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Science is power, it reveals the relation between things, their laws and interactions
Alexander Herzen

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The Baltic Region

Preface

Preface
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Region and regionalization

Competitiveness of the region: content, factors, policies

The article describes a framework conception of regional competitiveness. The notion of regional competitiveness as well as approaches to the classification of competitiveness factors are considered in detail. The author elaborates a set of indicators of regional competitiveness. The article also dis-cusses three groups of factors which can influence the competitiveness of any region.

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Post-Soviet Space: background and the results of regionalization

The article deals with the regionalization of social processes and their specific manifestations in the post-Soviet space. According to the author, regionalization is developing at four levels-international (macroregional), subregional, intraregional and on country levels. The most important one is the international level.  Specific features of regionalization at each level of the post-Soviet space are described. The author draws a conclusion that the post-Soviet space is the epicenter of regionalization in contemporary world.

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Development strategies of the Baltic region

From the idea to the strategy of Baltic Europe

This article focuses on the historic prerequisites and forms of international cooperation in the Baltic region (“Baltic cooperation”).  According to the author, Baltic Europe is being formed as a single administrative, economic, cultural and infrastructural area, which could become a new economic and cultural center of Europe. Special emphasis is given to policies and strategies of the EU in the Baltic Sea region.

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Northern Dimension: Participant Strategies

This article is devoted to the “Northern Dimension” initiative of the EU which also includes North-West Russia, Norway and Iceland.  It is noted that the “Northern Dimension” in the theoretical perspective can be considered as part of strategic multi-level interactions between member-states of the EU and Russia. On this basis, the authors analyze implications and effects of the strategic interdependence of all the EU-Russia relation levels.

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Saint-Petersburg in the Baltic Sea region

The article describes the place of St Petersburg in international cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and the role of the Baltic region as one of the priorities of the international relations of the city.  The authors show continual attention of Saint-Petersburg to developing international relations in the Baltic Sea region. The article indicates one of the most important areas of international cooperation – the participation of the city in the renewed Northern Dimension policy.

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Cross-Border Cooperation

Cross-Border Cooperation in the Kaliningrad region: Problems and Prospects

Since the accession of Poland and Lithuania to the EU, the nature, forms and content of their border cooperation with the Kaliningrad region have fundamentally changed. There is a tendency towards strengthening the neighborhood policy. The already gained extensive and varied experience of the participation of the Kaliningrad region in the IN-TERREG Programme contributed to the socio-economic development of the region. The new financial tools should be linked to the regional development strategies of the neighboring territories.  Efficient use of both Russian and the EU funds will help develop a new technology for regional development of North-West Russia.

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Geographic context of applying for grants from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and the use grant money in Lithuania in the framework of the “European Economic area (EEA)” and the “Norway” programmes

The article presents a geographic analysis of applying for grants and allocation of funds in the framework of the “European Economic Area” and “Norway” programmes in the territory of Lithuania in 2004-2009. Priority sectors of cooperation are identified.

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Russia and the Baltic states

Economic Aspects of Russian-Baltic Relations in 2007—2008

The influence of the events related to the transfer of the remains and the monument to Soviet soldiers in central Tallinn on the Russian cargo transit flows through the Baltic Sea region is described.  The author shows that there has been a redistribution of Russian cargoes and their shipment through the ports of Latvia and Lithuania lately. According to the author, the positive dynamics of Russian-Latvian and Russian-Lithuanian relations should be sustained, proceeding from the assumption that sooner or later, the logic of economic cooperation may prove stronger than political considerations.

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Russian communities in the Baltic region

Russians in Latvia: Peculiarities of Socio-cultural Adaptation and Identity

The author identifies trends and variations of the socio-cultural identity and integration of Russians in Latvia. According to the author, since the middle 1990s, two trends have been recognized - first, the “ingrowing” of ethnic Russians into the life of independent Latvia, and second, forming their new identity. The article presents a number of factors hampering the integration of ethnic Russians into Latvian society. Variations and options of socio-cultural identity and integration (or assimilation) of the Russian population of Latvia are shown.

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Research

Introduction

Introduction
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Theory of Regional Studies

Clusters as a Form of Spatial Organisation of Economic Activity: Theory and Practical Observations

This article aims at  explaining  the clustering of economic activity using instruments of new institutional economics,  taking into account well-known descriptive characteristics of the cluster, as well as recent developments in research on hybrid institutional agreements, primarily, the research conducted by Michael Porter, Claude Ménard and others.

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Trans-Border Regions in the System of the Regional Hierarchy: the Systemic Approach

The article positions trans-border regions that are formed in the course of cooperation between the administrative, territorial and municipal institutions of neighbouring countries or have similar important characteristics, in the hierarchical system of regions. The authors prove trans-border regions to be a type of international regions and consider specific characteristics of these regions using the Baltic region as an example.

