Geopolitics

Why Russia Went to War: A Three-Dimensional Perspective

Since Ukraine’s independence became a recognised fact in 1991, the spectre of war with Russia has arisen on several occasions, only to subside. To many outsiders, the war of 2014 was a ‘hybrid war’ launched by ‘separatists backed by Russia’, rather than a fully-fledged war, and the ‘Minsk process’ was defusing it. Until the United States presented details of Russian war plans at the end of 2021, very few observers expected Russia to transgress the bounds of coercive intimidation in its dealings with Ukraine. Once war broke out in February 2022, the pervasive question was ‘why?’

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Europe’s Indo-Pacific Tilt: Estonian and Japanese Interests

Reshaped by the new great power competition, the international order has been undergoing revolutionary transformations. Revanchist Russia has unleashed a barbarian war against a sovereign European nation, while increasingly militarised and contentious China looms as a not-so-insidious threat in the Indo-Pacific. In response to these shifting dynamics and mounting geopolitical tensions, Europe is now awakening to the new reality and paying greater attention to the far-away region.

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Building European Security Against Russia – A View From Estonia

With Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, major conventional war returned to Europe in a manner unseen since the two world wars and the end of the Cold War—three occasions during the 20th century when the borders, norms, institutions, and balance of power ordering interstate relations on the continent and beyond experienced an unparalleled upheaval.

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Putin and Assad, Partners in Crime: Why Russian Forces Steal Wheat From Ukraine

On 29 October, Russia withdrew from Black Sea Grain Initiative, only to announce it was re-joining the deal to ship the much-needed agricultural produce from war-stricken Ukraine to the Global South on the verge of starvation a few days later. Are these machinations, coupled with the systematic theft of wheat and its subsequent delivery to the Assad regime, parts of the same Russian puzzle and the same struggle for the multipolar world order? This paper explains the intricacies and significance of bread in the Syrian Civil War, as well as connects them to the Russian geopolitical strategy, goals, and state doctrines.

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Developing Nuclear Energy in Estonia: An Amplifier of Strategic Partnership with the United States?

Estonia’s climate neutrality commitments and its simultaneous pursuit of national security mean that it will need to develop and cultivate new zero- or low-carbon, affordable, secure and safe domestic sources of energy. Nuclear energy is increasingly regarded as one of the critical ingredients of successful transition to climate-neutral energy system and as a viable part of the future decarbonised mix of energy supply. Therefore, Estonia is officially considering the possibility to adopt nuclear energy generated by new-design Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

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REUTERS / Scanpix

Ukraine’s Path to EU Membership: How to Turn a Geopolitical Necessity into a Viable Process

Ukraine is applying for EU membership at a time when Russia has attacked it in a war of choice. The European Commission is expected to present its opinion on Ukraine’s application in mid-June, to be followed by a decision of the European Council on 23–24 June. While public opinion across the EU has turned largely supportive of membership for Ukraine, official positions remain divided between strong support, mainly in the Eastern member states, and a more reserved position elsewhere.

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Mihkel Maripuu/Eesti Meedia/Scanpix

Geopolitics of Europe’s Hydrogen Aspirations: Creating Sustainable Equilibrium or a Combustible Mix?

Discussions about hydrogen’s role in the transition to carbon-neutral economies and the EU’s Green Deal seldom include consideration of geopolitical aspects and/or national security imperatives. However, given the importance of energy as a factor in global and regional geopolitical trends and national security, hydrogen development will reshape not only energy relations between countries but will also alter the broader geopolitical picture.

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