Changing Security Regime in the Baltic Sea Region
Volume 1, Issue 1 (2003), pp. 109–132
Pub. online: 18 July 2003 Type: Article Open Access
18 July 2003
18 July 2003
Though the Baltic Sea region appears to be an ideal place for the formation of classical regional security regime, this assumption appears to be substantially wrong for one simple reason - Russia cannot accommodate itself in this regional format. Therefore, only international institutions of a wider scope are capable of resolving the dilemma of Baltic security and performing the conflict prevention function. CSCE successfully coped with this task in 1991-1994. CSCE was the international format that ensured successful withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States. However it soon became clear that the organisation is of little use in further settlement and normalisation of the Baltic-Russian relations. Therefore, the regional Cold War could only be ended by the influence of international institutions capable of conducting equal dialogue with Russia. And NATO could became such institution. After uniting its former antagonists into NACC, then into EAPC and PfP, and after 2002 decision to invite the Baltic States to start accession talks, it managed to find a peculiar form of institutionalisation of relations with Russia. Therefore one may say that the security regime in the Baltic Sea region is becoming a NATO-centric regime because even countries formally not members of NATO will have established solid relations with this organisation. This applies to Finland and Sweden for a long time already. And there is a chance now that the same will soon apply to Russia.