September 20, 2012

Summary

This issue of Diplomaatia focuses mainly on topics related to energy security. In addition, the issue features an article to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Criminal Court, which held a seminar on the occasion in Tallinn on September 10. The book review section is dedicated to spies and lies thanks to Edward Lucas’s excellent work of investigative journalism.

This issue of Diplomaatia focuses mainly on topics related to energy security. In addition, the issue features an article to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Criminal Court, which held a seminar on the occasion in Tallinn on September 10. The book review section is dedicated to spies and lies thanks to Edward Lucas’s excellent work of investigative journalism.

Summary

This issue of Diplomaatia focuses mainly on topics related to energy security. In addition, the issue features an article to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Criminal Court, which held a seminar on the occasion in Tallinn on September 10. The book review section is dedicated to spies and lies thanks to Edward Lucas’s excellent work of investigative journalism.
The opening essay by Matthew Bryza, Director of the International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS), analyses the energy security situation in the Baltic states. Bryza’s message is moderately optimistic – although we are currently dependent on a geopolitically challenging gas monopoly in both the Baltic states and Finland, there is now a historical chance for us to take care of our own energy security. Once the market will genuinely regulate the balance of supply and demand, binding energy trade to political goals will be harder and discussions about the use of energy resources for geopolitical purposes will eventually lose their meaning.
Simonas Klimanskis, an MA student at the University of Vilnius, assesses the energy security implications of a nuclear power plant project in Visaginas, Lithuania. He argues that in spite of certain economic risks which critics have pointed out, the project, if realised, will increase energy security in Lithuania and in the other Baltic states and will help get us out of the position of an ‘isolated energy island’, separated from the European energy market and overtly dependent on Russian energy supply.
Richard Weitz, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, describes the energy relationship between Russia and Turkey. Even though Turkey is trying to eliminate its dependence on Russia, it is not that easy to do so. Nevertheless, in spite of close cooperation between the two powers, energy dependence is a political problem for Turkey and their relationship is not just cooperative, but also competitive.
Riina Kaljurand, a research fellow at ICDS, provides a commentary on the recently emerged plans of extending the Nord Stream pipeline project. Kaljurand emphasises that the Estonians need to analyse the potential environmental and security impacts of the new pipelines carefully before taking an official position on the issue. She agrees that the pipelines can bring some economic benefits to Estonia, but she also reminds us that their construction should not be seen as a gesture of friendship by Russia.
Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC), offers an overview of the ICC’s ten year long history and the challenges the organisation is currently facing. The ICC is most needed in countries with poorly developed justice systems, which is why its proper functioning can be challenging in many ways. Nevertheless, Intelmann is convinced that from the point of view of victims of political violence, the existence of an international criminal court is crucial.
In the book review section, Karoliina Raudsepp reviews Edward Lucas’s book Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West. She praises Edward Lucas as one of the best investigative journalists on a global scale and characterises the book as an interesting and well-researched description of how one of the best intelligence agencies in the world has managed to deceive Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians.

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