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Competitiveness of the Economies of Border Regions

The article is dedicated to the problem of competitiveness of border regions as subjects of the Russian Federation having specific characteristics. The authors focus on the stages, during which border regions build their competitiveness, as well as analyse certain indices characterizing it. They examine the role of these regions in the development of international trade and economic relations, cross-border cooperation and international integration, taking the North-west federal district and the Republic of Karelia as a case-study. The article describes the mechanisms of building and increasing competitiveness of border regions in today’s Russia both in general and, particularly, in the Republic of Karelia as a border region of the North-west federal district.

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Cross-Border Cooperation

Perspectives of Euroregions with Russian Participation in Terms of Changes in the EU Regional Policy

The article describes changes in the cross-border cooperation support in the framework of the EU Regional Policy. The author emphasises the role of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the development of cross-border cooperation with non-EU countries. The article outlines the main obstacles for the development of euroregions at the EU-Russia border and arrives at the conclusion that their future depends on the success of the Russia-EU integration process in general.

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Cross-border Cooperation as a Mechanism of Regional Marketing in the Baltic Region

The article offers a pragmatic approach to certain aspects of cross-border regionalisation. The marketing component of Euroregion development and the implementation of cross-border cooperation projects are considered as key directions of the joint activity of cross-border partner-regions. The authors analyse the opportunity to apply the territory brand model to research on the mechanisms of cross-border cooperation and to the elaboration of an efficient development strategy as a promising direction of further study of the cross-border cooperation and regionalisation phenomena.

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The Baltic Sea Region and the Black Sea Area: Two Pieces of the Same Puzzle

The Baltic Sea region and the Black Sea area are overlapping regions that have their own political, historical and cultural peculiarities. They belong to the same geopolitical system, within which they are developing two regional cooperation subsystems strongly influenced both by internal political and economic dynamics and by external actors. The aim of this research is to analyse the political and economic factors that influence the cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and the Black Sea area by means of comparative approach, which will help to determine the similarities and differences necessary to give an overview of two strategic areas in the European context.

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Good-neighbourly relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy — What is the Difference?

The article compares the scope of two diplomatic terms, crucial for the contemporary practice of international cooperation. Drawing examples from historical and contemporary documents, the author shows the difference between the settled notion of good-neighbourly relations and the recently introduced one — the European Neighbourhood Policy. The ENP ab initio absorbs the old term, which characterises the symmetric relation of international agents in the framework of the Westphalian system and foregrounds the Euro-centred model of asymmetrical relations. It creates certain difficulties in the development of Russia-EU relations, especially, in terms of Russia’s participation in the European Neighbourhood programmes.

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Education in the Baltic Region

Economic Consciousness and the System of Values of Latvian University Graduates

The article analyses the attitude of a Latvian university’s graduates to wealth and means of its acquisition, as well as their assessment of their own economic status and preferred moves in case of unemployment. The author estimates the university graduates’ personal capabilities; their interests, skills and qualifications, the extent of their reliance on their own initiative and resources, and their confidence about the future. The article defines the graduates’ economic interests forming motivations and approaches to practical economic behavior according to certain types of economic consciousness.

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The International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature and its Activity in the Baltic Sea States

The article offers general information about the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL) and its main lines of activity. The authors focus on the activity of MAPRYAL in the Baltic Sea States offering a detailed description of the International Festival of Russian Language in the Baltic Sea States, and the events held by MAPRYAL in Germany, Poland, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

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Russian Exclave on the Baltic Sea

Russian Exclave on the Baltic Sea: Evolution of Exclavity and Ways to Overcome It

The author considers peculiarities of the emergence and evolution of exclavity of the Kaliningrad region. The article analyses the influence of exclavity on the connections of the region with the Russian mainland, its economic development, exclave administration, and Kaliningrad identity and examines the ways the existing disadvantages can be overcome. Methods of overcoming these disadvantages are suggested in the article.

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The Kaliningrad Oblast: a Unique Region and a Typical Centre

The longstanding efforts of federal authorities aimed at the development of the Kaliningrad region did not meet the expectations. The region can be considered as depressed; it is characterised by the instability of the socioeconomic situation. The main reason for the reduced efficiency of state activity is the attempt to apply standard mechanisms of governmental regional development regulation that neglect the unique nature of this Russian territory: its enclave/exclave status, the settling history of the region, the dependence on external markets, etc. To solve the problems of the Kaliningrad region, the state should partially revise its ideology, including the views on external connections of Russia’s constituents. Moreover, Russia should coordinate its activity in the Baltic Sea States taking into account the increased sensitivity of the Kaliningrad Region.

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Cross-Border Cooperation between Kaliningrad Region, Lithuania and Poland: Obstacles and Possibilities

This article analyses the cross-border co-operation between the Kaliningrad Region and the neighbouring Polish and Lithuanian regions. It provides, firstly, a short overview of the cross-border co-operation formation and development. The author outlines the present-day co-operation structures. Secondly, the article reviews the asymmetries that hinder the cross-border co-operation. Finally, it offers some examples of the cross-border cultural and social projects proving that the co-operation under difficult conditions can be successful. The analysis is based on the author's empirical research and interviews with regional experts.

