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 "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"

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Helena

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PostSubject: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:54 pm

Venemaa geopoliitilised huvid Baltikumis

Ants Laaneots kinnitab, et idanaabri huvi Balti regiooni vastu peavad kajastuma ka meie julgeoleku ja riigikaitse korralduses.

Euroopa Liidu ja NATO liikmeks saamise eel on väikesed Balti riigid langenud oma idanaabri räige poliitilise, majandusliku ja propagandistliku rünnaku alla. Venemaa jätkuv ebasõbralik tegevus tekitab vajaduse tulla uuesti tagasi nende põhjuste juurde, millest selline käitumine tingitud on.

Suure naabri pikaajalistel erihuvidel Balti regioonis on mitmeid poliitilisi, majanduslikke ja sõjalis-strateegilisi põhjusi. Poliitilistest põhjustest on tähtsamad:

• Soov taasallutada oma ülemvõimule 1991. aastal kaotatud, Vene impeeriumile teatud vaheaegadega ligi kolmsada aastat kuulunud alad ja säilitada nii Peeter I raiutud «Balti aken Euroopasse».

• Suurvene ekspansionism – ajalooline tung riigi tugevnemise ajajärkudel vallutada ja alistada naaberrahvaid. Venemaa teaduslikes ja poliitilistes ringkondades on kõlanud ka idee, mille kohaselt võiks eesmärgiks olla «ökoloogiliselt puhta Baltikumi» asustamine venelastega elanikkonna migratsiooni teel, mis võimaldaks «Balti riikide probleemi lõplikult lahendada».

• NATO ja Euroopa Liidu laienemise tõkestamine itta, kuna nad ohustavad Venemaa suurriiklikke huvisid. Soov tekitada «hall tsoon», mille taasallutamise juurde võiks sobival ajal tulevikus uuesti tulla. Märkida tuleb ka võitlust lääneliku demokraatia ja tsivilisatsiooni mõjude levimisega Ida-Euroopasse ja Venemaale.
Majanduslikud põhjused:

• Balti riikide, nende raudteede, heade sadamate ja merekommunikatsiooniliinide strateegiline tähtsus Venemaale idast läände liikuvate kaupade transiidi jaoks. NSV Liidu sadamate 1980. aastate käibestatistika näitab, et läänesuunalistel kaubavedudel tehti ligi 30% kõikide laevade vedudest läbi Leningradi, 70% vedusid toimusid aga läbi Balti riikide ning Kaliningradi oblasti sadamate.

Juba praegu on Euroopa Liidu osakaal Venemaa väliskaubavahetuses lähenemas 50 protsendile ja võib selle tulevikus isegi ületada, kusjuures lõviosa kaupadest liigub Balti riikide kaudu. Veoste maht suureneb pidevalt.
Nii moodustas Eesti tuleviku-uuringute instituudi andmetel transiitkauba vedu ainult läbi Eesti sadamate 2002. aastal 33626 tuhat tonni, 1994. aastal näiteks 8788 tuhat tonni.

• Eesti, Läti ja Leedu kui arenenud tööstus- ja põllumajandusregiooni majanduslik tähtsus.

Sõjalis-strateegilised kaalutlused:

• riigipiiri nihutamine piki Läänemerd kulgevale joonele parandaks oluliselt Venemaa julgeoleku keskkonda loode suunal ja välistaks igasuguse kallaletungi võimaluse sellelt;

• Venemaa õhukaitsesüsteemi paiknemine Balti riikides tõstaks Vene sõjaväe juhtkonna arvates oluliselt tema efektiivsust;

• Balti riikide valdamine annaks Venemaale võimaluse opereerida oma sõjalaevastikuga avamerel ja kontrollida kogu Läänemere basseini. Balti regioon on alati olnud hea strateegiline lähtepositsioon Venemaale tegutsemiseks Lääne- ja Põhja-Euroopa suunas;

• kartus, et NATO võib kasutada Balti riike kui sillapead kallaletungiks Venemaale;

• Eesti läheduses asuva Venemaa «teise pealinna», strateegiliselt ja majanduslikult tähtsa Sankt-Peterburgi piirkonna julgeoleku tagamine. Meenutame siin, et just seda argumenti kasutas NSV Liit ettekäändena kallaletungiks Soomele 1939. aastal.

