erschienen in der Publikation "Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik 1999"
(ISBN: 3-8132-0599-1) - Dezember 1999
Vollständiger Beitrag als PDF: 12 Seiten (184 KB)
The article presents an overview of the development of Russian-Baltic relations after the demise of the Soviet Union, including Russia's present day strategy for dealing with the Baltic States in order to forestall their membership in NATO, with particular reference to Latvia; it also mentions such efforts as the activation of the Council of Baltic Sea States, the development of bilateral Russian-Baltic dialogue on security issues and the application of economic levers to attain political goals, i.e., the automatic citizenship of the Russian speaking population, a strategy which had no positive effect in Russia's relationship with the Baltic States. The NATO-Russia Agreement is also examined, including the misgivings of some patties in the West regarding parts of the Agreement as well as the West's attitude about the possibility of NATO expansion to include the Baltic states; it also mentions the US-Baltic Charter and Russia's reaction thereto. It further touches upon the failure of Russia's attempts to offer security guarantees to the Baltic states in exchange for their non-membership in NATO, attempts that failed, inter alia, because of the longstanding negative attitude towards Russia on the part of the Baltic states, which were prepared for mutually advantageous cooperation with Russia but not for the signing of security pacts.
The article also examines the recent crisis in Russia's relations with Latvia, including Russia's extensive campaign against Latvia, the attitude of both parties to the crisis and its main actors, particularly the role of the Russian- speaking population in Latvia who may have had a lot to do with the organization of the crisis at Russia's instigation, in order to divert attention from its economic crisis and to test the extent of the United States support for the Baltic States.
In conclusion it examines the future prospects for Russian-Latvian relations which are seen to be very grim due to Russia's deep economic crisis. Latvia's ability to withstand Russian pressure will depend on its ability to establish a more stable political system which would integrate the Russian-speaking population into a liberal Latvian society. Latvia is also dependent on the support of the United States and the European Union.