#23 | 2014
rough the prism of Obama, Fra NATO through France and Finland T ture clas ween R nd Europe The culture clash between Russia and A strategic chess game in the Middle East
The world is less stable than at any time since 1991. Francis Fukuyama’s predictions of the end of history with liberal democracy coming out on top have been relegated to the dustbin. Although the genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, al-Qaeda terrorism or the Russia-Georgia war should not be downplayed, today’s world is at the brink of two world wars at the same time. Andrei Illarionov, a former adviser to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, has called Russian aggression in Ukraine a prologue to World War Four. No one can predict whether Ukraine is the prelude to a Russian war against the whole world. God forbid that it is. But preparations must be made.
If there’s talk of World War IV, World War III must have occurred at some point. World War III is none other than the war waged by extremist Islam against the rest of the world. And it is indeed appropriate to term it a world war. Terrorism doesn’t just strike in the West, but China, Russia, India, African countries and, to top it all off, Islamic countries themselves. No one is safe from terrorism. Everyone must be prepared for the possibility that terrorism will come home to their respective countries. We can only try to pin a date on when World War III started – whether it was the Gulf War, the first Russian war in Chechnya, 9/11, the toppling of the Taliban and Saddam, Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war or the rise of the Islamic State. But it’s clear that World War III is happening. In an asymmetric war, there are often no fronts and lines, the soldiers bear no insignia, and some countries even deny they are in a war. Yet the war is a fact – a bloody one. Today’s unofficial and irregular combatants are well-trained and wield powerful, modern weapons. They are equipped with intelligence about their adversary. But they don’t bear any responsibility in the sense of the international rules of warfare. They are not bound by any international covenant and don’t acknowledge anyone else’s sovereignty. No rules apply; people cannot be
sure about what will happen to them if captured by such belligerents. Yes, World War Three and Four could happen at the same time. Perhaps even in the same place. And the participants in one world war might be allies, while in another, they are enemies. Top leadership appears to lurch erratically from one crisis to the next, and there is no effective cure for the situation. At least talk of NATO no longer being necessary because the world is done with warfare has been deleted from the agenda now. NATO is essential in precisely the same form and with the same objectives as when it was founded in 1949. The relationships governed by the Washington Treaty must be complemented with asymmetric warfare provisions covering cyber war, information warfare, partisan warfare, green men and disclosing aggression in cases where it is hard to prove that a given aggressor is involved. Euro-Atlantic cooperation is more salient today than it ever has been since the end of the Cold War. President Obama’s visit to Estonia and his vow that NATO will defend all of its members with all of its means is just as important a world war deterrent as it was from the 1950s to the late 1980s. It is with this mind that we dedicate this issue primarily to EuroAtlantic topics.
Pro Patria 20 With this issue of Maailma Vaade, copublisher Pro Patria Institute marks its 20th year of activity.
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Euro-Atlantic relations through the prism of Obama: change we can believe in Lecturer of International Relations at Tallinn University Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008 under a unique set of circumstances. In a time of crisis, recession, and despair he was voted in on a wave of hope and excitement. It had been decades since a president had such rock star status with such high expectations. His election motto “change we can believe in” was an accurate representation of how people around the world felt. While expectations were high for Obama’s domestic policies expectations were at their highest regarding foreign policy. After eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency America was bogged down in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush’s war on terror strained relations with the Muslim world. Relations with Europe had also suffered, in large part from opposition to the war in Iraq where the US attempted to legitimate its unilateral strategy using divide and conquer methods. This happened by categorizing Europe in terms of ‘old’ and ‘new’ and using the term ‘a coalition of the willing’ which also assumed that there was a coalition of the unwilling. This backdrop explains how Barack Obama’s expectations were able to reach such high levels. Just after a few months of taking office, he won the Nobel Peace prize in 2009 which was based on the assumption that he would be able to meet many of the high expectations. This came in large part from two rock star speeches, one in Berlin and the other in Cairo. Before assuming the presidency in 2008, some 200,000 gathered for a speech in Berlin where Obama branded himself a citizen of the world and called for an end to the Iraq war as well as progress in battling nuclear proliferation. A short time later in 2009 Obama spoke in Cairo of a new beginning between the Western and Islamic world where mutual respect and mutual interest. It seemed a new beginning for US foreign policy as well.
A changing transatlantic relationship While many European leaders were happy to see Obama elected into office, his presidency immediately highlighted a more subtle tension in transatlantic relations. Obama brought a much welcomed commitment to multilateralism and diplomacy yet also brought his postEuropean world view to the presidency. A relatively young Obama (born 1961, making him 15 years younger than George W. Bush) was not overly influenced by the Second World War or the Cold War. He grew up in Hawaii, spending time in Indonesia as well. This world view coupled with ongoing world developments meant new challenges for the transatlantic relationship. The first challenge was a decision to reset relations with Russia. Relations between Russia and the US had been good for a short time when Putin first entered office. He was the first to call to offer his condolences to George W. Bush after 9/11. Perhaps Putin saw this as a chance to legitimate Russia’s harsh policy towards extremism in the Caucus region. After a promising start to bi-lateral relations under the Bush presidency, relations quickly soured with Russia firmly opposing the Iraq war. NATO enlargement and NATO plans for missile defense saw the relationship worsen. Obama’s decision to reset relations with Russia was a concern particularly for countries in Eastern Europe who traditionally had been more skeptical of Russia. More worrisome yet was Obama’s decision to pivot or rebalance US foreign policy towards Asia. Obama’s foreign strategy to pivot to Asia was problematic for allies in Europe for several reasons. The first was simply a point of style. The word pivot implies that an actor is turning away from one region to the other. The Obama team had to assure European allies that the Asian pivot was not a pivot away from European allies, but hopefully a pivot with European allies towards different regions in the world. This policy was later rena-
med a rebalance not a pivot. European fears were stoked by the second and more prevalent aspect of the pivot. More US troops were placed in Australia and Guam. This coincided with a reduction of US troops and military hardware in Europe. Plans for missile defence were scaled down as part of the Russian reset policy. Tensions have always existed in the transatlantic relationship, as Robert Kagan famously stated “Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus”. Yet these tensions represented a something profoundly different for the transatlantic relationship. These changes were in part based on Obama’s world view but also changing interest for the United States. The rise of China called for more US engagement in the region. The tensions did not represent a profound difference of opinion between US and European allies or disdain for certain policies by one party. Instead these developments highlighted the diminishing relevance of Europe for the United States. This was only reinforced by the role of US leadership in NATO’s military mission in Libya. The US clearly demonstrated its limited interest in the region by encouraging Europe to take the lead in the military mission. This policy was dubbed ‘leading from behind’ by many pundits in the US. What many feared in Europe was that the US was lea-
From left, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek, President of Croatia Ivo Josipović, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama and President of Romania Traian Basescu watch a flypast of military aircraft on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. ving Europe behind in favor of the AsiaPacific region. The return It appeared that these trends would continue indefinitely due to the rise of China, the end of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other global issues drawing US interest away from Europe such as piracy. The shift away from Europe towards Asia proved short lived and instead we have seen another pivot, this time back to Europe. The last few years have presented economic and security challenges for both the US and Europe. The result of these challenges has been a renewed partnership. For the US a potential challenge is the cooperation of the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). They have recently launched a New Development bank and continue to move towards providing an alternative global financial system. For Europe, economic problems continue. While there is no longer an imminent ‘euro crisis’ unemployment and stagnant growth continue with no end in sight. Together these challenges have in part provided the incentive for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). While Obama is certainly not known for his support of free trade deals, he is a strong
supporter of this agreement. This deal would boost GDP growth and create jobs by harmonizing regulation which would reduce transaction costs for both goods and services. In many ways this agreement would further entrench the US and Europe as leaders of the global financial system. Despite US economic interests in Asia, geopolitical developments brought the US and Europe back together again as champions of a liberal economic order. Obama’s reset policy with Russia did not last long. While the US and Russia still cooperate on a number of important areas such as counter terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and the international space station, US-Russia relations are currently at an all-time low in the post-Cold War era. This is not necessarily Obama’s fault. Several US presidents have attempted to improve relations with Russia only to fail. While Finland and China have proven that it is possible to have positive relations with Russia (or at least normal relations) it has proven especially difficult for the US. The United States’ well intended policies towards Russia’s neighbors paved the way for worsening relations due to Russia’s overly sensitive geopolitical concerns. The ongoing Ukraine conflict has cemented Obama’s return to Europe. Rather than hinting that Europe had more to lose
and thus should take the leading roll, the US has taken the lead in issuing sanctions towards Russia and in giving reassurances to NATO allies, notably the Baltic states and Poland. In yet another rock star speech, this time in Tallinn Estonia, Obama reiterated the equality of all NATO members and the commitment to collective defense. This and other NATO policies have caused some to speculate that the reinvigoration of NATO will be Obama’s greatest legacy. The most interesting developments with the Ukraine conflict are those which have not happened. There has not been a large division among European allies on policy towards Russia (France’s potential Mistral ship sale being perhaps the lone exception). This certainly has been the case in past conflicts such as the Iraq war and NATO’s Libya mission. In addition there has been no split among BRICS towards Russian aggression in Ukraine. Other BRICS countries have been very cautious and have not been critical towards Russia on the subject in order to maintain solidarity among. These developments have cemented the United States’ pivot back to Europe. While the Ukraine crisis certainly was the key event in bringing the US back to Europe, it certainly is not the only one. Iraq has since erupted in chaos as ISIS, a
radical Sunni based militant group aims to create a caliphate in portions of Iraq and Syria. Reluctantly, Obama has outlined a plan to combat ISIS. To do this he gathered up a group of willing nations, mostly from Europe, although a number of Arab states have pledged support in various ways. This seems somewhat similar to Bush’s coalition of the willing. Like Obama’s failed pivot to Asia, the goal of improving relations with the Islamic world have also failed. In the ashes of large dreams, are specific plans of action with old European allies.
This is not to say that there are no problems in the transatlantic relationship or that there will not be any future problems in the transatlantic relationship. The spy row between Germany and the US lingers and reflects on a lack of trust between the two. Future challenges will certainly arise as well. But for the foreseeable future it appears that those challenges will all be within the traditional framework where the transatlantic relationship is the key partnership for both Europe and the US.
years later he has rejuvenated NATO, cemented relations with Europe, spoken the harshest words to Russia since the Cold War, and once again begun a military operation in Iraq with an assortment of European allies. Obama did not change the world, the world changed him. Because of the events of the past six years, Obama’s worldview is now very much Eurocentric. And that is change Europe can believe in.