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Preface

Preface
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Energy in the contemporary world and international energy policy

Russian energy diplomacy and international energy security (geopolitics and economics)

This article considers national energy security as a component of foreign policy and diplomacy and analyses the current state of Russian energy policy, the role of Russia in global energy geopolitics and the factors affecting it. The author examines energy diplomacy as an instrument of foreign policy at both global and regional levels taking into account the changes in the corporate policy of energy companies.

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The Eurasian Economic Community in the global energy system

The article considers the IEA data on energy reserves in terms of global and national energy security. The authors describe methods for regulating the energy market in the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Community. The authors support the idea of applying the experience of the EU.

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Global energy and environmental security in the current global economic crisis

This article considers the problems of the environmental impact of energy. Further reduction of this impact on the global environment can be achieved two ways. The short-term one implies the increase in energy efficiency. In the next 15—20 years, the increase in efficiency should become a priority of the energy policy of all states. The long-term one is based on the gradual expansion of renewable energy. This method is aimed to avoid further economic and energy crises. At the same time, it has an important environmental aspect. Experts claim that the new area of global energy should be less costly than the traditional ones.

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Energy strategies of the Baltic Sea States

Competition and cooperation problems in the energy sector of the Baltic region

This article considers the problems of competition and cooperation in the field of energy in the Baltic region, first of all, those related to the export of Russian oil and oil products, the Nord Stream gas pipeline, and the construction of nuclear plants in Poland, the Kaliningrad region, Lithuania, and Belarus. The author shows that, though Russia and the EU occasionally pursue opposite goals, there is considerable interdependence between them, and a confrontation is disadvantageous for both parties.

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Lithuania on the way to energy independence: an experience or a lesson?

The article considers the steps taken by Lithuania towards gaining energy independence in the interbellum and the Soviet periods. The author analyses the peculiarities of the republic's energy policy after achieving independence in the early 1990s and estimates the methods of diversifying energy supply in Lithuania.

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Lithuanian energy policy in 1990—2009 and the prospects of its development until 2020

This article considers the key stages of Lithuanian energy evolution since 1990 and the factors that affected the strategy of Lithuanian energy sector development in the period of preparation and accession to the European Union. The author offers the estimations and general strategic recommendations regarding national energy policy, which were developed by the specialists of the Lithuanian Energy Institute.

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Energy of North-West Russia: current situation and future prospects

The power industry of the Kaliningrad region: an analysis of the current state, future development, and cooperation with the energy systems of the Baltic Region states

This article analyses the current state of the power system of the Kaliningrad region and gives recommendations regarding the increase in energy efficiency. The author considers the prospects of its development taking into account the possible accession of the Baltic States to the UCTE.

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On the strategy for power sector development in the Kaliningrad region

The balanced power sector development in the Kaliningrad region requires an accurate estimation of the parameters of the main generation complex, the formation of a backup generation complex, and the efficient management of power sector.

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Energy policy in the context of socioeconomic problems

The assessment of the influence of energy industries on the economic development prospects and the social environment of the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation

This article offers the results of research conducted in the Kaliningrad region in the framework of the "Development of Russian Energy Sector: Social and Environmental Consequences and Prospects" network project by the Centre for Advanced Studies and Education. The authors assess the structure of regional energy sector and its influence on the economy according to key parameters. The article analyses the social effect of energy sector on the basis of a survey conducted for Kaliningrad.

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Negative externalities and sustainability of energy sector

The article evaluates negative externalities of the electricity industry and possibilities for the sustainable development. The concept of negative externalities of the electricity industry and evaluation and internalization of the negative externalities are reviewed from the viewpoint of principles of environmental economics and sustainable development.

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Strategies for the development of the Baltic region

The Kaliningrad dilemma: a 'development corridor' or a 'double periphery'? The geopolitical factor of the development of the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea

The Kaliningrad region, being an exclave, needs an updated regional development strategy based on the national strategy of modernisation and innovation-based development and, at the same time, taking into account the geopolitical aspect. It is necessary to proceed with the implementation of large-scale projects that stimulate the development of both the regional economy and form cross-industry clusters including large, medium, and small enterprises. The region should become an increasingly important "development corridor" between Russian regions and the EU states situated on the Baltic Sea

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The Kaliningrad region: the characteristics of the 2008—2009 economic crisis and possible ways of overcoming it

This article analyses the causes of the economic decline in the Kaliningrad region in 2008—2009, which was sharper than the Russian average. The author suggests a number of measures aimed to mitigate the consequences of the crisis, expedite its termination, facilitate the return of economic growth and find solutions to social problems

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Geopolitical transformation of the Kaliningrad oblast of the Russian Federation

After the World War II, the part of East Prussia taken by the Soviet Union was transformed into a gigantic Soviet military base. It performed the functions of the outpost in the West on the one hand; and on the other hand, of the barrier which helped the USSR to ensure the dependence of the Eastern Baltics and domination in Poland. After the Cold War, Kaliningrad Oblast, a territory of 15,000 square metres with a population of nearly one million people, owned by the Russian Federation and located the farthest to the West, although on the Baltic Sea, ashore became isolated from the motherland and turned into an exclave. Gradually the exclave found itself first at the crossroads of different security structures and later — surrounded by one of them. Changes in the situation gave rise to the so-called Kaliningrad discourse, i. e. political decisions, academic discussions and research, influenced by the internal transformation in the USSR and the Russian Federation (RF) as well as slips in the international policies of Central and Eastern Europe.

