Cerise Lecture: The Baltics: a litmus test for Russian-Western relations?

25-04-2018 from 19:30 to 22:00
Academieraadzaal, aula UGent Volderstraat, 9000 Gent.
Russia Platform - CERISE
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Artis Pabriks: "The Baltics: a litmus test for Russian-Western relations?"

Poster Cerize lectures 2017 - 2018Dr. Artis Pabriks is former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence of Latvia. He is currently member of the European Parliament.

Abstract of his lecture: Throughout the history the Baltic territory compromising the present day Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have been the Eastern rim to the Western civilisation. For ages it was contested by a number of regional superpowers. Exactly 100 years ago after the World War I, the three Baltic nations had a chance to establish their national statehood. It did not last long since the two evil powers - Nazi Germany and Soviet Union - decided to sell to each other something that never belonged to them.

According to the aerodynamics, bumblebees should never fly, however they do. A few would imagine that the Baltic States would regain their freedom and re-emerge in the world map after 50 years of occupation. However, they did in 1991.  Today Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are rapidly developing, technologically advanced, vital examples of liberal democracy, members of the EU and NATO.  But are these preciously cradled liberties safe? Nearby Russia is again trying to reassure its position as superpower and it does not seek this status by presenting high standards of human rights, justice, individual liberties and economic success. It rather sticks to the old methods characterised by naked power exercised on its neighbours. On the border between freedom and democracy from one side and propaganda and fake news on the other, the Baltic States are a litmus test for the Russian-Western relations. Freedom for the Baltic States is as fragile (or strong) as the willingness of the Western nations to stand firm for their values.

Participation is free, but online registration is required.

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