The 2014 January/February double issue of Diplomaatia focuses on the events in Ukraine and EU matters.
In the opening story of the issue, Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament, describes the background of the riots that have broken out in Ukraine. In his opinion, the events in Ukraine may well determine the nation’s future course of development, which in turn has direct consequences for the security of Europe. Mihkelson opines that the European Union should therefore send an unambiguous signal that a European Ukraine has an opportunity to become a candidate nation in the future if it so desires and undertakes the necessary reforms.
Security expert Merle Maigre also delves into the background of the events in Ukraine. She writes that Russia can employ various effective measures to influence how the current events play out in Ukraine. The most effective way is financial support. Another powerful means of influence is the Crimea, writes Maigre. “It is in Moscow’s interests to provoke a confrontation between the regional government of the Crimea and the central government in Kiev.” Maigre also points out that the oligarch controlled Ukrainian media can also be considered a noteworthy lever of influence
Writing about the economic situation in the European Union, financial analyst Peeter Koppel asserts that the Eurozone crisis is not over yet by a long stretch. “There has been no structural improvement,” notes Koppel. “The situation of the patient (the Eurozone) has been stabilized, but let us be honest – the patient is being kept alive by the Central Bank’s clearly unconventional (monetary) politics.”
In his article, Matti Maasikas, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the European Union, describes the diplomatic battles that took place during and around the adoption process of the multiannual financial framework of the European Union. “EU financial diplomacy begins at home just like any other diplomacy,” says Maasikas, commenting on the lessons learnt during the process. “Such a lengthy EU process is similar to elections – working on the next one begins at the very same moment the previous agreement has been reached.”
Indrek Tarand, an Estonian member of the European Parliament, dissects the defense capabilities of European nations. In the context of shrinking defense budgets and the United States’ armed forces leaving Europe, Tarand concludes that it is time to seriously consider establishing a joint European army.
In the book review section, Erkki Bahovski reviews the Finnish historian Heikki Rausmaa’s study on diplomatic relations between Finland and Estonia between 1988 and 1991, while Liis Jemmer discusses the book Exodus. Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century by Paul Collier.