Barack Obama was elected US president with a mandate to change the world. Six
Kalev Stoicescu International Centre for Defence Studies research fellow Transatlantic ties have often been called the foundation of European security, the political cement that forms the bond between NATO allies. The relationship is also an indicator of the strength of the alliance. The strength of NATO doesn’t lie merely in the arithmetic sum of the military capabilities, firepower and size of the armed forces of its members – to which the US contributes the greatest share – it also consists of the strategic American interest in (defending) Europe and the ability of Europeans to keep transatlantic ties strong. NATO has endured as a unified and strong alliance for the last 65 years in spite of occasional tensions between members, such as the risk of war between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus in 1974 or the opposition of leaders in “old Europe” to President George W. Bush’s Iraq war in 2003. Yet a very important factor in the development of transatlantic ties – one I would call a kind of political barometer – has always been the role of France in the alliance and the relations between this particular, headstrong country and the US: A founding NATO member who left in a huff and returned proudly Since the founding of NATO in 1949 up to 2008, the French attitude and role in the alliance was defined by Gaullism, the policy shaped by General Charles de
Gaulle. As we know, France is a founding member of NATO, and the headquarters and important structures and bases were originally located on French soil. But in 1966, the relations between France and the US-UK became so strained that the French head of state pulled showed the alliance the door. All NATO structures and allied forces had to leave France post-haste. The NATO headquarters moved in rapid order to a hospital building just completed in a suburb of Brussels. France would be absent from NATO military structures for the next 43 years, while remaining a member of the alliance and taking regular part in political discussions and the decision-making process. Only in 1995 did President Jacques Chirac seek a rapprochement with NATO – and France again started taking part in military operations, including in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. The ultimate return of NATO’s prodigal son to the alliance’s military fold was officialised by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009 at the Strasbourg-Kehl summit. French security and defence policy has continuously changed over these historical periods and today political relations between France and the Anglo-American members are much warmer and businesslike than ever before, although the primary principles of Gaullism paradoxically continue to hold sway right up the present day. France still is not participating – and it is the only holdout among NATO members – in the NATO Nuclear
France and the transatlantic relationship
Planning Group (NPG) and has clearly stated, in the Livre Blanc de la Sécurité et de la Défense Nationale in 2008 and 2013, that it reserves the right to decide on use of its armed forces based on its own assessment of a specific crisis situation. Gaullism But let us go back in time for a moment, to the roots of Gaullism. The British have long been the historical rivals – and sometimes even enemies - of the French (for more on this, I recommend Stephen Clark’s 1000 Years of Annoying the French), But the US came strongly to the fore in the post-World War II age as the dominant superpower and a period of hegemony for the English language also began (as the French would say, to
A French Army Land Rover and pallets of rations are seen on a Royal Air Force C17 cargo aircraft as it prepares to leave for Bamako in Mali from Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, 16 January 2013. The British Royal Air Force is lending logistical support to France as it sends forces to Mali. With the help of NATO allies including Britain, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Canada and Denmark the first African troops arrived in Mali within days and a 3,000-strong ECOWAS contingent was gathered in few weeks. the detriment of the French language). The Anglo-Americanophobia among the French deepened. The French saw all English-speaking peoples (even the Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders) as cut from the same cloth, calling then Anglo-Saxons, which tends to have a negative subtext. The term les anglosaxons is still used today and not only to help to distinguish the French culture and mentality from the English-speaking world, but to highlight the claimed superiority and undisputed uniqueness of the French. One of the key factors of the transatlantic relations has always been the relationship between les anglo-saxons and, as it were, the “Frenchies”. This context shaped the developments during and after World War II, where the US became the catalyst for Gaullism. In the trying conditions of the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill lent support to Charles de Gaulle, and FDR also tolerated the behaviour of the stubborn and often arrogant French general. Without this, de Gaulle would not have likely become the
French leader and great man of history that he did. Furthermore, it was these same Anglo-Saxons who bore the main burden for liberating France. But these facts didn’t deter de Gaulle, who sought special status for France as a world power and above all in Europe. Now was he under any condition willing to bid adieu to the French colonial empire (especially Algeria) and hated, more than anything else, how the British “kowtowed” before the US. The ascendancy of the English language and American ideals in the free world simply fanned the flames as far as de Gaulle was concerned. Return to the alliance’s fold France’s absence from NATO’s military structures and activities (including defence planning, exercises etc) was a lengthy one. France’s independence nuclear deterrence became a symbol of its independence from the US, and remains that way today. During the Cold War, France considered West Germany to be, in some respects, a buffer state. To parap-
hrase a joke in the context of the Northern Europe of those days, the French were prepared to defend their country to the last German. But after the Cold War, when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, French policy started changing. It could no longer remain on the sidelines and had to join with allies in taking action. Paris soon realized that a return to NATO military structures was inevitable, as it wouldn’t be too wise to contribute to military operations without taking part in the process of planning and command. President Jacques Chirac tried to reconcile with NATO in 1995 and achieve as favourable an agreement as possible for France to return to those military structures. But apparently the French demanded too much (various commander positions in NATO’s various commands etc)( and the domestic political situation did not prove conducive to a comeback in NATO. The so-called transitional period, during which France committed major forces to NATO military operations, including in
Russian sailors stand next to the Vladivostok warship in the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France, 5 September 2014. Responding to international pressure, France suspended the delivery of the warship to Russia at least until November amid security concerns over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. The Vladivostok, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was due to be delivered next month as part of a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) contract - the biggest-ever sale of NATO weaponry to Moscow. Kosovo and Afghanistan, while remaining an outsider – was a protracted one, as Chirac made no further overtures to NATO. True, this was no longer within the possibilities of the domestic political calculus, as Franco-American relations took a sudden turn for the worse with the new Iraq crisis. Chirac demonized George W. Bush but did not see Putin as a threat. At the critical moment that Estonia was preparing to join NATO, it seemed the transatlantic relationship that had withstood so many challenges was foundering. An indignant Chirac went so far as to vocally rebuke the US’s political allies, including Estonia (for not using the great opportunity to remain silent). At the same time, France committed up to 3,000 troops to the ISAF operation in Afghanistan and engaged in close cooperation with the Americans.
Sarkozy also declared that France had to rejoin NATO’s military structures. On one hand, this was a domestically thorny decision (which could not be done without seriously shaking the foundations of Gaullism) and at once a fairly resourceintensive endeavour (about 1,000 officers with sufficiently high proficiency in English and several million euros had to be found). In no time, the US welcomed France’s decision and the negotiations within the alliance yielded a result that was very much to Paris’s liking. France was back in the alliance, head upright and at full strength. Here it should be noted that France considers its nuclear deterrent capability (both the naval and air component) separate from NATO and its chain of command, although it has politically declared that it is a part of the alliance’s general nuclear deterrence.
In 2007, France’s US and NATO policy changed decisively when Nicolas Sarkozy was elected president. He saw not only an opportunity but also a need to warm relations with the White House.
For the French, the question of language is very important. NATO has always had two official languages – French and English. When French officers found in 2009 that NATO had essentially become
English-speaking over the decades, they realized that they had no one else to blame for this but France. Yet this has not in any way complicated the alliance’s activities or the integration of French military into NATO’s military structures. The French armed forces are no less capable than the British military, and thus the US has always had a high regard for them. L’Europe de la Défense The above subheading is the quite lyrical title often used in France to refer to common European security and defence policy. For France, it is a cherished political project, because it is a way for Europe to become emancipated from American influence and become a considerable and independent military player. And France would be the leading force in this project. The ambitions of Paris were especially great, insofar as it held the presidency of the European Union in 2008. But many allies saw a pointless overlapping with the efforts of the alliance at large – if it wasn’t direct
competition, it was in at least the political sense. For this reason, Sarkozy was cautious in 2008 not to send the wrong signal to allies on the return of France to NATO, avoiding the impression France was trying to undermine NATO. Of course, the common security and defence policy has not ultimately made it very far or yielded noteworthy results, and it seems to me that at the current juncture France is no longer even sticking to its guns on the matter. Russia: A new challenge for the alliance and transatlantic relationship In the post-Cold War period, NATO’s main functions also encompass, besides collective defence, foreign missions and partnerships. Now, in connection with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the international situation has changed again and NATO is returning to its original raison d’être – collective defence. It can be said with a certain satisfaction that the US – which was looking strategically toward the Asia and Pacific region – is “back” in Europe (the quotation marks underscore that the US never left Europe but did draw down its military presence considerably). A couple years ago t was discussed whether the US would soon pull all of its forces out of Europe, but now some of them have been re-deployed in the Baltics, Poland, and Romania. Yet France, which had committed itself seriously to the collective defence of the alliance and is contributing actively to the Baltic Air Policing mission, is still dealing with Russia in a manner signi-
ficantly different to the approach used by the US and the UK. We have not heard the word “aggression” once from out of the French President in the context of what Russia is doing in Ukraine. It appears that the French political leadership wants to restore the status quo with Russia as soon as possible. For France, it appears to be surprisingly hard to give up or postpone the delivery of the Mistral class helicopter carriers to Russia. The US has strongly and repeatedly criticized this reluctance. At the same time, France did not block or try to significantly obstruct NATO’s process of strengthening defence of its eastern allies as a response to the threat from Russia. In that sense, the differences in political attitudes between Paris and Washington have not curtailed the activities of the alliance or jeopardized the transatlantic relationship. If we look at the bigger picture, far from the most direct context of Estonian security and defence, we see that the primary and militarily most capable allies for Estonia have engaged in and continue to engage in close cooperation in quite disparate crisis situations. We should recall Libya, but also Mali and the Central African Republic, to say nothing of the Persian Gulf and the bombardment of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Estonia and the transatlantic relationship
military cooperation with the so-called Anglo-Saxons, its big allies the US and the UK. I believe that it is these countries that offer Estonia the most solid security guarantee, not that we should underestimate the solidarity and will of other allies to contribute to bolstering Estonia’s defence. Moreover, the US and the UK have shown the most resolute opposition to Russia’s aggression. And just as intelligently, Estonia has cultivated defence and military cooperation with France, which has now attained a very good footing in spite of France’s attitudes toward Russia, which seem too egocentric (and negligent toward Estonia) or even alarming. In this sense, Estonia us capable – tempered of course by the realization that we are not a large country – to be an effective actor on NATO’s main axis of power – the transatlantic relationship. Last but not least, NATO will continue to have active capacity as long as the transatlantic relationship remains strong. The latter will be the case as long as there is interest on both sides of the Atlantic in maintaining, developing and utilizing the alliance in the interests of all NATO members. It is premature to predict NATO’s demise – no matter how much the Kremlin may yearn for it – because a new, impressive and modern alliance headquarters is about to be completed in Brussels and member states and partner representations will shortly be moving in.