Meie hiiglasliku idanaabri enam kui tuhandeaastases ajaloos on olnud mitmeid hiilguse ja languse perioode.
Ühel viimastest, pärast inglastele, prantslastele ja türklastele kaotatud 1853.–1856. aasta Krimmi sõda, sellele järgnenud revolutsioonilisi sündmusi Venemaal, mis kulmineerusid pärisorjuse kaotamisega 1861. aastal, olid impeeriumi autoriteet ja mõju Euroopas nullilähedased.

Otsides teed riigi võimsuse taastamiseks, küsis tsaar Aleksander II oma riigikantslerilt vürst Aleksandr Gortšakovilt, milline peaks olema Venemaa poliitika tema nõrkuse perioodil. Riigikantsleri soovitused, mis hiljem said nimetuse Gortšakovi doktriin, olid põhimõtteliselt järgmised:

• hoida Venemaa eemal igasugustest välistest komplikatsioonidest, mis võiksid kas või osaliseltki tõmmata ära jõud riigi majanduslike ja sisepoliitiliste probleemide lahendamiselt;

• teha kõik võimalik, et Euroopas ei toimuks Venemaale kahjulikke muudatusi jõudude ja mõjusfääride jagunemises;
• hoida impeeriumi poolt varem saavutatud poliitilisi ja territoriaalseid positsioone;

• stabiliseerida riigis sisepoliitiline olukord, taastada jõud ning ressursid ja tagada Venemaa tugevnemine;

• kriisist välja tulles jätkata oma rahvuslike (loe imperialistlike – A. L.) huvide realiseerimist.

Vene endine välisminister Igor Ivanov kinnitab oma raamatus «Novaja rossiiskaja diplomatija», et targa vürsti pooleteise sajandi tagused soovitused on olnud Vene Föderatsiooni välis- ja sisepoliitika kontseptuaalseks aluseks viimase aastakümne jooksul. Idanaabri käitumise analüüs näitab, et sellel kinnitusel on tõepõhi all.

Venemaa on välja tulemas pikaajalisest poliitilisest ja majanduslikust kriisist, millesse ta langes pärast NSV Liidu lagunemist 1991. aastal.

Aastavahetusel 2002/2003 määras Venemaa president Vladimir Putin valitsusele kolm kõige tähtsamat ülesannet: 1) kahekordistada lähima kümne aasta jooksul riigi sisemajanduse kogutoodang; 2) kiiresti taastada Venemaa sõjaline võimsus; 3) parandada elanikkonna sotsiaalset heaolu.

Stabiliseerinud sisepoliitilise olukorra ja saavutanud positiivse arengu oma majanduses (Venemaa sisemajanduse koguprodukt kasvas Izvestija andmetel aastatel 1999–2003 35,7% ehk keskmiselt 6,3% aastas), muudab meie idanaaber oma poliitikat üha enam neoimperialistlikuks.

Seda on näha Vene poliitilise eliidi poolt laialt toetatud postnõukogude ruumis «liberaalse impeeriumi» loomise idees; möödunud aasta oktoobris avalikustatud uues (nn Ivanovi) sõjalises doktriinis; sõjalise eelarve kiires tõusus (üksi kaitseministeeriumile on 2004. aastaks eraldatud 2,7% SKPst ehk 411,4 miljardit rubla, s.o 15,5 miljardit USD, võrreldes 344,5 miljardi rubla ehk 11 miljardi USDga 2003. aastal).

Samuti venelaste püüdes säilitada oma sõjaväebaasid Transnistrias, Kaukaasias ja Kesk-Aasias ning luua isegi uusi – nagu õhujõudude baas Kantis, Kirgiisias; Ukrainale esitatud territoriaalsetes pretensioonides Musta mere Kertši väinas asuva Tuzla saare suhtes; Kremli püüdes saavutada riigis kontroll massimeedia ja suurettevõtluse üle; hiljutistes Riigiduuma valimistes, mis tõid Venemaal võimule natsionaalšovinistlikud poliitilised jõud.

Erilise rahutuse Venemaaga piirnevates riikides on kutsunud esile tema uues sõjalises doktriinis väljendatud nn ennetava löögi võimalus naabrite pihta.

Kaitseminister Sergei Ivanovi selgituste kohaselt võib vägivaldne sekkumine teiste riikide asjadesse toimuda kolmel juhul:
• kui naaberriigi territooriumilt lähtub mingi oht Venemaale;
• kui rikutakse Vene kodanike õigusi ja vabadusi;
• kui naaberriigis on ebastabiilsuse oht ja keskvõim pole suuteline kontrollima oma territooriumi.
Öeldust pole raske mõista, et ettekääne jõu kasutamiseks on vajadusel üpriski kergesti leitav.

