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Estonian Economy Strikes Bronze

27.04.2010
 
Pages: 123
Estonian Economy Strikes Bronze

The 26th April marks the three year anniversary of the relocation of "The Bronze Soldier" by Estonian authorities. Until this time, the memorial had stood in the centre of Tallinn next to a commemorative burial site of Soviet soldiers. The explanation offered for its dismantlement was that it symbolized 'Soviet occupation'.

Russian-speaking inhabitants of the republic reacted with acts of civil disobedience, and violent clashes with the police resulted in many casualties. The broader consequence was a severe worsening of Russo-Estonian relations. What is the current relationship of these two countries? 

"Relations between the two countries have barely improved', the head of the Baltic sector of the Institute of Countries of CIS and the Baltics, Mikhail Aleksandrov, told Pravda.ru. "Rather, the opposite has occurred, given the fact that Estonian powers, in essence, supported the actions of Georgia during the war in August 2008. Why?

The fact of the matter is that the Estonian leadership intentionally sought to aggravate mutual relations, openly engineering conflict with Russia with the goal of maintaining tension between the country’s two largest communities, Russian and Estonian.”

 

"Why did they feel this was necessary?"

"The fact is that nationalists are in power in Estonia. Their strategic goal is to prevent integration between the Russians and the Estonians, a goal they pursue through the fomentation of inter-national passions – among other things, exploiting the myth of the 'Russian Menace'.

"Given that representatives of the community evaluate the events of World War Two in different ways, achieving the desired result was not exactly different. This plot of the nationalists sitting in power in Estonia was completely successful; the rift observed between the two communities after the clashes at the end of April 2007 will continue to make itself felt for some time. 

"It’s no secret that the Estonian leadership has already long been openly trampling on the interests of the Russian minority. But why do the democratic countries of the West, including the USA, turn a blind eye to this?

"The situation in Estonia cannot be regarded separately from that in the other Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania. At the beginning of the 1990s, a political elite which was advantageous to Western countries, and above all to the USA, was placed in charge of these countries. Their ideology was overtly nationalistic and Russo-phobic. Such a choice was not incidental: Washington was, then, still banking on a confrontation with Russia. The political elite of the Baltic States successfully fulfilled this function. In turn, the provocation of conflict with Russia allowed these pro-American 'Quislings' to whip up nationalist passions, and it is owing to this that they were able to remain in power. If these Estonians were to gradually move closer to the Russians living here, then they would choose their leaders according to their actual actions - the nationalists would be left out in the cold."

"The Baltic States, then, including Estonia, have once and for all become mainstays of the West?"    

"It’s a unnatural union which is highly unlikely to be able to continue for long. After all, historically speaking, both in terms of the economy and of cultural relations, the Baltic States have been drawn towards Russia, and not the West. In those periods when they have been included in Western civilization, the Baltic peoples have played an unenviable role. They were under the power of the Germans and the Swedes, both of whom literally regarded their land as nothing more than colonies, and a launching ground for aggression against Russia. Now, having entered the EC and NATO, they find, firstly, that they are pushed to the background here and, secondly, that their lives have not in any way changed for the better." 

"But according to the opinion of a number of experts, out of all the countries of the former USSR, it is precisely the Baltic States which have achieved the most successes."

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