Estonia has made a politically very wise decision in devoting itself above all to
Finland and NATO - will closer relations lead to accession? Interview with Pauli Järvenpää, senior research fellow with the International Centre for Defence Studies. Interviewer: Mart Nutt Finland has been a neutral country and has had a special relationship with Russia since the late 1940s. Has this been the correct policy from Finland’s perspective or should Finland have made different decisions during the Cold War? Finland had no choice during the Cold War. Finland cultivated relations with the West as much as possible. In the 1960s and the 1970s, Finland started integrating with the West little by little and in
1995, as we know, it became a member of the European Union. Before that, there was an extremely delicate balancing act in its relations with the Soviet Union. To a certain extent, there is still a habit that when something is done vis-à-vis the western side, then something has to be done vis-à-vis the eastern side. The Soviet Union kept its eagle eye trained on us the whole time. Finnish policy back then was a maximalist policy. No other country standing up for its main inte-
rests could have achieved a better end result than Finland. There was always an awareness that the USSR was powerful and brutal and would run roughshod over Finnish interests. That was what the situation was like. If we were to be a little critical of Finland – and I worked for the Finnish government for 35 years and I am thus a part of the problem, and in certain cases a part of the solution as well – we see that there are many among the current leaders in Finland who are still
If Finland had tried to join NATO in the 1960s, might the Soviet Union have attacked you? There was no opportunity to join NATO; that would have been a completely absurd idea. The USSR would have certainly done everything it could right up to the use of military force to keep Finland from joining. Actually the “opportunity,” so to speak, opened up for us only in the early 1990s. Although I was at that time a senior defence ministry official, I said right out loud that Finland should join NATO. Accession was fairly close. From 1995 to 1998, the wind was blowing in a favourable direction, but then a decision was made not to pursue membership. Which was cowardice, and I tried to oppose it. After the fact, many of the people who held important posts back then have said that we should have had the courage then. How did Finland react to the Baltic states joining NATO? Didn’t this plant the idea in government officials’ heads that if the Baltics joined, Finland should do so as well? Or did they treat it as a completely different topic and the Baltic question did not pertain to Finland or Sweden? We saw ourselves as a completely different country. But in addition, Finland had quite a lot of childish thinking, along the lines that this was not the right companions for us. The first three countries – Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary – and then the larger group of 10 countries that included the Baltics… these were not suitable company for us. It was said politically and completely openly that Finland would not join with this group of countries. It was an unbelievable attitude, but it was seen at a very high level among senior statesmen. For Russia, these politicians were useful idiots. On the other hand, Sweden would have been perfect company. In some sense, the situation in Ukraine has diversified the political use of language and encouraged politicians to
be more forthright. I would say that if you left out Estonia, Finland’s positions and political assessments in relation to Russia’s actions in Ukraine are on a good European level. We haven‘t exactly been in the front ranks in condemning Russia’s invasion and annexation, but we have been at a decent European average level. We have no reason to be ashamed of our attitude, the main message has been clear: this behaviour is wrong and the sanctions against Russia are justified. Of course, as I said, Estonia is in a totally different category. You have a great president, who is very liberal, very competent, capable and bold and should be highly commended. If Sweden did join NATO, what would Finland do? If Sweden joined - although that is not at all likely – Finland should join as well. We have no other option. But if Finland were to join, I’m not at all sure Sweden would join. This is an asymmetric situation. Would Sweden be interested in a situation where Finland joined and Sweden maintained its neutrality? The Swedish situation is similar to Switzerland’s: it is surrounded by friendly NATO countries and Russia and Arab countries are all far away? If Finland joined, then Stockholm would certainly think: now we are sufficiently protected. During the Cold War, the biggest military threat was an attack on Sweden across the Baltic Sea, southern Sweden could be overrun. Now the countries on the eastern Baltic shore are NATO members. But how do ordinary Finnish people see the Ukraine issue? Is it remote and unfamiliar or does it have direct implications for Finland and its future? The developments in Ukraine are not at all distant or unfamiliar. What can be read in papers, seen on TV and heard on radio shows that the Finnish people have a very realistic picture of what is going on. This is attested to by opinion polls: an opinion poll conducted in January and February, i.e. before the Crimea events, found that about one-third of Finns saw Russia as a threat to European security. In spring, after the Ukraine events, nearly 60% of Finns said the same. In half a
in “Cold War gear” (despite many of the current Cabinet members being young and not knowing much about the Soviet era) and don’t understand that Finland could be stronger blazing a trail for itself in its own way.
year, there had been a noteworthy change in opinion. The same respondents were also asked about NATO membership. In January, those in favour of Finnish NATO membership made up 17%, but in summer, the figure was 26%. The difference is 10 percentage points, which is significant. Also significant is the number of those who couldn’t say. If the situation in Ukraine calms down and people forget, then we’ll see what trend will continue in Finland. It’s interesting that according to opinion polls, more than 60% of Finns would approve NATO accession if it was decided at the political level to seek membership. Thus the main thing that Finland lacks is a political position on NATO. In the light of events in Ukraine, don’t Finns consider it safer to join NATO, assuming that Russia wouldn’t dare attack some NATO country but could threaten neutral countries, as after all Ukraine is such a country. We can’t be compared to Ukraine. We don’t have a Russian minority. The Russian minority is just a pretext. Yes, of course it can be a pretext, but there isn’t even a pretext in Finland. Of course, we have Russian citizens who have come to Finland and are now Finnish citizens, but not many of them. There are about 70,000 and this is not all that great a number compared to our 5.5 million people.
NATO and Asia-Pacific co-operation: studying media and elites’ perceptions Tallinn University of Technology, Department of International Relations; Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, NATO Project Director Back on 19 January 2012, the 12th Secretary General of NATO appeared in Tallinn on business – not only did Anders Fogh Rasmussen publically pay tribute to Estonia for a unique possibility for him to talk to his “children and grandchildren in the United States and Denmark” via Skype, but, on a far more serious note, Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that “NATO remains the world’s gold standard in security cooperation”. As much as for any New Zealander, ‘cooperation’ means a great deal to me. The well-developed South Pacific archipelago and one of this planet’s oldest classic democracies, New Zealand is all about genuine and mutually beneficial interconnectedness with other nations. Therefore, I could not hold myself from not asking the Secretary General a simple question on how NATO is planning to enhance its cooperation with the organisation’s partners across the globe – more specifically, with the perceivably like-minded nations such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand. The question was finishing up with a not-so-well-hidden highly speculative suggestion regarding possible NATO membership for some of the aforementioned countries… In 2012, it did sound like political science fiction – no more, no less. The Rasmussen’s answer was, however, not so generic as one could have predicted it would be – the Secretary General underscored that, enlargement wise, NATO is concentrating on (thinking of) Europe only, but, regarding the elsewhere, the organisation is in real need to find appropriate methods to enhance cooperative mechanisms with its global partners. After I heard the answer, my immediate thought was that it would be nice to find out how those
known as well as prospective partners really perceive NATO and what kind of a scope for partnership they have in mind when cooperating with the Alliance. In the academic field of international relations, our thoughts, worries or predictions could literally lead to nowhere, but also could be materialised in no time. Two years is nothing for history, and the 2014 Quiet Crimean War made irreparable damage to the post-1945 international system. The subsequent Russian invasion to the Ukrainian Donbass, the actions of the so-called Islamic State, and the Nigerian contemporary ethno-religious issues dismantled the system completely. This is a new world now, it is definitely in trouble, and it has to work over-time to create another international system. By default, NATO will be striving to play an important role in the yet to be established geopolitical framework of the contemporary. Any attempt made by academia in terms of offering help at a time of change is often treated by practitioners with significant degree of scepticism. In a way, the ‘hands-on’ professionals have certain rights to be incredulous towards academicians – how many from the latter group had predicted the Soviet Union’s collapse? how many of them had been expressing concerns about the growing number of ethnic ghettos in Europe? who had been wise enough to visualise Donetsk as this century’s ‘Sarajevo’ in all senses of this word? The answer to all of the aforementioned questions is “not many people at all”. At the same time, the scholarly thought has been and is still of immense importance for all involved into international relations. Political science can think conceptually, while critically analysing the status quo. Let us use this quality of the great academic discipline in full. Our project – ‘NATO Global Perceptions - views from Asia-Pacific region’ – is get-
ting funded and implemented under the framework of NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and proposes to assist the Alliance to systematically trace NATO external images and perceptions. We understand perceptions as the key factors behind global expectations of the organisation and a key cultural filter triggering range of its partners’ reactions to NATO global initiatives. The project will be proudly administrated from the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies (Department of International Relations, Tallinn University of Technology), and its team of executives and experts includes some of the world’s leading scholars in fields of perception studies (Associate Professor Natalia Chaban and Professor Martin Holland) as well as research and measurement academic programmes (Associate Professor Svetlana Beltyukova and Professor Christine Fox). We are aiming at uniting the forces of TUT (Estonia), University of Canterbury (New Zealand), and University of Toledo (United States). Indeed, NATO’s ‘partnership across the globe’ is a mechanism, via which the Alliance is currently trying to address traditional and non-traditional security threats in the context of cooperative secu-
Two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130J Hercules aircraft fly above the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge during a display on 10 September 2014.
rity. Objectively, these threats have a global nature, transcending all possible borders. In the line with Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (adopted in November 2010), the cooperative security approach is planned to enhance collaboration between global partners dealing with security challenges and allow utilising and maximising NATO’s political and military capabilities. For now, this is what NATO is looking at. However, global multipolar redesign comes with tectonic changes for the global security framework. In the world of shifting powers, NATO’s cohesive and strategic partnerships – in Europe as well as elsewhere – are critical. Yet, the question of how some of the Alliance’s global partners perceive NATO in the context of cooperative security – including its goals, operational capacity, functional capability and influences – remains at best under-addressed. Therefore, the project will conduct comprehensive comparative research of elite perceptions and media images of NATO as a global cooperative security
actor to identify, measure, raise global awareness, and extend knowledge of NATO worldwide and among its partners across the globe. The project will focus on the Alliance’s five global partners in Asia-Pacific, namely Australia, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, and South Korea. There is also a very recent thought to add People’s Republic of China to the list of localities under study, even though China is not among the Alliance’s global partners.
understand expectations of the organisation in Australia, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, and South Korea? Since there are perceivably not like-minded nations to NATO existing somewhere, where is the borderline between different ‘worlds’ and are these ‘worlds’ that different? The answers to these and other questions should, with necessity and inevitability, feed into NATO’s contemporary public diplomacy practice in the context of cooperative security.
Our interest will be in getting closer to answering a number of research questions, for example, how strong do NATO’s security priorities (such as counter-terrorism, energy and environmental security, or defence against cybercrime agents) resonate with countries in AsiaPacific? Does the changing architecture of the world, and ‘rising Asia’ in particular, influence how NATO’s Asia-Pacific partners and China embrace these priorities? Do they see an increased relevance in the partnership with NATO or are they distancing themselves from NATO? How do perceptions and images of NATO in Asia-Pacific help us to
As it was mentioned before, the range of challenges and threats that NATO is currently facing are of a global nature and ignore traditional boundaries. That is why no one was too surprised to see Australia among the Alliance’s newly introduced list of ‘Enhanced partners’. When I heard the news about the Green Continent ‘jumping’ onto the ever-highest level of partnership with NATO, I had remembered my question to Anders Fogh Rasmussen that was asked back in 2012. Quite often, the difference between a political science fiction and a reality is a difference in time only.
