russian and Baltic democrats were united in a common struggle against totalitarism. The years from 1992 to 1995 constitute the "post-Soviet" period of Russian-Baltic relations. Controversies over withdrawal of troops, status of Russian-speaking minorities, and border issues quickly turned recent "allies" into irreconcilable opponents. Presently, we are observing a new phase of Russian-Baltic relations, that could probably be termed as a "European" period.

Signs of the transition to this period first appeared in 1995. It was then that the Baltic states concluded agreements of association with the EU; in the same year, the importance for Moscow of relations with the Baltics was highlighted by the discussion of the prospects for NATO enlargement. However, the true beginning of the "European" period was marked by the Madrid Summit of NATO in 1997. Many analysts in Russia believe that decisions made in Madrid have far-reaching consequences for the future of Europe as a whole. Alexey Pushkov expressed this idea probably better than any one else, saying that the Madrid decisions created a framework for the shaping of a new European order, which will determine the general state and development of Europe in the 21. century. The basic meaning of this process is the gradual inclusion of Central and Eastern European countries, as well as some of the former Soviet republics, into NATO and the EU. The basic question is the role and place of Russia in the emerging new European order and the new system of Transatlantic relations.

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