President Putini eesmärk on taastada Venemaa kui tugeva majanduse ja tsentraliseeritud võimuga, võimsate relvajõududega suurriik, mis oleks võimeline nn multipolaarse maailma teooria kohaselt võrdselt teiste suurriikidega kaasa rääkima maailma probleemide lahendamisel.

Vene poliitikud ei varja, et järgneva arenguetapi eesmärgid näevad ette Venemaa mõjusfääri taastamise kõikides tema jaoks geostrateegilise huvi objektideks olevates regioonides, eelkõige aga endise NSV Liidu aladel.

Sellest tulenevalt peavad Balti riigid nende vastu juba läbiviidava infosõja ning üha suureneva rahvusvahelise terrorismiohu kõrval lähitulevikus arvestama veel järgmiste julgeolekuriskidega:

• ettearvamatus Venemaa arengus, milles on võimu juurde tulnud poliitilised jõud, kes püüavad taastada impeeriumi;

• Venemaa jätkuv pretendeerimine erilistele õigustele ning juhtivale rollile endise NSV Liidu territooriumil;

• naaberriikidesse investeeritava Vene kapitali ärakasutamine Moskvat huvitavatel poliitilistel eesmärkidel;

• Vene Föderatsiooni vastuseis NATO ja Euroopa Liidu laienemisele endisesse nõukogude ruumi, mis võib saada ettekäändeks jõuvõtete kasutamisele endiste nõukogude vabariikide vastu;

• idanaabri jätkuv soov võtta endale nn rahuvalvaja roll endise NSV Liidu aladel, sh näiteks ka venekeelse kogukonna kaitse ettekäändel;

• Balti riikides asuva vene kogukonna suurvenemeelsete liikmete Moskvast inspireeritud katsed mõjutada vabariigi seadusandliku ja täitevvõimu tegevust, destabiliseerida sisepoliitilist olukorda, suruda peale kakskeelsus, lõhkuda riikide terviklikkus ja nendega kaasnevad võimalikud abitaotlused Vene Föderatsioonile.

Eesti poliitiline juhtkond on muutmas riigi julgeolekupoliitikat ja riigikaitsesüsteemi. Kuid peame alati silmas pidama, et ka NATO ja Euroopa Liidu liikmena jääme veel pikaks ajaks nende organisatsioonide piiririigiks, vahetusse kokkupuuteasendisse meie vastu ebasõbraliku naabriga, mis peab leidma sügavat kajastamist ka meie julgeoleku ja riigikaitse korralduses.

Artikkel väljendab autori isiklikke seisukohti.

http://www.postimees.ee/170304/esileht/129238_2.php

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An interesting text about Russian geopolitical interests in Baltics. It explaines a lot about why Putin behaves the way he does. It's written couple of years ago by Ants Laaneots who is now head of Estonian Defence Forces (and in my opinion he is much better than the last one, Tarmo Kõuts). I'm planning to translate it into English in few days.
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LPF



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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:03 pm

very good article.. laaneots brought out good points...
.. too bad it is in estonian
in my oppinion the baltic states are too big bite for russia, considering we are in EU and NATO
tho you never know
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Helena

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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:02 pm

So here is the translation now. It was hard to translate it because Estonian and English are very different languages and you can say the point of one Estonian sentence in about three English ones. But I hope you'll like it.

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Russia’s geopolitical interests in Baltic states

Ants Laaneots
2004

According to Ants Laaneots, the head of Estonian Defence Forces, the Eastern neighbor’s interest against Baltic states must be redounded when organizing our national security and defence system.


Before joining the European Union and NATO, small Baltic states have been attacked by Russia in political, economical and propaganda way. The countinouing unfriendliness of Russia gives us a reason to come back to the reasons of this kind of behavior.

Our great neighbor’s special interests against us have several political, economical and military-strategical reasons.

The most important political reasons:

• Russia’s wish to bring under their control again the countries which have been lost in 1991 and have been owned by Russia with little breaks for more than 300 years. This way Russia could rebuild its „Baltic window to the Europe“, founded by Peter I.

• The expansionism of imperial Russia – a historical will to conquer and bring under its control the neighbour countries in the periods when Russia is strong. In the political and scientistic districts of Russia there has been an idea of populating „the ecologically pure Balticum“ with Russians by the migration of inhabitants which would „solve the problem of Balticum conclusively“.