Mihhail Lotman Tallinn University Man-on-the-street interviews in Moscow yield quite an interesting result. Although the official line is that Russia is not even involved in Ukraine, when asked “what’s going on in Ukraine?”, a substantial number of people will say a war between Russia and the US. A more general answer is just as popular: it’s a war between Russia and the West. While I don’t have data to back it up, it’s hard to imagine that anyone in the US or the West would say the same. In any event, it is a significant symptom and it would be good to discuss the reasons behind them. Russia’s distinct identity was formed in the last two centuries based not on ascribed positive Russian qualities but on negatives attributed to the West. As said, the Western qualities are not authentic but specially contrived for the purpose at hand. As an idea, Europe in all of its ethnic diversity consists of two main components: Christian traditions and Roman law. Actually, both of these terms are inaccurate and aren’t independent of each other. We encounter Christian traditions in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the Transcaucasus etc., so it would be more accurate to speak of Western Christianity, Catholicism and Protestantism, which unlike Eastern Christianity is intertwined with Roman law. As for Roman law, we should really refer to it as Athenian law, as it was from Athens that it spread to Rome and on to all of Western Europe. If we look at the borders of the European Union as they are now, we see that they coincide with the boundaries of Western Christianity and the Roman legal sphere. The European Union countries that are not part of that sphere (Bulgaria, Romania and Greece) are also the ones with the biggest difficulty integrating with the EU. The religious component (Eastern vs. Western Christianity) has received plenty of attention. But I find that the legal
component is much more important. The legal system devised by Solon (6th century BCE) was a unique event in human history. Usually laws were handed down by God to ancestors, and tradition took care of maintaining them. Ordinarily law is oral but it can be written. Shamash (or Marduk) handed down the text of the law to Hammurabi; Yahweh handed down the Decalogue to Moses. Divine laws are not up for discussion, they are to be obeyed. They are above the level of human intelligence. Why do the Ten Commandments forbid us to covet our neighbour’s cattle, but not lying or paedophilia? These aren’t dumb questions, but they are questions we can’t ask the drafter of the laws for an explanation. Solon’s laws are quite different. Not that Athens lacked legislation before his time. The city-state had laws named after Draco the reformer. The laws were called draconian and the word began to be associated with harshness of legal norms. Draco’s name proved his undoing: actually his laws were not as harsh as those of Lycurgus in Sparta. Draco’s laws were not in any way dragon-like. Solonian laws developed in a unique place in a unique cultural context : democracy. Besides laws, also born in the same time and place were philosophy, logic and rhetoric. None of them was an accidental techne (craft, knowledge or art); they were all integral parts of a single system. I term it a rhetorical ideal, but it could also be called a European ideal. It consists of three parts: 1) the human intelligence is capable of determining truth (philosophy) and of dealing with it so that it does not become false in the process (logic); 2) man is capable of expressing the truth in words (rhetoric); 3) man is capable of formulating true behavioural rules and obeying tem (law). This ideal – a unique one – now seems more naïve. In any event, it is the opposite of the so-called Eastern ideal, the crux of which is that the truth can never be known and something does happen to be learned, it cannot be adequately exp-
Ilmar Saabas, epl.delfi.ee
Russia and Europe: cultural components in the current crisis
ressed in human language, and thus it is better to be silent, and every behavioural action is the wrong action, so in fact it is better not to do anything at all. Although the rhetorical ideal has never been explicitly articulated, it was a selfevident part of European culture up to the modern age and largely still remains valid today. Understandings of truth may change – i.e. Christian truth has fundamental differences to heathen or atheist truth. But the ideal – that one must say what one is thinking, and that one’s deeds must match one’s actions – has survived. The illustrious teacher and European education reformer Jan Amos Komensky starts his famous work Orbis Sensualium Pictus with a dialogue: “Master: “Come, Boy, learn to be wise.” Boy: “What does this mean, to be wise?” Master: “To understand rightly, to do rightly and to speak out rightly are all that is necessary.” This text was memorized by students across many generations all over Western Europe. Laws handed down by humans have a completely different status to laws of God. They can be supplemented, corrected and if necessary revised. Laws are interpreted not by a priest or ruler but by an independent judiciary, with all of it (philosophy, rhetoric, law) taking place competitively: accuser and defendant
A map from Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations (1996) shows the author’s vision of the post-1990s world
present their versions of the truth, and the court determines which of them is actually true, not just by applying the law but also by interpreting it. The interpretations may in turn have a legal status that informs subsequent court decisions. In this sense, the Russian mentality is quite different from that of Europe. Whereas the European model of society is predicated on the supremacy of law, in Russian society (at least as the ideologists of the current regime describe it), power is supreme – power viewed as being both governance and ruler as well as force. Such constructs have been posited in the West, above all in the Third Reich, and the experience has been reckoned with in Russia. Publicist Andrey Shishkov has written a work entitled Vladimir Putin and Carl Schmitt. The decision by Putin that demolished the unipolar world.” True power does not stem from law; it is the law. Nevertheless, it should be noted that this prominent German philosopher of law did not have such a flattened view of things. Schmitt’s clearest formulation of the relationship between power and law can be found in an article from 1934, “Der Führer schützt das Recht” (The leader defends the law). Here we read that the Führer, the supreme sovereign leader is vested, is the effectuator and protector of the law. Thus any talk of the Leader acting illegally is a contradiction in terms. Still, unlike Russian thinkers, Schmitt is least concerned with legal nihilism.
To sum up, we can say that the principle of Western society is based on the supremacy of law, which is expressed by the fact that legal power is autonomous and independent; laws have the force of power; and political decisions have a legal basis. It’s different in Russia. The reaction of “philosopher” Aleksandr Dugin to losing tenure at Moscow University is characteristic. The fact that such a charlatan was a professor at Russia’s most prestigious university is a scandal in itself, but this wasn’t the reason for his firing; rather it was his overzealous support for Putin in his aggression against Ukraine (besides a direct slight at the Ukrainians as a people, Putin did not like the fact that Dugin was talking about plans for a conquest of Ukraine as if he, Putin, had approved them.) Formally, the firing itself was completely arbitrary and illegal. Yet Dugin, who was very disappointed, writes that there was no possibility of appeal. “Power is power and in Russia it takes precedence over the law. I do not contest that this is the general principle, and thus I don’t contest a specific case where arbitrariness affects me personally. This is Russia and the stanchion of power is what I accept and support. Including cases that seem to be, mildly put, undignified. It comes down to the principle.” Dugin’s words are reminiscent of the communists executed during the Great Terror who shouted even as they shot: “Long live Stalin!” Or an example from an earlier time when the oprichnik Vas-
silys Gryaznoi fell prisoner to the Tatars in Crimea and Ivan the Terrible did not initially ransom him release (he was considered expendable). “Vasyutka” first reminds us that he was not captured during a rabbit hunt but whilst fighting in the tsar’s service and that he himself killed six Tatars and wounded 20. “First I regaled you, sire, at tableside, now I due for God and you.” But in spite of his desperate state of mind, he begrudges the tsar nothing: “Sire, like God, you perform acts both great and small.” While the principle of dura lex, sed lex (it is a harsh law but it is still the law) formulated in medieval times still holds in Western Europe, the Russian principle might be phrased durus rex, sed rex. Russia’s aggressive response to Euromaidan – completely disproportionate from the perspective of the West – can be explained above all by cultural/psychological factors. Even if we leave aside Putin’s obvious fear of Maidan becoming contagious and spreading to Russia, the Ukrainian reorientation to Europe struck many Russians as a stab in the back. Putin’s regime is based on the opposition of the Russian identity to the West. As a Russian blogger quipped, Putin is like Plato’s demiurge. He creates the world out of ideas – he had the idea that Russia was surrounded by enemies and lo and behold, after a while it turned out that way. But in this context the Ukrainians are not just enemies (one of many, that is) but enemies par excellence. The “Western” aggressiveness, duplicity and
A man walks by a broken window as people wait in line to cross the border to Russia on 12 September 2014 in Izvaryne, a border post near Krasnodon, eastern Ukraine. European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso warned on September 12 that the Ukrainian ceasefire was not enough to achieve long-term peace and chided Russia over its “unacceptable behaviour” in its western neighbour. New EU sanctions sank the rouble to a new low as strongman Vladimir Putin brushed off the latest punitive measures against Russia and accused the West of using Ukraine to destabilise international relations.
hypocrisy have all been attributed to Ukraine in superlatives. The most elemental xenophobic models such as the wrong food customs and improper sexual intercourse have been resorted to. The change was so sudden and clear that it could be expressed in the form of a table: Ukraine and Ukrainians prior to 2014 - Ukrainians are a fraternal nation, they are practically the same people as the Russians - Ukrainians and Russians have a shared history - Ukrainians are friendly and humorous - Ukrainians and Russians have shared values Ukraine and Ukrainians 2014 - (Western) Ukrainians are not Slavs; they are a mix of Jews and Celts or even Polovetses (no matter that these variants are mutually exclusive)
Ukrainians have not history at all, they are a Russophobic project of the Austrians. Ukrainians are Nazis Ukrainians are (sexual) perverts
The opinions on below could be taken for those of some extremists or anonymous Internet commentators. But in fact there’s an authoritative politician, opinion leader or even scholar behind each ones. For instance, the Ukrainian genetic analysis was “conducted” by economist Matveichev, who has since removed his text, but it still circulates anonymously online in tens of iterations. Official Moscow fights the “rewriting of history.” Yet there’s no country in the world where history is not rewritten so actively as it is today in Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, Putin ordered that the role of Crimea in Russian history be accorded due treatment in school textbooks. The Russian-language book mar-
ket is seething with anti-Ukraine writing, with a number of them being clear forgeries. For instance, a John A. Armstrong treatise from 1980, Ukrainian Nationalism, published by a Ukrainian academic publishing house in the US, contains nothing against Ukraine or Ukrainians. In 2008, a Russian translation of the book was released, bearing the subtitle “Facts and Research.” But another edition of the book was published in 2014, now with the title “Roots of Ukrainian Nazism: where Ukraine ended up in the 21st century”1. If you can’t find it, you have to make it up. Found in reprint, as they say. ¹
John Armstrong: Istoki samostiinovo natsizma. K tshemu prishla Ukraina v XXI veke. Moskva, 2014
Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994 The Presidents of Ukraine, Russian Federation and United States of America, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom signed three memorandums (UN Document A/49/765) on 5 December 1994, with the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Through this agreement, these countries (later to include China and France in individual statements) gave national security assurances to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Joint Declaration by the Russian Federation and the United States of America of 4 December 2009 confirmed their commitment. Excerpt: â€œWelcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State, taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time, noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces, confirm the following: 1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine; 2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;
tion arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.
4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;
(Signed) Leonid D. KUCHMA
This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature. Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages. For Ukraine:
For the Russian Federation: (Signed) Boris N. YELTSIN For the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: (Signed) John MAJOR
5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclearweapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State;
For the United States of America: (Signed) William J. CLINTON
6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situa-
Post-Soviet revanchism or a strategic miscalculation by Putin? Vladimir Juškin In October 2002, the Foundation for Effective Politics site published an interview with Vyacheslav Irgunov, then the deputy chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on CIS Affairs. In the interview, he said: “The CIS is a peripheral phenomenon for Russian politicians; it’s like an ideological label that is scarcely considered a serious political factor.” To effect a sea change in the situation, Irgunov recommended that “necessary” people – politicians who are able to protect the state’s long-term interests – be involved in various branches of power. The publishing house International Relations published the Russian translation of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 2004 book The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership. On page 140, Brzezinski warns: “The possibility of a turn toward nationalist dictatorship is still not ruled out in Russia. Europe should keep close watch to make sure the nascent energy partnership with Russia does not give the Kremlin new leverage for political influence over its neighbours. […] NATO and the EU should do all they can to include new post-Soviet independent countries, above all Ukraine, in the Euro-Atlantic community’s orbit.” The Kremlin is a quick study. Already on 2 September 2005, after a meeting with the CIS foreign policy leaders, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took to the pages of the newspaper Rossiyskie Vesti to announce changes in Russian-CIS relations. The aim of the changes was to establish “playing rules” in the postSoviet space between Moscow, Washington and European structures. Rule no. 1. Russia has had, and will always have, its own strategic and tactical interests in the post-Soviet space. This is just as clear as the fact that the US has its own interests in Mexico and Canada. Rule no. 2. Like it or not, Russia intends to carry out a much clearer and also more
aggressive and pragmatic policy. Russia is prepared to use all of the means at its disposal to fight for its strategic interests. Rule no. 3. Russia will stop being charitable. If a regime is loyal to Moscow and cooperation results in mutual benefits not just for the economy but also political returns, then incentives can be discussed in the economy, migration policy and other fields. If not, there is no point in supporting a illusory friendship that actually allows such regimes to exploit Russia’s wealth and assets. As the newspaper stressed, “this mainly pertains to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.” Big ideas Citing American researcher Robert Jervis, political scientist Igor Zevelyev, Ph.D. draws attention to one important conclusion: “To explain why a given key decision was made, we often have to understand the beliefs of the decisionmakers, their worldview and conception of other subjects.” It is clear that the extraordinary decisions that were made in Moscow in February and March didn’t just stem from a desire to expand territory; rather, they came out of a particular worldview. Since the 1990s, there have been two major streams in the intellectual discourse about Russia’s identity (the “Russian question”). First, the compatriots policy and the Russian world concept have developed and made strides. Secondly, the nationalist discourse on a “fragmented people,” which has been around for a while but did not have a significant effect on specific policy before the spring of 2014. The term “compatriots abroad” was adopted in official language in 1992, but the phrase “Russian world” appeared in social discourse only in 2007. The term “fragmentation” of the Russian people and its right to reunification was brought into the consciousness of the Russian elites by politicians such as Natalya Narochinskaya, Vladimir Zhiri-
novsky, Gennady Zyuganov, Yuri Luzhkov and Sergei Baburin. The years from 1998-2001 witnessed attempts to implement this idea in the form of legislative initiatives, but they did not become law. But no matter how important the concepts of compatriots, Russian world and “fragmented people” were in the domestic discourse on national identity, they were still too narrow for positioning Russia as a world superpower. Starting in 2008, when it became clear that Russia would not become an independent part of the Greater West, the fundamentals of Russian foreign policy began to evolve along the lines of civilizational affiliation. This in itself was nothing new. Already back in the 19th century, such Russian conservatives as Nikolai Danilevsky and Konstantin Leontiev referenced Russian exceptionalism. A century later, American conservative Samuel Huntington thought along the same lines. Aleksandr Dugin said long ago that Russia is not a state but a civilization. Thus a post-Soviet revanchist ideology became official, with Russia seen as the consolidator of the fragmented Russian world with its artificial boundaries. Robert Jervis’s conclusion that we must learn the ideological coordinate system used by the Kremlin’s political decisionmakers should become an axiom for analyzing the relations between Russia, the West and post-Soviet states. What might appear in one system to be a righting of historical justice and protection of the Russian world is annexation of a sovereign country in another view. Supercycles Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev, who was shot in 1938, proposed the theory of long waves (or surges or supercycles) in 1926. Kondratiev waves are long (lasting 50–55 years) economic cycles, each one characterized by its own “technological revolution.” The birth of a new Kondratiev cycle is heralded by seminal discoveries and inventions, usually appearing at the end of a fading
Heads of states participating in the Fourth Caspian summit in Astrakhan – President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, from left – taking a walk along the Volga River embankment. RIA Novosti.