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The EU strategy for the Baltic region: where are we now?

This article is dedicated to the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region approved by the European Commission in October 2009. The Strategy expresses the intention to strengthen regionalisation in the framework of the EU. It distinguishes the Baltic region as an independent priority target of the complex strategy for the EU development and gives an additional incentive to the resolution of the problems related to the formation of this macroregion.

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Strategic perspectives for the territorial development of the Baltic Sea Region

The article describes the motives, objectives and findings of preparing a perspective for territorial development of the Baltic Sea Region and discusses issues related to its implementation. Particular attention is paid to Northwest Russia and Kaliningrad region. Promoting innovation clusters, metropolitan networks and urban-rural partnerships, improving accessibility as well as enhancing maritime spatial planning and management are key issues to be solved in transnational cooperation

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Discussion club

Two perspectives on the 'Kaliningrad issue'

This interview with two former special presidential representatives for the Kaliningrad region (Dmitry Rogozin, representing the Russian party and Gediminas Kirkilas, representing the Lithuanian party) recounts the EU-Russia negotiations on the Kaliningrad region and the enlargement of the European Union in the early 2000s. The interview provides an important assessment of the negotiations and their results and explains for the first time the role of individual European states and politicians in the 'Kaliningrad issue'. These facts allow the reader to understand and compare two different — Russian and Lithuanian — points of view

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Russia’s political risk for the foreign investors: A special emphasis on Kaliningrad

The main goal of this article is to analyse the political risk of Russia with a special emphasis on Kaliningrad. In this study, political risks are assessed using the normative model of macro political risk assessment developed by Alon and Martin in 1998. In this model, political risks are divided into government-, society- and economy-related variables.

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The history of the Kaliningrad region

Chapters of the institutional economic history of Königsberg/Kaliningrad

This article consists of a series of short essays dedicated to a certain period of the 'popular' socioeconomic history (with a particular focus on the institutional development problems) of the former East Prussia from Antiquity to present days. The authors tackle the issues of the economic history of amber, the role of the Hansa League in the development of medieval trade, the QWERTY-effects in the rail gauge standards, and the peculiarities of the development of the Kaliningrad region in the post-Soviet period

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On the periodisation of the battle for East Prussia in 1944—1945

This article considers the problematic issue of the prehistory of the Kaliningrad region. The author analyses different approaches to the periodisation of the East Prussian offensive, delimits the periods of its stages and determines the date of the termination of the operation.

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Research reports

The influence of the border position of the Pskov region on the socio-cultural values of the population

This article presents the results of a sociological research on national and supranational (civilizational) identity of the Pskov region population conducted in 1999—2010. The Pskov region is the only European region of Russia that shares borders with three states, two of which are members of the EU. The author defines the areas of the neighbouring countries' sociocultural influence on the lives of the border territory population. The article also describes the existing stereotypes about Russia and the neighbouring countries as well as the influence of frequent trips to these countries on the attitude towards them. The assessment of the EU-Russia cooperation prospects by the Pskov region population is presented in comparison to the results of a similar research conducted in the Kaliningrad region.

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The problems of the protection of the Baltic Sea in the regions of the Russian Federation: the example of the Kaliningrad region

This article examines solutions to the environmental problems of the Baltic Sea in the Kaliningrad region. The authors focus on the implementation of the HELCOM recommendation, which stipulates the elimination of all sources of eutrophication (the so-called hot spots) as well as the construction of modern waste water treatment facilities. The study is based on the interviews with local experts and the analysis of regulatory documents

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The territorial structure and appearance of Kaliningrad

This article combines two approaches to the analysis of the appearance and territorial structure of Kaliningrad. One approach is based on the field study, the other — on the examination of documents. The former helped define a number of integral regions that were later considered from a historical point of view in order to figure out how the territorial structure and appearance of the city changed in the transition from the German to the Soviet and post-Soviet periods.

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On the ideological distance between relevant candidates for the presidency of the Republic of Poland in 2010

This article presents an analytical review of the programmes of the registered candidates for the position of the President of Poland in the presidential campaign of 2010. The article mainly focuses on the relevant players and the formation of centers of influence in the electoral campaign.

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Scientific life

Introduction

Introduction
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International cooperation in higher education

Strategic development of a university in the Russian exclave

The article focuses on key characteristics of modern universities (global, scientific and entrepreneurial) ones. The authors discuss prospects of the strategic development of the university in the Russian exclave.

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Innovative education for the Baltic region: the experience of the Finnish-Russian Cross-border University

The article defines the innovative features of teaching international relations in the Baltic Sea Region at the graduate level, taking as an example the double degree program in international relations of the Finnish-Russian Cross-Border University, set up by the St. Petersburg State University and the University of Tampere the article also evaluates specific features of other similar programs taught in universities around the Baltic Sea.

