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Tag: Baltic states

We are still searching for our strategy with Russia

An interview with Linas Linkevičius, a Lithuanian politician and diplomat and former foreign minister (2012–2020). Interviewers: Adam Reichardt and Maciej Makulski

April 11, 2021 - Adam Reichardt Linas Linkevičius Maciej Makulski

The Baltic states. Three peas in a pod?

The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are often together associated as a bloc, with a similar history, culture and politics. While there are some commonalities among the three countries, there are also some key characteristics that make them quite different from each other.

From the outside, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are usually viewed as one – “the Baltics”. However, their fates have only been intertwined during the last century. Prior to the end of the First World War, Lithuania had been closely connected with Poland, while Estonians and Latvians had been under Baltic German domination for seven centuries, no matter whether the ruling power was Sweden, Poland or Russia. Lithuanian and Latvian are the two surviving Baltic languages, whereas Estonian belongs to a completely different language family, together with Finnish and Hungarian.

April 11, 2021 - Andres Kasekamp

The Baltic phoenix

The dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in defragmenting of the world map into fifteen pieces – most of which were new entities. However, three of them somehow seemed particularly familiar – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, jointly known as the Baltic states. Their re-emergence in Europe created many legal questions as they all began to claim renewal of their previous statehoods existing in 1918-1940.

Anti-Soviet tendencies on the Baltic coast exploded at the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. The desire for independence and the struggle for historical truth in the Baltic republics spawned social movements which emphasised the statehoods of the Baltic states, deprived as the result of the USSR’s invasion in 1940.

April 11, 2021 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Russians in Estonia. We are not “them”, we are “us”

Access to good education, healthcare, social welfare and general public services has all contributed to the often difficult process of better integrating mostly older generations of Russian-speakers into Estonian society. The relative ease of conducting everyday life, the security of state support and the prospect of a European future for their children have bound Russians with Estonia over the last three decades.

Estonia’s Russian-speaking community became irritated by a recent speech of the Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid, on Estonia’s Independence Day on February 24th, where she emphatically called on fellow citizens “with a different cultural and linguistic background” to understand “(us), Estonians”. The way she chose to address Russian-speakers and other non-ethnic Estonians living in the country – paraphrased as “you, who are different, need to understand us, Estonians” – signifies the lack of understanding in the president’s office of the sensitivities of “the Russian question” from the perspective of Russian-speakers.

April 11, 2021 - Kristina Kallas

Latvia prepares for big step in LGBTQ+ rights

The issue of granting parental rights to same-sex partners has become the most important fight for equality in modern day Latvia. As parliament prepares to decide on key amendments to the country’s constitution, Latvians are struggling to understand that their freedom should not infringe on the freedom of others.

No one embodies the individual and collective fight for one's liberties and freedom in modern-day Latvia as much as Evita Goša. When her fiancée found out she was not entitled to a ten-day paid leave usually granted to fathers of new-borns, she petitioned the Constitutional Court of Latvia which agreed to hear the case.

April 11, 2021 - Ričards Umbraško

Image of ‘digital Baltics’ cracks under weight of pandemic

Despite being lauded as a digital posterchild, Estonia’s e-governance fell short during the COVID-19 crisis. Its Baltic neighbours, Latvia and Lithuania, fared no better.

March 11, 2021 - Keegan McBride

What Ratas’ removal means for Estonia

The resignation of Prime Minister Ratas and his government comes after accusations of corruption within the Centre Party. Politics in Estonia is entering a phase rarely seen before in its modern history.

January 26, 2021 - Samuel Kramer

Conservatives seal victory in Lithuania’s run-off elections

The second round of Lithuania's general election took place on Sunday with the results showing a win for the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

October 27, 2020 - LRT English and Baltic News Service

Lithuania’s general election – key takeaways

Lithuania’s general election is far from over, and the makeup of the Seimas, the 13th parliament, will not be known until after the decisive runoff vote this Sunday. We can, however, draw some tentative conclusions.

October 20, 2020 - Justinas Šuliokas

A peek into the shadows of history and the present

A review of The Shadow in the East. Vladimir Putin and the New Baltic Front. By: Aliide Naylor. Publisher: I.B. Tauris, London, 2020.

April 6, 2020 - Adam Reichardt

Rail Baltica strives to stay on track

The ambitious Rail Baltica project that aims to build a rail link from Helsinki to Poland has hit many hurdles and continues to face many setbacks. Despite some progress in overcoming these barriers, many questions remain unanswered – including whether the rail system will be operational in 2026, as planned.

The staggering 5.8 billion euro Rail Baltica project, to be built from the Estonian capital of Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border, has become so complicated and sophisticated that the Latvian Transport Minister, Talis Linkaits, recently admitted that “Something will be built by the end of 2025, for sure.”

May 2, 2019 - Linas Jegelevicius

The crest and break of Estonia’s pink wave

The elections to Estonia's Riigikogu wrapped up an unprecedented few months for the political representation of women in the country. The aftermath proved there is still a long road ahead.

April 23, 2019 - Anna Blue

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