cycle, not chaotically but practically at the same time in different places. Since the birth of capitalism, there have been five technological generations, one after the other. Today the world is on the threshold of the sixth technological generation. In the world’s advanced countries, above all in US and Japan, the outlines of this generation are only now emerging. The basis of this technological generation is bio- and nanotechnology, genetic science, membrane and quantum technology, photonics, micromechanics, nuclear energy. The sixth technological generation began emerging in 2010-2020 and will reach maturity in the 2040s. A new scientific and technical revolution will take place in 2020-2025, with discoveries that will prove to be breakthroughs and synthesize the above fields. For example, currently 60% of production capacity can be attributed to the fifth
generation, 20% to the fourth and even at this early stage, 5% to the sixth. In Russia, the share of the fifth technological generation is about 10% and this is the case only in the defence contacting and air and space industry. Over 50% can be ascribed to the fourth generation; and nearly a third to the third generation. Furthermore, in recent years the world is seeing an accelerating re-industrialization race, where the goal is to utilize as much of the potential of the value added creation chain as possible. In this chain, tens of companies from tens of countries work together to manufacture a final product (in fields such as electronics, communications, aviation and automotive industry, many areas of machine building, transportation vehicles etc) all of them cooperating in technological and production-related cooperation. The classical scheme is that the intellectual property resides in the US, the intermediate
links are located somewhere in Asia, and the final assembly and testing takes place in China. Russia is one of the outsiders in the global value added chains. Does the Kremlin then not know anything about supercycle theory or value-added chains? Was really no one able to foresee the consequences of economic sanctions that cut Russia off from modern production technologies and investments? Of course they were. But who? Above all, one such person is Sergei Glazyev, who is President Vladimir Putin’s adviser on matters of regional economic integration. This is the same Sergei Glazyev, who played an important role in the Crimea events and the beginning of Russian spring. His inner circle includes the Orthodox magnate Konstantin Malofeev (who has become close to Putin) and his close friends and colleagues (Igor Strelkov and Alexander Borodai). To paraphrase Aleksandr Dugin, in this circle,
“Putin thinks like a ruler and the Russian hero Strelkov acts in the name of Putin.” The cunning of the hourglass In an hourglass, the present flows into the past, leaving less for the future. If one lives by the hourglass, time has an exact measure – down to the final grain of sand. An academic from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergei Glazyev wears a mechanical watch and when its hands stop moving, the watch must be rewound. Glazyev is certain that Russia still has an opportunity to transition to a policy of pre-emptive development based on stimulating the growth of a new technological generation. But for this to happen, he says, it will be essential to become free from the traumatic birth pains of Russian capitalism. First of all, the elites will have to “selfpurge”– the elites who currently consist of oligarch representatives (offshore aris-
tocrats) and Western agents must become a subject of national development. Second, the revenue streams flowing into the state budget from higher oil prices must be directed into research and development and innovation, in order to support the development of the products of the new technological generation, as well as into investments in the necessary infrastructure. Instead of growing currency reserves in the form of obligations to the US Federal Reserve, surplus currency income should be spent on importing cutting-edge technology. Third, Russia will need its own lebensraum which it lost with the Soviet collapse. Eurasian integration should be treated as an axis of internal development. But the scale of the Eurasian project should be comparable to the Soviet-era Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Right now, there are free trade initiatives with India, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries. In this sense, the Eurasian economic links being
forged should be seen as just the first step toward an historical Eurasia Major. In this manner, Glazyev believes, “economic sanctions will start to stem the tide of capital flight and stimulate modernization and development of the Russian economy.” It should be noted, however, that Russia does not have much historical time left to realize this model, as it is capped by the changing of the technological generation, which lasts 2-3 years. After advanced countries have restructured their economy based on the new generation, the world economy will reach a new phase of prolonged economic growth and Russia must, as always, settle for the role of a straggler struggling to keep up. There’s no doubt that Vladimir Putin’s state-civilization – like, say, the Crimea Reunification Medal – will soon become an anachronistic artefact of Russian history. Hourglasses don’t have springs.
Why should Estonia be interested in the Arctic? International Secretary of Pro Patria and Res Publica Union In August 2007, media reported that a Russian flag had been planted on the bottom of the Arctic Sea at the North Pole, 4,300 meters below the surface. With this symbolic act, Russia staked a claim to a strategic area of interest and caused blood pressure to spike among the other seven Arctic Council members. The Arctic had become a more important international political battleground than it had ever been before. Estonia is not one of the Arctic Sea States, but it does share a border with the largest Arctic country, Russia, as do Estonia’s allies and its closest partners, Arctic Council members Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada and the US. Under international law, the five countries surrounding the Arctic region have a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone along their northern borders. Russia’s share is about one-half of the entire territory.
In the current clash of civilizations we are seeing, although it is not mentioned that much in polite company, Estonia and the aforementioned seven countries are in one boat and Russia, due to its own behaviour, increasingly alone in the other boat. As the Arctic represents a widening expanse of open water for potential economic activity not far from Estonia, it is wise to keep up with the developments. So it was with pleasure and excitement that I recently accepted an invitation to take part in a seminar in Bergen, Norway, entitled “A Sustainable Arctic–Preconditions, Pitfalls and Potentials”, which provided a good overview of the debate on this subject in the West. The event brought together scientists, international cooperation officials, representatives of interest groups and people involved in politics from Sweden, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Latvia, Lithuania and the European Commission. The Chatham House rule was in effect. Topics discussed included the melting of ice cover, aspects related to fish stocks,
shipping routes, natural resources, habitats of indigenous Arctic peoples, and international relations. Intriguing maps and numbers were displayed. The melting of the ice has an effect on the movements and range of sea creatures as well as animal ice habitats. Fishing, oil and gas deposits and shipping routes are the main areas of geopolitical interest.
me more unpredictable, sometimes not showing up for research conferences or panel discussions. Most recently some of them were unable to participate for lack of a Canadian visa. This naturally causes unease in the collaboration oriented scholar community. Although there is also anxiety in business circles, scientists currently do not anticipate a mining boom in Arctic areas. Conditions are very complicated and oil and gas extraction is expensive. Considering the fields currently being developed, the shale gas boom and low prices, it may not necessarily be economically feasible to adopt the entire potential. While Norway is investing significantly into new oil and gas fields, it does so with great discretion. Global oil prices and demand have to support economic activities in the far north. Despite that, Russia has clearly longer-term strategic interests it is prepared to work to achieve. The Chinese are on their way
The Arctic region is shown in dark
Four million people live above the Arctic Circle – mainly indigenous peoples whose interests cannot be overlooked by democracies. Or at least, in an ideal world, they shouldn’t be. Over the last 30 years, Arctic Sea ice cover has decreased and in the summer, the Northern Sea Route (from Europe to Asia through the Bering Strait) has recently even been completely open. This opens new prospects for transport of goods from Europe to Asia, using a shorter sea route than the Suez Canal. Looking at the global view, we can imagine the economic feasibility of a HelsinkiTallinn railway tunnel, which the more conservative Estonians tend to consider a utopia. Transit between Asia and Europe through Arctic waters is currently scant, as it depends on many climatic and technical factors and the existence or absence of infrastructure. Sixty-five percent of the current Arctic ship traffic is regional and takes place in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norwegian coastal waters. Complicated cooperation with Russia Still, it should be borne in mind that climate changes in the Arctic are not
sudden but gradual. The ice won’t melt tomorrow or the next year; it is a longterm process. Thus the risk of a political conflict over the Arctic (i.e., with Russia) should not be overestimated. But of course, Russia does use all of its means to establish its global authority, and it acts strategically. Thus the Ukraine-Russia conflict also boils over into the Arctic. In May this year at a St. Petersburg press conference, Vladimir Putin announced that he understands Canada’s concerns on the issue of Arctic sovereignty but not the Canadian positions on the Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict. Of course no one likes such signals and threats and they are cause for concern, not only on the political field but also in other forums that deal with Arctic issues. Some have noted that Russia’s narrative on the Arctic topics appears to be somewhat mentally unhinged. Namely, although Russian scholars say in private conversations that their practical research supports climate change theory, Russia does not acknowledge climate change at the political level and their scientists argue against it in public appearances. Moreover, Russian scientists have beco-
When it comes to Russia, European companies’ economic interests also hang in the balance in the Arctic. Sanctions against Russia, which possesses half of the Arctic and its resources, are frightening for European companies. Europeans are afraid of the dynamic Chinese, South Korean, Singaporean and other companies who threaten to claim their place in relations with Russia and have showed that they are technologically gifted partners. The fear is likely justified. In spite of Asian companies’ lack of experience in operating in Arctic conditions, they are known as fast learners. There is all the more reason for anxiety considering the state visit made by former Chinese president Hu Jintao to Denmark in 2012, where, among other things, he expressed interest in natural resources in Greenland. China’s strategic and economic interests shouldn’t be discounted. The Chinese technology sector is thirsting for materials. At one international scientific conference, the Chinese expressed a strong position that the international territory in the Arctic should not be the domain of just the eight states on the Arctic Council but that China should also have the right to operate there.
The possibility of cooperation in the Arctic The Arctic Council has thus far been based on trust and cooperation. In the sense of international law, the Arctic is weakly regulated. There are many treaties that not all of the parties have signed. It is quite a lawless area when it comes to international law and the territorial claims. In addition to the dearth of regulations, the trust and cooperation have deteriorated recently, the Western parties say. Naturally, the decline in trust is mainly due to the actions of Russia. It sometimes seems that a decision has been made to go to war on all fronts. At
the same time, it is clear that the arrogant attitudes from Russia can sometimes be just symbolic and a matter of prestige; a way of creating opportunities for itself on the global playing field. Considering the low population of the Arctic and the interest of the international community in natural resources, it would be a good idea to invite large multinational corporations to sit at the discussion table as well. Often it is they who have the best understanding of what is within the realm of possibility. Universities and research institutions lack resources and experience. Representatives of indigenous peoples should also be welcomed to
have a voice at the table, but I suspect they are destined to lose out in this highstakes game. Thus the question comes up: what business does Estonia have there? Simply and concretely: already now, many Estonian companies are involved in the search for solutions to construction and engineering problems in the Arctic region with regard to extracting natural resources. In light of the above, it would be wise to follow all of the developments because of the global political games. A ripple in the newly open waters above the Arctic Circle can result in a distinct wave at 59 degrees North, Estonia’s latitude.