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International education fora as a factor for strengthening global cooperation in the Humanities

The article is devoted to the development of new forms of international cooperation in education, such as international fora of rectors of universities and faculties of Humanities. Such fora are regarded as an innovative form of inter-university cooperation, which opens new prospects and opportunities for cooperation in education, science and culture.

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Specific features of internationalization of higher education in the framework of the Northern Dimension

This article analyzes the internationalization of universities, taking part in international cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic region. The case analysis focuses on the experience of Murmansk State Technical University in the Barents Cross-Border University international project implemented together with Murmansk State Pedagogical University, the oldest university in the region, specializing in the Humanities.

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Motors for regional development: impact on regional political organizations on the university cooperation in the Baltic Sea region

Educational co-operation is one of the main aspects of the regional political agenda in the Baltic Sea Region. The article analyzes the political impact of the organizations, as perceived by the universities in the region and political decision-makers on national and regional levels. Based on the success of the OECD in becoming an influential actor in educational policies, this article discusses different strategies for the regional political organizations to enhance their influence.

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Post-Soviet space in contemporary curricula and cooperation projects

This article analyzes the current situation and prospects of the post-Soviet themes research in Russian higher education in the Humanities. The problem is considered in the context of the modernization of the national education, integration processes in the former Soviet Union, globalization and the development of international cooperation.

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Education system in the Baltic Sea countries

The effectiveness of the Latvian education system assessed by the population

The article assesses the efficiency of the state’s system of education through a wide variety of objective factors (the state and availability of infrastructure, budget, training and retraining, etc.) and subjective (psychosocial) assessments and visions of the education system (satisfaction with one’s own level of education, field of education and the attitude to it).

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School education in Lithuania and the Lithuanian SSR (1920s—1950s)

The author considers the problems of schooling in the bourgeois Lithuania and later, in the Lithuanian SSR. On the basis of archival documents and statistical data that were unavailable in the Soviet period, the author analyses historiographical materials and studies the peculiarities of the education system, as well as evaluates the attitude of the state, the national authorities and the republic's population towards this issue.

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Psychological aspects of innovations in higher education

Psychological health risks to children in modern education

The article focuses on the psychological threats to the health of children and youth emanating from the education system and education: relations of power between teachers and children, parents' ambition to train psychologically and physiologically immature children, etc. The author exposes the contradiction between the set out humanistic approach and the actual directive training mechanisms in educational institutions as well as the promotion of teachers' consumer attitude to the student's health. The author arrives at a conclusion that students' health is sacrificed to academic achievements.

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International education projects and programmes

"The Baltic University" programme on the eve of its 20th anniversary

This article is dedicated to the Baltic University programme — a unique educational project aiming at the sustainable development of the Baltic Sea region. International interuniversity cooperation facilitates intercultural communication between students and researchers, and creates new prospects for joint research, which opens up an opportunity for solving common environmental and social problems in the Baltic Sea region.

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"All bigger things are clearer from a distance": some results of cooperation between philologists from the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia and the University of Warmia and Mazury

The author analyses cooperation of slavists from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. This cooperation began in 1980 when an agreement of cooperation between the two universities was signed. The paper focuses on the main areas of cooperation and assesses its results. The author gives credit to the leading scholars who made an invaluable contribution to the development of this cooperation.

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Reviews

Scientific life

Information

Introduction

Introduction
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Urban demographic problems

The demographic problems of the Baltic cities: general trends

This article discusses the trends of demographic development of the Baltic Sea region's cities. It analyses the factors affecting the urban population dynamics in the second half of the 20th — the beginning of the 21st centuries. The authors emphasise the dependence of the Baltic cities on the socioeconomic development level throughout the region as well as intraregional disparities. The article analyses the conclusions drawn in the "Urban audit.2007" report.

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Population change in global urban regions

This article focuses on the key aspects of population development in the historical cores of leading global urban regions at the stage of globalisation. The research sets out to identify and describe the common — model — and individual features of the demographic modernisation process.

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Regional demographic development

The demographic problems of the Pskov region and the main approaches to solving them at the level of the regional state authorities

This article analyses the demographic problems of the Pskov region. The authors propose a system of government regulation of demographic processes in view of the functions of the regional executive authorities.

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Demographic change in Germany and reversal of spatial ageing patterns

The paper presents the result of a spatial analysis considering the effect of demographic ageing and ageing-in-place processes in Germany according to spatially differentiated ageing patterns among urban, sub-urban and rural counties up to 2025. As to the latest official population forecast counties of urban core regions will undergo a slower ageing process than other types of counties, resulting in a reversal of ageing patterns. Urban core areas in this analysis will gain demographically from their net migration surplus while suburban housing locations of the past will be no longer able to attract enough young migrants to compensate for their now rapidly ageing baby boomer generation. The process presented is typical for the fate of (suburban) housing areas with homogenous populations under conditions of ageing and shrinking if spatial mobility in ageing population groups is declining.

