A year has passed since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States and it is time to draw conclusions. Estonia’s great neighbour, Russia, is also still an interesting topic for Diplomaatia. Analyses about Poland and Kurdistan are also published in this issue.
Eerik Marmei, a research fellow at the ICDS and previously Estonia’s ambassador to the US, writes about Trump’s year. “Although Trump’s election campaign and his first ten months in office leave the impression that he’s a populist and a nationalist, the US has not retreated from global affairs,” states Marmei. “Despite the sometimes controversial rhetoric, there has been no great change in transatlantic relations. Guaranteeing the security of Europe in the event of a potential crisis depends on US political will and its strong military presence on the continent.”
Ethnologist Aimar Ventsel is convinced that Russians will not rebel, despite economically dire circumstances. “I even noticed moderate optimism during my travels in Russia. It is based on the media’s success stories about fairy tale-like developments in agriculture, which is constantly growing due to the sanctions,” Ventsel writes.
Jüri Kadak, who holds a PhD in foreign and security policy, writes about his views on how the international community should behave with Russia. “In pressurising Russia, the state must be invited to enter into a new treaty on security and cooperation in Europe and re-join the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, without reference to Russia’s ‘thousand-year rights’ in relation to its neighbouring countries,” Kadak proposes. “An agreement that would prohibit the use of nuclear-powered and nuclear weapon-carrying surface ships and submarines from entering the Baltic and Black seas should be also discussed at the new commission on security and cooperation in Europe.”
Freelance journalist Tuula Koponen looks at Poland’s ill-advised reforms. “The Polish government has strongly denied that its reforms conflicted with EU legal norms, and claimed that the EU is wilfully interpreting Polish activity incorrectly. The government has shown no signs of retreating,” she writes.
Martin D. Brown, Associate Dean for Research at Richmond, the American International University in London, explores the story of the Helsinki Final Act. Taavi Veskimägi, chairman of the management board of AS Elering, writes about the positive aspects of liberalising the Estonian electricity market.
“In conclusion, the important key phrases in shaping the future of the electricity market are market orientation and focus on specific regions so as to foster free competition, minimise costs for the consumer and support entry into the renewable energy market, at the same time guaranteeing sufficient security of supply in the entire region,” Veskimägi writes.