December 18, 2015

Summary

The massacre in Paris has left Europe terrified. The delicate balance between democratic liberties and security is sought again. The great chess-board in the Middle-East is full of emotions as everything from a downed Russian military plane to the daily life of refugees is linked to the well-being of Europeans.

Toomas Kiho, the editor of Akadeemia magazine writes about emotions and refugees. “But look at the eyes of the refugees, where burns the desire for freedom. Put your hand on their chest, here beats the heart precipitating the bright future longing for a better, safer life,” he writes.
The situation in Syria and especially Russia’s interests there are profoundly weighed in the article by Vladimir Sazonov, an Estonian scholar on the Middle East. He believes, “Russia wants to have a more important role in the Middle East, to become the most powerful player in the region and to show that after the US left Iraq, Moscow, not Washington, became the new boss”. Sazonov’s article is equipped with comments from three experts, Kaarel Kaas, Helga Kalm and Tõnis Leht.
Milvi Martina Piir, a writer and historian living in Austria, writes about the refugee situation there. She is convinced that Austria’s complicated past plays an important role in a way Austrians receive refugees.
Anu Kaupmees, a freelance journalist in Sweden, presents an overview of the refugee situation in Sweden. As the Swedes basically had a positive attitude towards refugees just some months ago, the situation has changed dramatically in the last weeks. Kaupmees emphasises that Sweden is receiving more refugees per capita than any other EU country.
Vladimir Jushkin, Director of the Baltic Centre for Russian Studies, explains how the Kremlin has succeeded in dragging Western countries into a new cold war, but the West has failed to give a powerful reply to Moscow. “What has happened? It feels like the main reason for the Western countries’ weakness is a lack of world-class leaders. The US has no Ronald Reagan, there is no Margaret Thatcher in Europe”, Jushkin writes.
Priit Simson, the opinion editor for Eesti Päevaleht, reviews the latest book on Syria.

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