How to tame the Islamic State – a strategic chess match in the Middle East Holger Mölder Associate Professor in Security Policy and Strategic Studies at the Estonian National Defence College
of Islamists as being stuck in the Middle Ages is outdated: today’s Islamic extremists are quite at home with the latest technology.
On 29 June 2014, the Sunni Salafist group the Islamic State (abbreviated IS, ad-Dawlah l-ʾIslāmiyyah in Arabic) declared an Islamic caliphate in areas they had conquered in Syria and Iraq. They also dropped the geographic designation of Iraq and Levant (al-Sham) from their name, signalling their expanded ambitions. Whereas ten years ago al-Qaeda was the trademark that struck the most fear into the hearts of the West, now the most worrying brand is the Islamic State. I don’t use the word “brand” frivolously – the success of the Islamic state is not only the consequence of successful warfare but also skilful manipulation of the Western media and communication networks, including the social media, in the interests of jihadism, one of the most extremist ideological currents of Salafism. The appalling videos of public executions of Western journalists and aid workers serve their media campaign and are intended to sow fear among potential adversaries, communicating: we are strong and dangerous, don’t interfere in our affairs, hands off of us. The image
The Islamic State is descended from the onetime Iraqi offshoot of al-Qaeda, emerging in Iraq in 2004 after the Americanled coalition’s intervention and the toppling of Saddam Hussein. It was led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh), who established the predecessor of the Islamic State near Herat, Afghanistan – the jihadist group Jama’at al-TawhidwalJihad. It is believed that al-Zarqawi came to northern Iraq from Afghanistan back in 2002. Jihadis of different ethnicities from the world have come to fight for the Islamic State and a number of them are of Western origin, both Muslims born in Western countries and Westerners who have converted to Islam. Since 2010, the Islamic State has been led by the Caliph Ibrahim – full name Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai. Before the Western coalition intervened, he was a cleric in his hometown of Samarra in central Iraq. According to some sources, the future Caliph had been held by the Americans at Camp Bucca
near Umm Qasri, but the Americans did not consider him a threat and released him. As a theorist, Caliph Ibrahim is not on the same order as al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. In terms of leadership style, he is a commander-warrior who has served a field commander in combat and still takes part in planning military operations. This has increased his personal popularity among fellow fighters. US Secretary of State John Kerry has said: “The real face of Islam is a peaceful
Youths carry banners during a protest against the U.S. airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS) in Raqqa on 26 September 2014.
religion based on the dignity of all human beings.” Kerry argues that the Islamic State does not share much in common with the religion it uses as its emblem.1 Salafis are a conservative Sunni sect that advocates a return to the original Islam (salafi is Arabic for forebears) and have particular influence in the Persian Gulf states: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. It isn’t quite accurate to equate the different branches of Salafism and jihadism, but at least three branches of Salafism can be distinguished: nonviolent Salafism – madkhalists; political, aka mainstream Salafism; and militant Salafism – jihadists (Qutbists).2 The Islamic State represents the adherents of the most extremist offshoot of Salafism – the jihadist factions. Ideologically, in Islamic countries gripped by an identity crisis, Salafism offers a certain clearly defined alternative to Western influences, which in the Syrian context can be linked with resistance to the secular Assad regime, while in Iraq it takes the form of resistance to the Shiite-led government, which Salafis consider usurpers.
The civil war in Afghanistan and the fight against the Soviet occupation consolidated the Sunnis’ sense of unity and strengthened their religion-based identity. The roots of many of today’s Jihadist groups (including Al Qaeda, The Islamic State and others) stem from Afghanistan. In Pakistan, the “Father of Global Jihad,” the Palestinian Abdullah Yusum Azzami and his young protégé Osama bin Laden organized assistance for Islamic militants. When Azzami was killed in 1989, bin Laden assumed the mantle as leader of Al Qaeda. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, they sought a new enemy and turned their gaze westward. In the 1990s, the leader of the Qutbist group Egypt Jihad, Ayman al-Zawahiri, decided that it was time to think bigger and shift the focus from fighting secular authorities in Egypt to the Western world and the United States. To achieve the bigger goal, they joined forces with al-Qaeda, which had gained much experience in the Afghanistan war in organizing international networks for supporting Islamist militants.
The American and NATO-led operations in the Middle East – in Iraq and Afghanistan – have proved that international crises cannot be resolved only with military force but that effective peace-building programme must also be involved. US President Barack Obama kept his election promise and withdrew American forces from Iraq by the end of 2011. That same year, Public Enemy number one Osama bin Laden was found and killed. Bin Laden was succeeded as alQaeda leader by al-Zawahiri. At the end of this year, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force will close and responsibility for ensuring national security will pass to local security forces. All this could be taken for signs of stabilization in the Middle East, but in fact the news coming out of the region is still very worrisome. In autumn 2013, the US was not far from attacking Assad’s regime in Syria and intervening in the civil war on the opposition side, when Syrian government forces were caught using chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus, Ghouta, in August 2013. In
many respects, the decisive factor here was that British Parliament voted against military attack, which resulted in one of the US’s most solid allies having to take a step back.
France has vowed support for airstrikes against the Islamic State positions in Iraq and made reconnaissance flights above Islamic State-occupied areas. But there is much more caution with regard to any actions on Syrian soil, even though Obama has warned that airstrikes may be unleashed against Islamic State bases in Syria.
The opposition from Russia and the West over Ukraine has had a stimulating effect on the ambitions of the Islamic State, as the focus has moved away from the Middle East and they have been able to strengthen their grip, occupying extensive areas of Sunni settled territory in Iraq and many areas in Syria, controlling the expansive Raqqa province in eastern Syria. Today we are facing the fact that the greatest threat to international security is posed by President Assad’s enemies from the Salafist factions the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra and the West may be forced to work with the old enemies Syria and Iran. Iran has significant influence on the governments of Syria and Iraq. In this struggle, the West is in the same camp as Russia, which has otherwise turned its back on the West. Islamic terrorists have threatened to bring the fight to the northern Caucasus, which cannot be ignored, considering that many northern Caucasians are fighting in the Islamic State’s ranks. The Georgian born Islamic State field commander and believed military leader Abu Omar al-Shishani (born Tarkhan Batirashvili) served in the Georgian armed forces up until 2010 and took part in the Russia-Georgia War in 2008. He was later placed under arrest on charges of arms smuggling. After his release he left the country and reportedly joined Islamic warriors in Syria.
During September, the Iraqi government managed to stabilize its positions somewhat and the progress made by the Islamic State has slowed. It’s hard to say how large a share of the supporters of the Islamic State are militants from Iraq’s Sunni opposition, as there are a number of other Sunni factions fighting against government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters – for instance, the Naqshbandi army led by Saddam Hussein’s vice president Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who helped the Islamic State conquer Mosul and Tikrit but later is said to have declared war on the Islamic State. The cooperation between the Islamic State and other opposition factions, even with those who share the same philosophy as the Islamic State, has suffered due to the extremist and brutal methods employed. The actions of the Islamic State have been condemned by many prominent Salafist clerics in the Persian Gulf states (for example, Adnan al-Anoor). In Syria, the Islamic State has fallen out with another influential Islamic extremist organization, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the latter was supported in its conflict with the Islamic State by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Three years after the pullout, the US is back in Iraq, even though deployment of ground troops appears not to be in the plans3 and Iraq’s government army is being supported by airstrikes on the Islamic State positions. The Americans will presumably try to use the same tactics in Iraq that worked in toppling Gaddafi, where NATO air power provided support for anti-government operations on the ground. Deployment of ground troops would mean Obama would go back on his popular election pledge, which could negatively impact the Democrats’ 2016 presidential election campaign. Australia has already rushed to support of the Americans, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott announcing deployment of a 600-strong contingent to the US bases in the UAE.
The increase in tensions in many places around the world has made the strategic endgame on the chessboard of global politics nearly unpredictable, because the interests and conflicts between parties are not as clear as they were during the Cold War. The forces aligned against each other over Ukraine are on the same side of the battle lines in the Middle East. In September, representatives of 30 countries gathered in Paris to discuss how to fight the Islamic State. Among them were the US, Russia, China and many Arab countries. The strengthening of the Islamic extremists could offer Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin a major opportunity to reconcile with the West as their interests and fears in the Middle East are similar. We don’t know how well
Putin understands chess – to this point he has tried to play checkers using chess pieces. But should the Islamic State carry out its plans, and consolidate power in the Middle East and, as said, take the fight to the Caucasus, control over eastern Ukraine could be a Pyrrhic victory for Russia. The converging interests in the Middle East may provide a way for Russia to escape Western sanctions and leave their last loyal ally in the Middle East – Syrian President Assad’s regime – in power in the Middle East as well as strengthen Russian influence in Iraq and Egypt. Another prospective partner for the West against the Islamic State is Iran, which could also emerge victorious from the chess match in the Middle East if it succeeds in normalizing its relations with the West and retains key allies among the Arab countries – Iraq and Syria. In addition, Iran could bargain for concessions regarding international control over their nuclear programme, offering in return a more lasting partnership. However, the 35-year-long standoff with the West makes progress on the western front difficult for Iran. Iran’s political leaders, led by President Rouhani, are open to cooperation, but the religious leaders led by Ayatollah Khamenei have tended to be dismissive. ¹
Brittany M. Hughes. „Kerry: ‘The Real Face of Islam is a Peaceful Religion’.” CNSNews, September 3, 2014. http:// www.cnsnews.com/news/article/brittanym-hughes/kerry-real-face-islam-peaceful-religion (11.09.2014) Other spellings are also encountered. Named after Egyptian scholar Sayyid Qutb (1906–1966), who was one of the leaders of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1950s and 1960s Egypt. His brother Muhammad Qutb (1919–2014) was later the teacher of al-Qaeda leaders Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has not completely ruled out this possibility.
Scotland – what next? Tallinn University researcher September’s independence referendum was the third major referendum for the people of Scotland in the past 35 years. On 1 March 1979, at a time when Labour’s James Callaghan was living at Downing Street 10, Scots were asked whether the Scotland Act 1978 should be adopted. The wording was complicated, but in principle the question was whether Scotland needed a separate Assembly. The Assembly would have had limited legislative power in the field of education, the environment, health, internal affairs, justice and social affairs. It would share a certain amount of decision-making power with Westminster on fisheries, agriculture and food industry issues. It would not have much power, but more than none at all. Voter turnout was 63.72% and a total of 51.6% - 1 million Scots – voted in favour of having an Assembly. Scotland did not get an Assembly on that occasion, as Labour MP George Cunningham demanded that 40 percent of ALL of registered voters – 3.7 million - be in favour. Turnout was on the low side and fell slightly short of the 40 percent line. As it wasn’t in Westminster’s interests to give Scotland greater self-government, that was the way it went. Scotland passed the next 18 years under what they felt to be unfavourable, ill-suited Tory rule – Margaret Thatcher (19791990) and then John Major (1970-1979). Only a year after the unsuccessful 1979 referendum, the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly (CSA) was formed, mainly consisting of Labour Party activists who wanted more self-government for Scotland. 1989 saw the Scottish Constitutional Convention, a broad-based NGO representing parties (Scottish Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Communists), Church of Scotland and Catholics), association of trade unions, small business associations and many other Scottish civil society activists. The Scottish National Party (SNP) initially was also involved in the Convention but they
dropped out as the SCC signalled it was ready to discuss increasing autonomy but not independence – independence has been the main concern for SNP since the beginning. For a long time, it was practically the only goal for the SNP – there was even a joke that the party’s abbreviation stood for Still No Policy.
