Obraz Drugogo – strany Baltii i Sovetskii Soiuz pered Vtoroi Mirovoi Voinoi [Образ Другого: страны Балтии и Советский Союз перед Второй мировой войной], ed. R. Krumm, N.A. Lomagin, D. Khanov Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2012, 206 p. ISBN 978-5-8243-1663

Zenonas Butkus
2012 Lithuanian Historical Studies  
This book, published a year ago, so far, it seems, has not attracted great interest among historians or the general reading public, even though it truly deserves it, for these circumstances. We will not find in Europe many areas such as that between Russia and the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), in the sense that both sides in this area, perhaps more than elsewhere, evaluate the recent past so differently -the Soviet period, and especially the events of 1940. For the Baltic
more » ... or the Baltic countries, it was an occupation; while for the majority of the Russian public, it was a voluntary, or at least determined by justifiable historical circumstances, integration into the Soviet Union. Of course, many states, often even very close ones, evaluate the past and their mutual relationships quite differently: for example, historians in England and France treat the Hundred Years War and the role of Joan of Arc differently. However, for those countries, it is only an academic discourse; while the approach of Russia and the Baltic states to the historical past influences strongly the world-view of today's society, for which inter-state relations are difficult. The most recent survey data just released shows that the Russian people include all three Baltic countries, Latvia (21 %), Lithuania (17 %), Estonia (16 %) among the top five unfriendliest states, along with the USA and Georgia. 1 Last year's survey also showed similar results. The USA and georgia are included mostly due to current policies, the Baltic countries more for historical stereotypes, which are still relevant today. In general, public sentiment affects foreign policy ever more. If we continue to hold the realist theory prevailing up to now explaining international relations, it will appear that this effect will not be significant, since it will be believed that strength, interests, and the principle of the balance of power determine these relations. Today, however, it is appropriate to take into account also the visions of liberalism, transnationalism and constructivism, in which the tangible dependence of the development of international relations relies not only on the activities of state institutions,
doi:10.30965/25386565-01701017 fatcat:r5vbyiz2rndk3l6bybojxw2nuy