The position of the Russian Federation and Federal Republic of Germany on the Baltic republics’ (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) joining the European Union
AbstractEnlargement of the EU in 2004 was of great significance not only for the EU members, but for the Russian Federation as the candidates were former USSR republics and countries that had been under the influence of the USSR. The purpose of this article is to uncover the attitude of Russian and German officials to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia’s joining the EU. The study uses the methods of historicism and objectivity as its basis. A regional approach that describes the development of the region into global political process is used. The author proves that Russia has underestimated the consequence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia’s joining the EU. The Russian Federation made the hasty judgement that the Baltic countries’ joining the EU would automatically solve the bilateral problems in relations between Russia, Latvia, Lithiania and Estonia. Russian politicians failed to detect negative economic consequences, which the Baltic states’ joining the European Union brought about. The position of the German government was ambiguous. It was impacted by the obligations within its role as the ‘motor’ of European integration, but also had to consider the direct interests of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German ruling coalition by morally supporting the intention of the Baltic Republics to join the EU delegated the role of an ‘advocate’ of newly independent republics to the northern European countries while taking the right to defend primarily national interests of the Federal Republic of Germany. The materials of the study can be used for further research of the history of the Baltic Region, in lectures and special courses.