• Holding back the expansion of NATO and EU to the East as they endanger Russia’s imperial interests. A wish to create a „grey zone“ – Russia could return to the plans of counquering it later, in suitable time. There must be also mentioned a fight against the spread of the western democracy and civilisation to Eastern Europe and Russia.

Economical reasons:


• Baltic states’s, their railways’, good harbours’ and sea communication lines’ strategical importance for Russia’s transits from the East to the West. The 1980. statistics of the harbours of USSR show that 30% of the transits to the West went through Leningrad, 70% tarnsits went trough the harbours of Baltic states and Kaliningrad oblast.

Even now the role of the EU in changing goods is approaching to 50% and in the future this percent can grow even bigger. Most of the goods move through Baltic countries. The numbers of the transits are permanently increasing.
Therefore, according to the Institution of Futural Investigations of Estonia, the transits just through the Estonia’s harbours in 2002 was 33626 thousands tons, as in 1994, for example, it was only 8788 thousands tons.

• The importance of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as developed industrial and farming regions.

Military-strategical reasons:

•Swifting the Russia’s border to the coast of the Baltic Sea would greatly increase Russia’s military security in North-West and would eliminate all the chances to attack from there.

• According to the heads of Russian army, if the air defence system of Russia would be situated in Baltics, it would be much more effective.

• Owning the Baltic states would give Russia a chance to operate in the open sea with its ships and control all the Baltic Sea. Baltic region has always been a great strategical place for Russia for acting in Western and Northern Europe.

• Suspicion that NATO could use the Balticum as a bridge to attack Russia.

• Assuming the security of the „second capital city of Russia“, strategically and economically important Sankt-Peterburg. Let’s remind that this was the argument of Russia to attack Finland in 1939.


There have been several periods of glory and decadence in the history of our Eastern neighbour.
One of the last ones took place after the War of Krim (1853-1856) which Russia lost to English, French and Turkish. In this time period there were revolutional happenings in Russia that culminated with losing the slavery. The imperium’s influence on Europe and its authority were near zero.
Searching the way to restore the power of the country, tsar Aleksandr II asked his councellor Aleksandr Gortchakov, what should Russian politics be like in the period of its weakness.

The suggestions of the councellor, which were later named the doctrine of Gortchakov, were generally next:

• Keep Russia away from every kind of outer complications which would even partly drew away attention and strenght from solving the economical and inner political problems.

• Do everything that’s possible to avoid changes of power and influence zones and in Europe that would be harmful to Russia.

• Keep the political and territorial positions that imperium has.

• Stabilise the inner political situation in the country, recover the strenght and ressursses and assume the strenghtening of Russia.

• When Russia has come out of the chrisis, continue realizating its national (read: imperialistic – A.L) interests.
The former Minister of Outer Affears of Russia Igor Ivanov assumes in his book „Novaya rossiyskaya diplomatiya“ that the suggestions given by the wise nobleman one and a half centuries ago have been the conseptual basics of the inner and outer politics of Russian Federation in the last decade. The analysis of the beahvior of our Eastern neighbor show that this assumination is true. Russia is coming out from its long political and economical chrisis that began with the separation of the USSR in 1991.
In the change of years 2002 and 2003 Russian president Vladimir Putin set up three most important tasks of Russian government:
1. To double the total inner production of the country in next ten years.
2. To restore the military power of Russia quickly.
3. To improve the social situation of people.

If Russia has stabilized its inner political situation and managed to assume its economics’ evolution (according to the Izvestiya, the total inner production of Russia grew 35,7 % in the years 1999-2003 which makes average growth per year about 6,3 %), our Eastern neighbor is going to change its politics more and more neoimperialistic.

This can be seen in the idea of creating „a liberal imperium“ in the post-soviet space which is strongly supported by political elite of Russia; in so called Ivanov’s military doctrine that has been disclosed last year in October; in greate increase of the military budget (to the Defence Ministry alone has been given 2,7% of GDP, it means 411,4 billion rublas or 15,5 billion USD in 2004, as in 2003 it was 344,5 billion rublas or 11 billion USD).

It can also be seen in Russia’s attempt to save its military bases in Transnistria, Caucasia and Middle-Asia and even to produce more – like the base of air forces in Kant, in Kirgisia; in the pretensions to Ukraine about Island Tuzla which is situated in the Strait Kerch in the Black Sea; in Kremlin’s deavor to control the mass media and big companies; in last elections of Russian government where national shovinistic political forces had the power.


