June 10, 2016

Estonia, Finland and Russia—A Complex Triangle

STR / LEHTIKUVA / Roni Lehti

This double issue of Diplomaatia mainly focuses on Estonia’s neighbours—Finland and Russia. Articles also cover water diplomacy, the economy of the European Union and Argentina.

Experienced Finnish journalist Jarmo Mäkelä takes a look at a report ordered by Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs about the country’s potential membership of NATO. Mäkelä thinks that, if Finland does not join NATO, the keys to Finland’s security will be kept in Moscow, Brussels or Stockholm. Pauli Järvenpää, Ants Laaneots and Marjo Näkki comment on the subject.
Andrei Manoilo, one of Moscow’s best experts on information- and hybrid-warfare who has an FSB background, says in his interview for Diplomaatia that the Baltic States form too small a region to become the scene of a confrontation between Russia and the US. “I don’t want to offend anyone, but the Americans are very good at manipulating the Baltics. As the Baltic States are very small, they can be easily scared. This panic will later spread to larger European countries as well,” thinks Manoilo.
Anna-Mariita Mattiisen from the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Organisation reflects on how Russia’s imperialist way of thinking extends to cyberspace, where Moscow is refusing to play by common rules.
Hudson Institute analyst Richard Weitz recently visited Russia. “The fifth Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), which met on 26–28 April 2016, made clear that Russian policymakers may want to restore relations with the West, but only if Western leaders change their policies and thinking to accord better with Russian preferences,” writes Weitz. “The Russian speakers, which included the country’s senior national security leadership, called for more cooperation against common threats, especially international terrorism, but insisted that various Western policies inhibited such reconciliation.”
Mariann Rikka, who has an MA in Law and Human Rights, writes about morality in Russian foreign policy, using the Russo–Georgian war of 2008 as a case study.
Jaak Kiviloog, an Estonian retiree, writes about the relationship between Finland and Estonia. He is concerned that Estonians who, like him, live in Finland do not communicate with their compatriots a great deal—a different situation from that after the war when Estonians émigrés arrived in their new homelands. Erkki Bahovski, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia, reviews the latest book on Estonian–Finnish relations by Kaja Kunnas and Marjo Näkki.
Former Prime Minister of Estonia Andres Tarand writes about water diplomacy and Triina-Liis Makson, a Master’s student in international relations, explores Argentina. Katrin Höövelson, adviser on economic governance and Europe2020 at the European Commission’s representation in Estonia, looks at the prospects for EU Economic and Monetary Union.

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