In May 1997, Labour, led by Tony Blair, won the British general elections. One of the election pledges in Labour’s 1997 platform was devolution – self-government for Scotland if the people of Scotland so wished. And so the stage was set for the second key referendum, held on 11 September 1997. There were two ballots, both with a simple, concrete question. The first asked whether Scottish Parliament was necessary or not; the second asked whether such a parliament should have the right to vary taxes. Just over 60% of the voting-age population turned out to vote and three-fourths (74.29%, 1.78 million people) said Scotland should have its own Parliament. Nearly two-thirds gave the future Parliament free rein to hike or cut taxes. The first elections to Scottish Parliament were held on 6 May 1999, and on 1 July 1999, the Parliament officially assumed legislative powers in the following fields: healthcare, education and vocational studies, local government, social work, tourism, the environment, Scottish roads, ports, police and fire departments, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, sport and culture, state registers and statistics, among others. In 2004, Scottish Parliament moved out of its temporary home into a purposebuilt building in picturesque Holyrood Park. The architect of the grand, acclaimed building was a Catalonian, Enric Miralles (1955-2000). Scottish Parliament has 129 members, of whom 73 are elected under the majority system and the rest on the basis of proportional representation – seven Scottish Parliament members from each of eight electoral regions, which are the same regions as in Euro-
pean Parliament elections. The Scottish Cabinet is headed by the First Minister. The current Parliament is the fourth to be elected and the SNP government is the second SNP government. Already in the run-up to the 2007 elections, SNP leader Alex Salmond promised an independence referendum, but in 2007, the SNP had a minority government and not enough support to see the plan through. At the 2011 elections, the SNP won overwhelmingly and, true to the main election campaign pledges, the independence referendum was held this September. The referendum question was: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” with the options being No and Yes. The campaign that preceded the referendum was friendly but intense. The Yes Scotland campaign launched in autumn 2012 drew support from the SNP, Scottish Greens and Scottish Socialists and many other NGOs. The No camp rallied under the Better Together label and slogan, and consisted of Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Liberal Democrats. In early 2012, support for an independent Scotland was around 30-35%, so the Better Together campaign had a better starting position. On a side note, it’s interesting that Scots have never equated voting for SNP with wanting an independent Scotland. For years – since 1986 - people in Scotland
YES campaigners protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh following the Scottish independence referendum result last week 28 September 2014. Britain’s government promised to give more powers to provincial governments following the Scottish referendum decision for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.
ready and by the anniversary of Robert Burns’s birth, 25 January, the draft legislation should be in front of Westminster Parliament. Scottish critics say the proposed timetable is unrealistically rapid and hasty but there is nothing more to clutch on to at the moment, and they are hoping for the best. On 24 March 1603, the Scottish King James VI ascended to the throne of England. On 24 Match 1707, a document was signed under which Scottish and English Parliament were merged and Great Britain came into existence. 24 March 2016 was envisioned by Scottish nationalists as being the first day of the new independent state of Scotland. This will not come to pass. And so the Scots and people of Scotland are looking critically to Westminster and Holyrood, scrutinizing every step taken by politicians, as the pre-referendum promises were expansive – and the people remember that. The beloved Scottish author Irvine Welsh (“Trainspotting”) wrote several days after the referendum that it was a “glorious failure.” The Scots showed that the corporate, neoliberal model will not “sell” in Scotland. Independence was not achieved on this occasion, but Scotland demonstrated to Westminster and the entire world that they were to be reckoned with and the British government cannot just ignore the Scots. ¹
were asked whether they self-identify only as Scots, more Scottish than British, equally Scottish and British, more British than Scottish or only as British1. The answers to this question have been compared to voting behaviour and attitudes to Scottish independence. There is naturally overlap, but not total accord. Before the independence referendum as well, polls showed that close to onefifth of SNP supporters did not plan to vote yes at the referendum while about one-third of Labour supporters were proindependence. The turnout at the 18 September 2014 referendum was 84.6%, which was a very high percentage, the highest in British electoral history since universal suffrage. The “yes” vote was 44.7% which is 1.6 million voters, while the “no” vote was 55.3% - slightly over 2 million. I confess this did not come as a surprise for me. All
but two opinion polls from September predicted that the Better Together camp would win. The projection was close, but nonetheless a No. Looking at the referendum results, the Yes result matches the opinion polls, while the no camp’s 55.3% is five points better than what was predicted in opinion surveys. This gives reason to believe that at the last minute (as a last gasp?) the Better Together campaign’s devo-max (maximum devolution) pledges brought even the undecideds or doubters to the ballot boxes. The swing voters made up 5-15% of the population, according to opinion surveys in September. The fast-track devo-max proposed by the three parties, with Gordon Brown clearly behind the initiative, will lead to British draft legislation containing proposals from the three parties. Monthlong negotiations with Scottish civil society with them will follow. By the end of November, the draft legislation will be
The Moreno question is named after Spanish sociologist Luis Moreno, who uses it in studying the identity of stateless peoples. Luis Moreno defended his doctorate in the University of Edinburgh.
Pille Petersoo (1974-) is a sociologist and researcher at Tallinn University. She lived in Edinburgh from 1998-1999 and 2000-2006. She received a MSc in Nationalism Studies (1999), PhD in Sociology (2005), and has been a post-doctoral fellow at Edinburgh and Stirling.
The new Swedish government posing for photographers in front of the parliament building in Stockholm, Sweden, on 3 October 2014. From left: Anna Johansson, Sven-Erik Bucht, Mehmet Kaplan, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Aida Hadzialic, Kristina Persson, Margot Wallström, Ibrahim Baylan, Gustaf Fridolin, Alice Bah Kuhnke, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Mikael Damberg, Åsa Romson, Isabella Lövin, Magdalena Andersson, Anders Ygeman, Annika Strandhäll, Morgan Johansson, Peter Hultqvist, Ylva Johansson, Åsa Regnér, Gabriel Wikström, Ardalan Shekarabi and Per Bolund.
A new government in Sweden Per Heister EPP Group adviser in European Parliament The predictions came true. One of the most successful governments in Europe in recent years was defeated in national elections on September 14. A couple of years ago, Swedish Minister of Finance Anders Borg was declared No. 1 in Europe by the Financial Times as Sweden largely escaped harsh consequences from the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s. Sweden rose in numerous rankings, lists and reviews, performing better than it had in decades. If you asked anyone in the world, they would say the four-party non-socialist coalition government that came into power in 2006 and was re-elected in
2010 should have sailed through this year’s elections almost unopposed. It didn’t happen. After lagging behind in the polls the last year by up to 20%, the gap was narrowed by a fairly successful election campaign. While polling earlier gave the impression of a strong turn to the left in voters’ minds and was more or less confirmed by a strong red/green/pink (feminists) showing in the EP elections in May, the final result on election night was a disappointment for the left. The winner was the xenophobic Swedish Democrats, which more than doubled its share of votes to almost 13%. As none of the other parties are prepared to rely on or co-operate with them, this created a difficult situation. The coalition government lost almost 10% of the votes, seven percentage points of which was shed by
the Moderate Party and as a consequence Prime Minister and party leader Fredrik
Reinfeldt resigned from both positions already on election night. The only alternative for a new government had to be found over on the left. Before the elections the leader of the opposition, Stefan Löfven, had declined to declare which parties he planned to involve in a future government. He tried to give the impression that the Social Democrats might form a government by themselves. Fears were that he would have to include not only the greens but also the reformed old communists. The election result was obviously a disappointment to the governing coalition but must have been equally disappointing for the parties on the left, which after eight years in opposition managed to gain a combined 0.01%.
Together, the three red/green/red parties would have created a government bigger than the exiting coalition in Parliament, thus creating a situation where the government proposals would always prevail as long the Swedish Democrats abstained. But already on the day after elections, Stefan Löfven closed the door to the former Communists and the government he finally formed with the Greens is a very weak coalition, with less than 40% public support at the outset: This will have consequences. The governing strategy will start from government proposals drafted with the support of the Left Party. These forces will try to find support across the aisle, which will probably be difficult, because the non-socialist coalition has promised to stay together as a governing alternative for the election 2018.
Despite ambitions to find broadly based political solutions being a central theme, it was a surprisingly leftist programme for the upcoming four years the new Prime Minister published on Friday, 3 October. The new opposition reacted as strongly as he attacked and promised to dismantle central reforms on freedom of choice in education and health. The ultimate test of the government will be when the budget has to be approved in the beginning of December. Will this very weak government be able to negotiate a majority budget with the Left Party that will not be voted down by the non-socialists supported by the Swedish Democrats? Swedes live in interesting times.
An excellent book about conditions in North Korea In mid-August, the Äripäev publishing house released an interesting book about the last bastion of communism, North Korea – the Estonian translation of North Korea Undercover. It’s to date the most thorough treatment of this mysterious communist country, veiled in secrecy. One would think that a country like the People’s Republic of North Korea could not exist in the 21st century, if it weren’t right there in front of us. The book was written by the well-known British investigative journalist and author John Sweeney, who as an Observer and BBC journalist has covered more than 60 countries, including such hotspots in war zones as Algeria, Iraq, Chechnya and Bosnia and Ceausescu’s Romania. The author’s extensive experience and ability to see reality behind the wall of illusion gives readers an unsettling but objective look at the most brutal tyranny on earth today. When it was first published, the book set off a proper scandal as Sweeney couldn’t gain access to North Korea as a journalist. He thus relied on the credentials of an academic from the London School of Economics, for which he was accused
of exploiting the school and putting students at risk. But the book couldn’t have been written any other way. Sweeney illustrates life in North Korea by providing numerous examples of the fate of specific people, using their cases to analyze the nature of the regime and looking for its roots in comparison to other totalitarian countries. He arrives at the slightly debatable conclusion that its ideology of racial purity puts North Korea closer to Nazi Germany than to other communist countries. But this comparison does have its merits if one considers that Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR were actually very similar regimes, and thus dictator Kim Il Sung’s version of Stalinism did indeed yield a hybrid of communism and national socialism. Sweeney shows that North Korean society is hypocritical and duplicitous to an extreme. Based on socialist ideas, which holds that equality of all is the supreme value, North Korea is probably the most unequal society in today’s world –a huge chasm gapes between the oligarchy
and ordinary people and leaders are like demigods. Positions in the ruling class are passed on by right of birth, while ordinary people live on the verge of famine. Socialism’s goal of eliminating human exploitation has in North Korea’s case manifested, concentration camps with inhuman conditions, and the state has been yoked into the service of the unrest-
rained egotism of the ruling class. Ideals have ceased to exist for the leaders of this country, the people are kept in the dark, in a fearful climate of propaganda based on total lies, and secrecy. North Korea is the perfect example of how communist ideals and reality are mutually exclusive. How long can such a slave labour camp continue to exist? When Kim Il Sung
died, there were hopes that the regime would be forced to become more liberal. Yet only mass executions followed his death. Still, Sweeney is hopeful, saying that the tyranny won’t survive 50 years, as a Romanian diplomat fears it will in the book. But the end often comes unexpectedly for totalitarian countries. They can last decades; but tomorrow they’re
gone. It is a painful and urgent question how people who have been brainwashed for generations can adapt to democracy and how much time it will take. I recommend the book to everyone interested in Korean history, the peculiar logic that totalitarian operate by, and in particular, the reality of communism.
