May 29, 2017

The World on Both Sides of the Line of Division

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Luke Johnson
Two U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters assigned to the Alaska National Guard's 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment launch toward villages on Kodiak Island as part of the Arctic Care 2017 medical readiness training, March 28, 2017, at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska. Arctic Care 2017 is an Office of Secretary of Defense sponsored, Air Force Reserve Command led, training event coordinated with Kodiak Area Native Association and civil authorities in Kodiak.
Two U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters assigned to the Alaska National Guard's 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment launch toward villages on Kodiak Island as part of the Arctic Care 2017 medical readiness training, March 28, 2017, at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska. Arctic Care 2017 is an Office of Secretary of Defense sponsored, Air Force Reserve Command led, training event coordinated with Kodiak Area Native Association and civil authorities in Kodiak.

May’s edition of Diplomaatia focuses on both better- and lesser-known parts of the world. Estonia has been a member of the European Union and NATO for years and this requires us to look further beyond our own region.

Urmas Paet, Estonian MEP and compiler of the European Parliament report on EU policy for the Arctic region, writes that Estonia should apply for observer status on the Arctic Council.
“Estonia should also apply for observer status on the Arctic Council as the closest country to the Arctic that is not part of the organisation,” he writes. “Current and future activities in the Arctic affect Estonia as well. I proposed this a few years ago and a working group was set up in the Estonian ministry of foreign affairs, but the topic has now, unfortunately, been dropped.”
Sven Mikser, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee, comment on Paet’s article. An excerpt from Finnish president Sauli Niinistö’s talk about the Arctic at the Lennart Meri Conference is also published.
The Philadelphia-born historian and political scientist Ronald Grigor Suny talks about the Armenian genocide, but also modern Armenia, in his interview with Diplomaatia.
“Armenia is, in essence, a country surrounded, enclosed from several directions by enemy states who would quite like to destroy it. Nationalism is the state’s shield against problems. So, patriotism and nationalism will last as long as there is war and hostile neighbours, and it is very difficult to conduct scholarly debate on those subjects,” he says.
Sergey Sukhankin, an Associate Expert at the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv, writes about Kaliningrad Oblast, which he thinks is more of a military stronghold than a bridge for cooperation.
Retired Major General Vello Loemaa reviews the Cold War in Estonia’s airspace and its vicinity.
“What we may consider unique is that the [Soviet] 14th Aviation Division was located on Estonian territory. This consisted of air defence brigades and air regiments, and could have even been called a corps owing to the number of sub-units. What is more, the division was the only one to be located solely on the territory of what was then a Soviet republic,” writes Loemaa.
Maxime Lebrun, non-residential research fellow at the ICDS, writes of the reasons why the West tends to forget about the war in Ukraine.
Diplomaatia’s editor-in-chief, Erkki Bahovski, reminisces about the former Finnish president, Mauno Koivisto, who died this month and under whose leadership Finland acceded to the European Union following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Filed under: Paper issue

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