In Russia’s new military doctrine there is expressed a chance of so-called proactive strike against its neighbors and that has called forth an especial anxiety of countries that have a land border with Russia.
As the defence minister Sergei Ivanov explains, the violent interruption into the other countries’ business may take place in three cases:
1. If something from the territory of a neighbor country endangers Russia.
2. If the rights of citizens of Russia are spoiled.
3. If there is a danger of unstablility in a neighbor country and the government can’t control its territory.
It’s not hard to see that it’s quite easy to find an excuse to use power if it should be necessary.


President Putin’s goal is to restore Russia as a country with strong economics, centralized power, and powerful armed forces; an imperium that could talk over the problems of the world equally with the great countries (according to the so-called theory of multipolar world).
Russian politicians don’t hide the fact that next developement levels of Russia forsee the restoration of the influence zones of Russia in all areas that Russia is interested in, especially in the area that has formally been part of the USSR.
Therefore, besides the informatic war addressed to them and increasing danger of international terrorism, Baltic states must already count the next risks of safety:

1. Undivinatable evolution of Russia as the powers trying to restore the imperium have gained power there

2. A continouing pretendation to special rights and leading role in former territory of the USSR.

3. The political use of Russian money invested here.

4. The Russian Federation’s dislike against the expansion of NATO and the EU; that can become an excuse to use RF’s power against former USSR states.

5. The Eastern neighbor is contionously showing up interest to become a „peacekeeper” in the territory of the former USSR; one of the excuses is protecting the Russian minority.

6. The attempts to influence a work of pailiaments and governments of former USSR, destabilize the inner political situation, make the countries two-languaged, cleave their entirety and possible help-calls addressed to Russia. The attempters – imperialistically minded Russians who are influenced by Russia.


The political leaders of Estonia are about to change the politics of national. But we must always remember that even as a member of the EU and NATO we will stay for a long time a border country of these organisations, in close contact with an unfriendly neighbor and this must be reflected when organizing our self defence system.

The article expresses a personal opinion of the author.
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NowhereMan

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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:23 pm

I don't know what threats you are talking about people. Whatever Russian politicians say about military power is blowing smoke. In fact, Russian army is in a very serious crisis. I am not happy to say this but I am afraid that Russia is hardly able to defend itself at the moment...
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Helena

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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:43 pm

Actually, what I've heard and read quite a lot about Russian military lately. Usually those articles say that Russian government has started to improve the army greatly. And that's logical when we read those three goals of Putin.
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Rzeczpospolita

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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:18 pm

Estonians seems over-sensitive about Russia. Sure that you will find millions of reasons why they could invade Baltic countries but author miss one important possible explanation of current behavior of Russian leadership. Antagonize society against eternal enemies is good way to turn away their attention from domestic problems. I don't think that Russia have interest to invade your country.
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NowhereMan

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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:20 pm

You're right
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Helena

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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:56 am

That's a good point.
Anyway, Putin has said that his dream is to make Russia very powerful again. The fact is that Estonia has only been independence in the times of weakness of Russia. Every time Russia has stood up to its own feet it has tried to expanse. It may sound paranoic but in my opinion we have a serious reason to worry as we have a world's biggest country as a neighbour and it doesn't seem to want to do friendly business.
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AlexeyFromRussia



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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:32 pm

Fact is that both Estonia and Latvia are earning to much money becaue of Russia. They make high taxes on transporting goods from their ports to Russia. I don't see why they should go that much against country, on which they are making all profit.

P.S. In St-Petersberg new big port is in building process. In few years 2 countries from Baltic states will loose to much profit because of this project. At same time we, russian people, will get cheaper goods))))
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AlexeyFromRussia



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PostSubject: Re: "Russian geopolitical interests in Baltic states"   Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:42 pm

You people speak about this scary Russia.

If you view Russia as a big problem, than why you don't try to stop problem from coming?

The Bronze Soldier story... You have decided to destroy something that is valuable to us.

I can give you an example of similar country. Ukraine is following antiRussian policy. They creat many small problems, do actions which seem fashist to russian people and so on. Than big monster economical crysis came and Ukraine(Estonia and Latvia) is in very bad economical situation(compared to other countries). Next thing they do is asking Russia to lend them money and at the same time signing agreement with EU about gas without even enviting Russia. WTF? I see no logic this...
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