June 8, 2018

The World Beyond Our Borders

Liis Treimann / PM / Scanpix

The May issue of Diplomaatia focuses on Estonians in other countries, and the states in our neighbourhood in general—traditionally Russia, but also Ukraine and Kazakhstan. We also look at cybersecurity.

Jaak Madison, a member of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) is worried about supporting Estonians who live abroad. “In recent years, we have unfortunately seen that, when a storm is gathering and the international environment is becoming more unstable, cultural contacts tend to be less important than realpolitik. In connection with the occupation of the Crimea by Russia, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research recalled an Estonian teacher from a secondary school in the village of Aleksandrovka,” writes Madison, who says he is willing to support Estonians living in the Crimea.

Sven Mikser, Jaak Prozes, Andres Herkel and Oliver Loode comment on the subject.

Hannes Krause, head of the policy and analysis department at Estonia’s Information System Authority, writes about European cybersecurity. “The cybersecurity of Europe as a whole will improve significantly when we learn to use all of Europe’s foreign-policy tools to counter cyber-attacks, when states start to cooperate more in the field of research and development in cyber-defence with the support of EU investment, and when a simple and transparent system for assessing cybersecurity is developed in the European market,” he states.

Diplomaatia’s interview this month focuses on Ukraine. Political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko talks about politics and corruption in the country. “Everyday corruption naturally exists, but people are ambivalent about it,” says Fessenko. “What they think of as corruption is when a minister or senior official takes bribes or receives illegal income. But giving a present to a doctor or teacher or even paying them is not considered corruption.”

Analyst Sergey Sukhankin writes about a new level of Russian soft power. “Officially launched on 29 July 2016, the so-called ‘Yunarmia’ (Young Army) military patriotic movement is perhaps the most successful Moscow-coined project aimed at fostering ‘patriotic youth’,” writes Sukhankin. “The brainchild of the Russian Ministry of Defence and Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu in particular, the idea has gained full support from President Vladimir Putin, which is a testimony to the strategic importance of the project.”

Aimar Ventsel explains why Kazakhstan will not become a Russian colony.

Ambassador Margus Laidre reviews a book on NATO recently published in Finland, Vakaus vaakalaudalla: Ajatuksia turvallisuuspoliitikkamme suunnasta (Equilibrium in the Balance: Thoughts on the Direction of Our Security Policy). “The focus has been mainly on the arguments in favour of joining NATO, but I think it is more important to look at how the people against it explain their position. The book provides a good opportunity for getting this kind of insight.”

Filed under: Paper issue