This issue of Diplomaatia features the small as well as the big.
Iceland, which was the first foreign state to re-recognise Estonia, proposes that we should follow the example of Nordic cooperation. Catalans, on the other hand, want independence. Complex processes are underway across the Atlantic, which Estonia should follow because of our alliance with the US.
Jón Baldwin Hannibalsson, former Icelandic minister of finance, foreign affairs and external trade, is convinced that the Nordic cooperation model is still an example for many countries. “… [T]he Nordic model is still standing tall,” he writes. “That is even an understatement. It is the only socio-economic model emerging from the ideological conflicts of the last century that has stood the test of time in the age of globalisation.”
Kristi Raik, Urve Eslas and Riina Kaljurand comment on Hannibalsson’s article.
Krum Garkov, Executive Director of eu-LISA (the European Agency for the Operational Management of Large-scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice), writes about cyber security. “We should always remember that today’s countries, companies and citizens—all of them—are part of a broad network that operates in cyberspace, using physical information networks and software,” he says. “Therefore, the response to modern cyber security threats can only be developed through collaboration in novel ways that might seem difficult given the deficit of trust in today’s security environment.”
Jaume Clotet, Director General for Communications of the Government of Catalonia, says with certainty that Catalonia has the right to independence, in an interview with Diplomaatia. “Catalonia [=the Catalans] is a nation, as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are,” he says. “And all nations have the right to decide their future. I am sure that the Baltic States would have wanted to be independent even if the Soviet Union had not been a dictatorship.”
Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, explores US-Russian relations, which have actually worsened since Donald Trump came to the White House. “The economic restrictions target key sectors of Russia’s economy in the hope that the pressure will entice Putin to reverse Russian policies in eastern Ukraine. Their success in achieving this goal is debatable,” writes Weitz.
Karl-Gerhard Lille, a political observer, summarises Donald Trump’s first half-year as president of the US. “His personal shortcomings, primarily petty crudeness and disregard for others, as well as his incompetence, stand in the way of fulfilling his campaign promises. If the president were at least minimally competent, he would have been able to put his personality aside and successfully stay in the game with his political instincts. This seems a lot to expect from the current president,” Lille notes sceptically.
Matti Maasikas and Ivan Lavrentjev review some of the latest books on international relations.
This article was published in ICDS Diplomaatia magazine.