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Migration movement in the region

Migration trends in the Baltic region states: the spatiotemporal aspect

This article analyses the migration streams in the Baltic Sea region in 1950—2009. The geography of migration movement is considered at the level of state and at the mesolevel. The author assesses the influence of migration on the socioeconomic situation in the region.

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International cross-border migration in the South-East Baltic: factors, structure, consequences

This article presents the results of an integrated research encompassing both the study of migration processes in the South-East Baltic (volume, structure, directions) and the analysis of factors affecting migration mobility of the population as well as the assessment of migration influence on the socioeconomic development of three border territories.

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The state repatriation programme: four years later

This article analyses the problems of the state voluntary repatriation programme and describes its key functions and implementation mechanisms. The author identifies the causes of deceleration in the repatriation process as well as the weak points of the Programme and the ways to improve it. The article offers data on the resettlement of compatriots over the three years of the Programme implementation, its demographic structure, and the regions of resettlement.

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The ethnic aspects of demographic development

The Estonian diaspora in South-West Russia in the 1920—30s: migration results

This article analyses the spatial features of the settling of Russian Estonians in the Northwest region at the “zenith” of diaspora on the basis of 1920, 1926, and 1939 censuses. The author identifies the principal settling areas and points out the geographical preconditions for the rapid decline of the diaspora.

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The ethnic aspects of demographic processes in the Baltic region states

This article focuses on the problems pertaining to the regionalisation of geo-demographic situation in the Baltic region. Particular attention is paid to the influence of ethnic factors on the parameters and trends of demographic processes. The author comes to a conclusion about the achievement of demographic homeostasis in most ethnos-nations in the Baltic region.

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International cooperation in the region

Transborder regionalisation in the conditions of globalisation

Globalisation creates favourable conditions for the formation of transborder regions through enhancing communication. This process involves industrial, transport, trade and other enterprises as well as education, culture and research institutions, which develop multiple links. The formation of cross-border regions is facilitated by the regional policy of the European Union, which encourages the development of connections between the transborder regions of different countries including non-EU members, for instance, Russia. A positive example is the Baltic macroregion, which serve as a ground for the formation of numerous cross-border meso- and microregions.

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The Northern Dimension policy: current state and development prospects

This article examines the evolution and current state of the Northern Dimension policy and its role in Russia-EU relations. The authors analyse the discrepancy between the actual achievements of the Northern Dimension and its potential and the over-high expectations, which accompanied the policy renewal.

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Research reports

Different forms of parliamentarism and the factors determining the variations

Parliamentarism can be implemented in a few versions: parliamentary-cabinet,cabinet-parliamentary, parliamentary-presidential and parliamentary-committee. It is, thus, an internally diversified system. It is influenced by a number of factors, among others, the type of party system, the way of granting the non-confidence vote and dissolving the parliament, as well as the scope of so called delegated legislation.In contemporary parliamentary democracies aspirations to strengthen executives can be observed.

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Introduction

Introduction
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International cooperation in ecology and environmental protection

Russian-German research and academic cooperation in the Arctic

This article is dedicated to the stages of development of international research cooperation in the framework of research and education projects focusing on the study of marine and polar territories of the Russian Federation and the Federative Republic of Germany. The largest and most stable projects are the establishment of the Russian-German laboratory of polar and marine research named after the Russian polar explorer of German origin, Otto Schmidt, — OSL — on the premises of AARI, the Russian-German education project — the Applied polar and marine studies master's programme (POMOR) — implemented by the Russian and German partners at Saint Petersburg State University, and the Laptev Sea system research programme bringing together around 20 Russian and German organisations.

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A methodology for research on international cooperation on marine environment protection: application of the Baltic Sea practices to the northern seas

This article is dedicated to the methodology for the study of international cooperation on marine environment protection. The author suggests applying the practices of marine environment protection in the Baltic Sea to the northern seas as well as examining earlier projects for the effective implementation of interdisciplinary initiatives bringing together international law, international relations and world politics.

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Research methodology

The problem of biodiversity: the geohistorical approach

This article tackles the problems of the biodiversity parameter evolution from the geo-historical perspective. The authors come to a conclusion about the prevalence of global terrestrial and cosmic factors in the development of biosphere processes. On the basis of the biogeochemical approach to the biosphere evolution, the authors could identify the principal stages of its development from the ancient times to the modern epoch and refute the postulate of Leibniz (‘nature makes no leaps’).

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The response of different plant life forms to natural environment changes

This paper contains test results revealing norm and stress reactions of various life-form plants: trees — Betula pendula Roth, Tilia platyphyllos Scop., Pinus sylvetris L; water-plant -Galium palustre L.; grass — Solidago Canadensis; cereal — Secale cereal L. Collection and processing of the material was made in the area of Berlin/Brandenburg, Germany. Clark sensor-based method made it possible to determine the amount and rate of the oxygen evolution by plants in the dark and light phase. Under the reaction norm the average amount of the oxygen evolved and the average rate of metabolism processes during dark and light phases are changing simultaneously. Parabolic and periodic dependences of these changes during the vegetation period has been found. Under the stress reaction (drought, illness) the rate of metabolism dark reactions is increased by 2—3 times as compared with light reactions. The obtained results may be use for bioindication of the climate change in the Baltic Region.

