By invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin wanted to change Europe’s security architecture and stop the expansion of NATO. Instead, Sweden and Finland, traditionally non-aligned countries, are now considering to join the alliance. Their membership would have a major impact on the security of the Baltic states.
Increasing migrant flows from Belarus mean that we need to do more patrolling, say border guards at Tverečius checkpoint in eastern Lithuania. As this section of the border is not equipped with surveillance systems, officers rely on assistance from local residents.
The Curonian Spit or Neringa, a narrow peninsula wedged between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon, has been relatively deserted due to pandemic restrictions – yet border guards working at the most remote crossing between Lithuania and Russia have not had much time to spare.
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.
In November 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Moscow was ready to cooperate with Lithuania based on “principles of mutual respect.” But did Putin signal any tangible intentions, or was it just empty rhetoric?
The remarkable story of Estonia 200 gives hope to similar political initiatives in the region. Reaching out to the country's increasingly alienated Russophone community, the party showed maturity and pragmatism.
The United States’ Baltic and Adriatic Charters could become templates for embedding Ukraine and Georgia, as well as possibly Moldova and Azerbaijan, into a provisional multilateral security network. Despite certain caveats, a US-GUAM Charter would be a small but symbolically significant step forward in making Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus more secure.
With just over a week to go before the first round of Estonia’s 2019 elections, the country’s political scene seems to remain unshaken, with the two largest parties likely to swap shares of their parliamentary seats. Potential electoral success for nationalists may, however, give them significant political leverage with which to shape a new coalition government.
In the eastern parts of the European continent, 1918 is remembered not only as the end of the First World War, but also saw the emergence of newly-independent states and the rise of geopolitical struggles which are felt until this day.
Vladimir Putin is set to win a fourth term as president of the Russian Federation. The March-April 2018 issue takes a deeper look at the consequences of Putin’s presidency and what could eventually come after…
“The price of Europeanising the Balkans is much higher than the price of the Balkanisation of Europe,” claims Zagreb-based writer Miljenko Jergović in the opening essay to this issue of New Eastern Europe.