Ph.D (History), AssociateProfessor
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus
Abstract. Foreign policies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in post-Soviet decades have been prominent for their continuity and consistency. Since identity is usually considered as one of the major factors of consistency and continuity of politics, the goal was set to examine the role of different identity factors in formation of foreign policies of the three Baltic states in the period from international recognition of their independence in August 1991 to the Ukrainian Crisis of spring 2014 in European politics.
The analysis of literature and sources suggests some assumptions on how identity-related factors influenced foreign policies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, They could be summarized in a hypothesis that making of the Baltic foreign policies was deeply influenced by “ethnocratic” nature of political regimes, establishedin Baltic states, ideological constructs based on their historical memories and memory politics as well as geopolitical identities of being “small states” and being influenced by the “Baltic unity” idea.
Examining of these assumptions allows to conclude that effects of some identity factors, like ethnic identities, are often overestimated, while others really played very important, sometimes decisive, role in developments of major foreign policy vectors of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.The deterioration of their relations with Russia in the period under review was largelydetermined by ideological constructs of legal state continuity and Soviet occupation deeply rooted in the XX century historical memories of Baltic states. While Western vectors of their foreign policies and first of all their relations with the USA developed in line with the logic of securitization based on self-perception of Baltic political elites of being “small states”.
Keywords:Baltic states; foreign policy;historical memories; national identity; geopolitical identities
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