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The environmental problems of the Baltic Sea basin

The main environmental problems of the Baltic Sea and the ways to solve them

The Baltic Sea is a unique ecological system, an integral part of the global ecological system, which is in urgent need of protection from destructive anthropogenic impact stemming from the production and consumption of nuclear energy and artificial radionuclides, agriculture, oil and oil product transportation, and sewage and solid waste treatment. The article outlines the main environmental problems of the Baltic Seas and the ways to solve them.

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An assessment of the potential impact of the construction of a deepwater seaport on the hydrological regime of the Vistula lagoon

This article focuses on the level fluctuation in the Vistula Lagoon. In view of the planned construction of a deepwater seaport in its waters, the author emphasizes the negative impact on its hydrological regime: rise in the levels which could lead to the flooding of the territories adjoining the mouth of the Pregolya river, increase in salinity, extinction of hydrobionts, and destruction of the ecological systems.

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Anthropogenic transformation of the ecosystem

The basic patterns of the distribution, migration and accumulation of radionuclides in the bottom sediment of the Baltic Sea

This paper focuses on the impact of certain factors on the contemporary distribution of natural (226Ra, 232Th, 40К) and anthropogenic (137Cs, 60Co) radionuclides in the sediments of the Baltic Sea. The results of the study suggest that the distribution of 137Cs is determined by the content of hydromica of silty-clay and clay grain-size fractions, while radiocaesium is mainly accumulated by silty fractions. The accumulation of 226Ra by bottom sediments is mainly determined by the pH geochemical barrier at the water-seafloor boundary. The accumulation of 232Th occurs mainly in clayey fractions of the sediment. The distribution and accumulation of 40K is predominantly determined by the ratio of potassium contained in hydromica minerals. Significant 60Co activity was registered only in a few samples.

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The characteristics of the biogenic element of the runoff fr om the drainage areas of the Gulf of Finland basin experiencing a lim ited anthropogenic impact

This article analyses characteristics of 25 rivers of the Gulf of Finland basin where the monitoring of the streamflow chemical composition was performed. The authors consider the dynamics of biogenic element content in the streamflow, the relation of the drainage areas to certain landscapes, the share of agricultural lands and tillage in the drainage areas, the forest-land percentage, a rural population density, and the forest age and type.

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The geochemical characteristics of the bottom sediment in the pockmark area of the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland

It is the first time pockmark-like structures have been detected in the south-eastern part of the Gulf of Finland with the help of a side-scan sonar and a profile recorder. The analysis of the distribution of microcomponents in the bottom sediment indicates that the pockmark area is located in the geochemical barrier border zone where the reducing medium of the incoming mineralized solution meets the highly oxidizing sea water medium. The hydrodynamic and geochemical processes in the pockmark zone create focal areas of anomalous microenvironment and affect the composition and development of benthos.

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The groundwater monitoring in the Novgorod region in the system of regional nature management

This article examines the current state of the groundwater system monitoring in the Novgorod region. The groundwater monitoring observations serve as the basis for prediction assessment of water resources. The efficiency of water resource management largely depends on the comprehensiveness and reliability of information on the groundwater condition.The existing groundwater monitoring system has proven to be incapable of fully implementing its functions. It requires a fundamental reorganization and further development at the contemporary scientific and technical level, since groundwater resource management is impossible without a quantitative forecast of groundwater condition and properties.From the perspective of rational Nature management, the leading ecological function of underground hydrosphere is carried out by fresh underground waters. Rational Nature management underlies the sustainable development of the Northwest region, which is economically viable for the European territory of the country.

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Socioeconomic aspects of sustainable territorial development

The territorial cohesion as the basis for a balanced territorial policy in the Kaliningrad region

The territorial cohesion concept became a key priority of the European spatial development policy due to the growing awareness of the role of geography in ensuring sustainable regional development. The article is focused on the way of adapting this concept to the Kaliningrad region as a foundation for a sustainable spatial development policy in the context of the EU and the Baltic Sea Region cohesion policy.

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The factors affecting the development of the South-eastern Baltic tourism and recreation region

The territories of Vistula and Curonian lagoons, centrally located in the cross-border region, have numerous remarkable nature sites as well as monuments of history and culture. The article analyses the internal and external factors affecting the development of the Russian segment of the transborder "Southeastern Baltic" tourism and recreation region.

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Opportunities for studying cultural landscapes in the Kaliningrad region

This article focuses on opportunities for studying cultural landscapes in the Kaliningrad region and offers methodology for it. The author outlines types of the information required: genetic types of natural landscapes, spatial settlement and land use features, and the network components of the landscapes environment.