A circle around Scotland Aimar Altosaar If Scotland became independent, a new country would emerge in Northern Europe, one that would be very similar to Scandinavian countries in area, population and natural environment. Scotland’s area of 78,772 km2 makes it larger than Denmark or Iceland, while its population of 5,194,000 (2009) is almost equal to that of Finland and Denmark and slightly larger than Norway’s. There are 13–14 million people of Scottish origin living in the US and Canada; up to one-fifth of the inhabitants of New Zealand claim to have Scottish roots. There are certainly Scots also everywhere else in the world, as a sense of adventure and courage are characteristic of this northern nation and there is no place on earth that they have not reached. Caledonians – as they were called starting in Roman times - have influenced Western history and culture and in fact the whole world for at least 2,000 years. In the 2nd century CE, the natives, the Picts, stopped the advance of the Roman legions so resoundingly that the empire was forced to establish superstructures – Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall – to defend itself against the belligerent highlanders. These walls, reaching from sea to sea, are still visible. The border of the present-day Scotland runs between the two historical walls. We spent the first one and half days of our 10-day trip looking around in Edin-
burgh, Scotland’s second-largest city and seat of the Parliament and Government. Although the official population of 476,600 (2011) is not much more than that of Tallinn, Edinburgh with its highly varied neighbourhoods, long and splendid history and outstanding cultural traditions seems metropolitan. The Old Town and the imposing Edinburgh Castle on the high Castle Rock reminded us of our own capital city. After staying the night on the new campus of the University of Edinburgh, which offers accommodation for tourists during the summer season, we went out quickly in the morning to the centre and the Old Town, where preparations were under way for a great tattoo – a parade of military orchestras. Enormous tribunes had been erected right in front of the Edinburgh Castle. The Castle is connected to the Parliament by the Royal Mile, which was crowded on the occasion of the festivities. We saw highly professional theatrical and musical performances on this endless art fair between the line of churches and pubs. We got the first true impression of the Scottish parade only as we got downtown, to Grassmarket, where we started to hear powerful drum beats reverberating across the city as we were acquainting ourselves with the selection of local foods and handicrafts. We didn’t see anything yet; the locals kept their calm while the tourists started to gather on one side of the market square, curious about the
goings-on. The pounding of the drums moved down from High Street along the winding Victoria Street. The first to appear were police cars and policemen, followed by the first Masonic banners and streamers. And then they just kept coming! The old masters with their symbols in front, followed by a fit man with a huge drum who was beating it with clubs from both sides with all of his strength, surrounded by men in uniforms with smaller drums, and followed by a 20–40 member fife band. There must have been 50 such colourful groups, walking in a line and playing their thundering, jaunty Scotch marches. Some of them had an accordion as the main instrument instead of fifes, but all the groups were banging on drums till they broke; girls who walked along near the players of the large drums were carrying spare drum skins. On our short journey we ran into Scottish ceremonies many times. On the next day as we left the city centre in a rental car, we had to wait a quarter of an hour to let through a parade of kilt-clad marching Scots with bagpipes. The spirited bagpipe music was performed by orchestras dressed in the national costumes of three clans. Marching behind them were important officials and people of the city. On the next day we started our tour of the Scottish Highlands in the north. Our first stop, the country’s largest city Glasgow (598,830 inhabitants in 2011)) is the gateway to the western Scottish counties and not far from the Highlands. The
Pipers in quilts and the soulful music of their pipes are an essential part of Edinburgh and other Scottish cities.
distance between the two largest cities is only 80 km, which is reduced to 50 km when you count the suburbs. Witness to the good state of Scotland’s economy and life is the network of outstandingly good roads surrounding both cities; the M8 connecting the two actually passes through the heart of Glasgow. Before staying the night in a cosy family hotel in Glasgow, we only had time for to walk downtown and have a look at the many department stores and explore the enormous railway station. On the fourth day we drove through the rain. The journey to Oban on the west coast by the Firth of Lorn (a strait between Ireland and Great Britain) was exciting not only because of the winding mountain roads, which are in good condition and safe even in rain, but because of the small town of Inveraray, which is located at the far end of the long, long bay. There is a large and famous castle hidden near this charming coastal town.
This historic property belongs to the Campbells, Dukes of Argyll. In the dramatic civil war in the 18th century, this famous Scottish family took the side of the British and Lowland Scots at the time of the Jacobite rising. Although Scotland was officially annexed to the UK in 1703, the northern Highland Scots remained relatively independent. They were only subordinated in the middle of the century when several wealthier Highland clans joined the Lowland Scots, who supported central power. As a result of the bloody civil war, a large part of the Highland Scots emigrated to the New World, while those who remained were prohibited from following their traditions; even kilts and bagpipes were in disgrace for decades. The Campbells became a rich and influential family in the more unified Britain. Inveraray Castle, which replaced the 15th century fortress in 1743, is the most important of the many castles owned by the Campbells, as it is the home of the chief of the clan. The castle owners have
displayed their wealth of artwork, historical interior and even household objects for visitors. It’s only a pity that the Duke himself was not on display! From Oban we headed north along the coast, toward the famous Loch Ness. On the way we looked around in the romantic Fort William, the second-largest town of the Highland council area on the north-eastern end of the long sea loch, Loch Linnhe. The Caledonian Canal, which ends here, has made a considerable impact on the development of Northern Scotland. We had a more thorough look at this 60 miles long waterway at the locks in Fort Augustus. We saw a ship coming from Loch Ness pass through the locks to Loch Lochy and on to Fort William. The Canal, which connects the North Sea to with the North Atlantic waters north of the Irish Sea via lakes, was established in 1804–1822 and has 29 locks that are 170–180 feet long, 40 feet wide and 25 feet deep, plus four
aqueducts and ten bridges. This megastructure helped to restore the economy of the Scottish Highlands after half a century of civil war. The descendants of the belligerent clans got over their bitter losses thanks to the new trade route established with the canal. The more enterprising became industrialists and engaged in international trade, building the base over the 19th century for a diverse and strong economy. The largest Highland town, Inverness, located between the north-eastern end of Loch Ness and the North Sea by River Ness, gives a good insight into the famous history of the Highland Scots. After the Picts who fought the Romans, the Irish Celtic (Gaelic) clan of Scots arrived here, who later gave their name to the whole of Scotland. Gaelic radio shows and TV programmes are broadcast everywhere, even though only 1-2% of Scots speak Gaelic, and most of them live on the islands in the north-western part of Scotland. The language landscape is varied as several English dialects are in use, one of which is the officially recognised Scottish English. It is completely incomprehensible to an ordinary English-speaking foreigner. In addition there is the English that is especially taught to the Scottish people. The written language everywhere is English as we know it, so we did not have any linguistic misunderstandings in the tourist-ridden Scotland. We took the journey back south across the Scottish Highlands, the grassy green surface of which is covered with countless white specks – the sheep. We never found out why the sheep are not in herds but wander around alone. The central and eastern parts of the Highlands are clear of trees and look exactly as depicted on whisky bottle labels. On our way from Perth to Dundee we had to turn toward the Tay River, where we were directed by signs to the ‘wonderful Scottish wine garden and cider house’ Cairn O’ Mohr. It turned out that we had come to Scotland’s only industrialscale producer of wines from wild and domesticated fruits and berries for the local market as well as export to France, Germany and Sweden. In addition to strawberry, raspberry, elder and bramble wines, wines made from spring and autumn oak leaves also tasted delicious. As we had an Estonian wine producer
The Inverary Castle, built on the 18th century, is the home of the Dukes of Argyll and the seat of the glorious Clan Campbell.
among us, we got the idea of getting into closer relations with this wonderful wine garden. Estonian dandelion wines could be a dignified trade for the Scottish oak leave wines! At least this is what we discussed with the salesperson. As we left the winery restaurant, we were convinced that we would have to return soon to meet the owners. In the evening we had an especially green experience as we were driving west from Perth, then south from Crieff to the Drummond Castle gardens. When I read the tourist leaflets that said these gardens would take everyone’s breath away, I thought it was just an advertising cliché. But when we walked in through the gate of the old Drummond Castle and took a glance at the garden below the stone wall, we indeed gasped! The garden, established four hundred years ago, is a vast park in the French style, with larger and smaller hedge walls, little hedges in various shapes, mazes, antique statues, arbours, geometric topiaries and a mysterious park spirit that anyone who moves about this wondrous community of man and nature will sense. Behind the back wall of the park we found a lush vegetable garden rich is species and varieties, a perfect specimen among its kind. An hour was of course not enough to study this masterpiece, but the Castle’s regimen was strict – at 6 p.m. the gates were
closed and we were not allowed to stay overnight. The last day of our trip took us back to Edinburgh where a British Rail train was waiting for us after we slipped our rental car keys into a mailbox in the parking lot. The short tour of Scotland, or the Celtic Alba or Roman Caledonia, only whetted our appetite for learning to know this wonderful land better. In the streets and squares we saw an enthusiastic campaign advocating Scottish independence, we also saw the large YES posters on the windows of homes and it seemed that at least the Highlands, which gave the world whisky and the kilt and where bagpipes were played on every possible occasion, were ready for independence. It seemed, though, that the Lowlands did not quite go along with the idea this time, as we know now. We also don’t know which side got the votes of the influential Campbells, whose castle we visited and who were one of the decisive forces in the loss of independence 250 years ago. I recommend everyone to seek answers to these and many other questions by travelling in Scotland, speaking to the local people and enjoying everything this wonderful country has to offer. The travelcompanions were in Scotland from 8–17 August 2014.
Maailma Vaade www.maailmavaade.ee
Peatoimetaja: Mart Nutt Kolleegium: Tunne Kelam, Mart Laar, Kadri Kopli, Aimar Altosaar, Berit Teeäär, Marko Mihkelson, Andres Herkel,Veiko Lukmann, Juku-Kalle Raid Toimetus: Anneli Kivisiv, Kaja Villem, Kaja Sõrg, Kadri Vanem Keelekorrektuur: Hille Saluäär Toimetuse kontakt: +372 5690 9237, email@example.com Väljaandja: Tunne Kelami büroo, Kivisilla 4-9, Tallinn 10145 +372 773 4201, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Pro-democracy and anti-Occupy Central protesters clash in Hong Kong, 3 October 2014.
The Central African Republic conflict has not yet abated. Pictured: Estonian troops who served in country in the summer of 2014 in the effort to prevent genocide.
page 2 Euro-Atlantic relations through the prism of Obama: change we can believe in, Matthew Crandall page 3 France and the transatlantic relationship, Kalev Stoicescu page 5 Finland and NATO - will closer relations lead to accession? Interview with Pauli Järvenpää page 8 NATO and Asia-Pacific co-operation: studying media and elites’ perceptions, Vlad Vernygora page 10 Russia and Europe: cultural components in the current crisis, Mihhail Lotman page 12 Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994 page 15 Post-Soviet revanchism or a strategic miscalculation by Putin? Vladimir Juškin page 16 Why should Estonia be interested in the Arctic? Veiko Lukmann page 18 How to tame the Islamic State – a strategic chess match in the Middle East, Holger Mölder page 20 Scotland – what next? Pille Petersoo
In the 3 October 2014 general election, the coalition parties of Latvia held on to power. The key issues were national security and fear of a pro-Russian party coming to power.
Front cover: Scanpix
ISSN-L 2228-0200 ISSN 2228-0200
page 23 A new government in Sweden, Per Heister An excellent book about conditions in North Korea A circle around Scotland, Aimar Altosaar
page 25 page 26 page 27
This is a joint publication of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and the Pro Patria Institute. This publication receives funding from the European Parliament. The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Pro Patria Institute and the European Parliament assume no responsibility for facts or opinions expressed in this publication or any subsequent use of the information contained therein. Sole responsibility lies with the authors of the publication
Kord kvartalis ilmuv välispoliitika ajakiri.