In the Baltic region, Russia faces a thick and challenging international milieu. Power balancing and zero-sum-games are history. It is in such regions where the changing perceptions of power are most visible, with soft and normative aspects trumping over military force and coercion. Multilateralism dominates here, and this is a weak chain in Russian diplomacy, which, rhetoric aside, is often conducted in the Baltic Sea region out of fear of EU dominance. Initially, the concept of a Baltic Sea pan-region was a dream that actually came true. The region is one of the best examples of workable regionalism connecting Russia with Europe. Such optimism was present, at least initially, at a recent conference in Kaliningrad titled “The EU-Russia Dialogue: The Baltic Dimension” where participants had the following interesting and, at times, conflicting views.
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