March 16, 2018

Diminishing Values in an Increasingly Harsh World

AP/Scanpix

The March edition of Diplomaatia focuses on Estonian foreign policy and its context—in other words, the world around us. The world is changing for the worse, not the better.

The March edition of Diplomaatia focuses on Estonian foreign policy and its context—in other words, the world around us. The world is changing for the worse, not the better.

In the opening article, Kristi Raik, Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, writes that it is becoming increasingly hard for Estonia to maintain an old-fashioned values-based foreign policy.
“There are currently several trends in global policy that are negative for Estonia,” she writes. “Tensions between large states are growing and new power centres, especially China, are weakening the leading role of the US. Common rules of the game, and even the possibility of their existence, are doubtful. Russia is standing up to the West and is trying to force a reordering of Europe’s security situation. The underlying foundations of the EU and transatlantic unity have become more fragile.”
Raivo Vare, Ahto Lobjakas and Holger Mölder comment on Raik’s article.
Professor Jüri Saar writes about the Kaliningrad oblast. “The issue of the territorial ownership of the Kaliningrad oblast after the Russians leave is considered a problem. The area could become a new bone of contention between Germany, Poland and Lithuania. For this reason, it must not be merged with the territory of any existing country.”
Diplomaatia’s interview with analyst Aleksandr Sytin focuses on Estonian-Russian relations. “Even with ‘good behaviour’, it is unlikely that Estonia could obtain the same status as Finland—not the least because the rich of St Petersburg are buying summer houses in Finland and not Estonia,” says Sytin.
ICDS research fellow Eerik Marmei looks at the new US national security strategy. “The strategy lists the challenges, according to which the main threats to US security are ‘revolutionary powers’—Russia and China—that are trying to change the current political, economic and security order, acting according to their interests and at the expense of the US and its allies,” says Marmei.
Estonian diplomat Indrek Elling writes about PESCO, the EU’s defence initiative. “Among other things, PESCO member states have an obligation to increase their defence expenditure and contribute to EU battlegroups—the main obstacle to which is the lack of a joint financing mechanism—and to CSDP missions and operations,” he states.
Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes about Estonia’s EU presidency in the context of development cooperation. “In the field of development cooperation we agreed upon four Council conclusions; the three most important were on digital and development cooperation, a gender action plan, and trade support,” notes Seilenthal.

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