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The role of small and semi-medium-sized towns in solving the problems of regional development

The article focuses on the problems related to the disparities in the settlement system of the Kaliningrad region, the problems of small and semi-mediumsized towns, and the role of such towns in solving the regional development problems of the Kaliningrad region. The author analyses the Lithuanian experience of revitalizing small towns. The article outlines the ways to apply this experience to the Kaliningrad region.

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Reviews

From editorial board

Economics

The income differentiation among the residents of Latvia in 2000—2008

This paper provides an analysis of income differentiation among the residents of Latvian regions in order to assess the government’s economic policies aimed at the development of a socially inclusive market economy in the country. The paper describes the dynamics of changes in the income of population of Latvian regions over nine years (2000—2008). The authors put forward a hypothesis that the changes in the state social and economic policy tend to influence the level and dynamics of income of Latvia’s population.

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The financial crisis in the Baltics: social and political lessons

This paper analyzes the features of the global financial crisis in the Baltic states, shows the differences between the countries in the process of its development, and examines changes in the mass consciousness of the political establishment in the countries considered.

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Empirical results on Russian companies' innovation activity

Innovation is a vital process for countries striving to evolve and occupy a competitive position in international markets. This paper is based on research designed to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the national innovation system in Russia. The objective of the study was to examine innovation activity and innovation performance in Russia, as well as to identify the priorities of the government’s policy for promoting innovation.

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The openness of the Russian economy: tendencies and international comparison

This paper assesses the level of openness of the Russian economy. It demonstrates that the openness indicators used in the Concept of Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation differ from those employed by international organisations. The paper examines the intensity of Russian trade in terms of its gross domestic product and the relatively high barriers in relation to import penetration in Russia. Methodological differences determine the differences in the analysis results.

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Russian-Lithuanian innovative cooperation

A comparative assessment of the innovation potential of the Baltic Sea region countries

This article offers a comparative assessment of the Baltic region countries on the basis of three groups of indicators — indicators of economic and research potential, indicators of dynamics of economic and research potential development, and indicators of economic and innovation potential of the states of the region. The author emphasises the need for Russia to cooperate with other countries of the region in the field of innovations as well as the possible role for the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in this process.

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The research and technology development in Lithuania and the prospects of research and technology cooperation between Lithuania and the Russian Federation

This article focuses on the present state and prospects of research and technology development in Lithuania. The authors focus on the main competitive innovation spheres (information technologies, biotechnologies, special purpose laser technologies) and analyse the principal lines of innovation policy and strategy. The article presents the results of a SWOT analysis of Lithuanian innovation development and describes the possible fields and mechanisms of research and technology cooperation between Lithuania and the Russian Federation.

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The North-West of Russia: the potential and areas of Russian-Lithuanian research and innovation cooperation

This article considers the present state and prospects of Russian-Lithuanian cooperation in the field of research and innovation. The author analyses the tendencies of innovation activities of economic entities in the North-West of Russia in terms of relative innovation activity indicators. Special attention is paid to the role of cross-border and trans-border cooperation in the Baltic macroregion as a mechanism of managing the innovative development of regional economy.

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On the prospects of cooperation between Russian and Lithuanian innovative sectors

From the perspective of the modern system of domestic relations facilitating the development of research and industrial potential of the country and aimed at creating the conditions for the development of science intensive industries, which extract a high surplus value, the authors consider the research and education and innovation sectors of the Republic of Lithuania — the closest neighbour of the Russian Federation in the North-West region. The analysis of competences of Lithuanian research and education sectors helped identify promising research and technology development areas in terms of innovation cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Lithuania.

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Modernisation of education and research in Russia, Poland and Lithuania: a comparative analysis

This article compares the dynamics, content and character of education system modernization in Russia, Poland, and Lithuania. It is shown that the education systems of Russia, Poland, and Lithuania differ substantially in the secondary and higher education structure, sources of financing, and strategic development directions.

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International cooperation

International relations of the North-West federal district of the Russian Federation and the New North concept

This article analyses the role of Russia — the North-West federal district — in the New North concept, which encompasses new political relations in the North of Europe in the framework of international organisations and regional cooperation — for instance, the Northern Dimension.

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On international innovation cooperation at modern universities

This article analyses the role of innovations at higher educational institutions, gives a definition of innovation, explores the features of international cooperation in the sphere of innovations, and focuses on the forms of innovative interaction between Russian and German higher education institutions.

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The Kaliningrad region

On the programme of research development in the exclave region

This article focuses on the development of research in the exclave region. The authors offer a programme of research development in the Kaliningrad region. The article describes the principal lines of implementation of priorities of modernization and technological upgrade of regional industries.

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The Kaliningrad region in Polish scientific research

This article offers an overview of the leading Polish research centres focusing on the political, social, and economic aspects of the Kaliningrad region.

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On the assessment of cross-border regions' development potential

This article sets out to assess the potential of cross-border region development on the basis of theoretical and methodological materials. The study examines the Kaliningrad region and Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. The article is focused on the modelling of interindustry balance and export/import functions of border territories.

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Discussions

Russia as an irritant factor for the political elitess of the Baltics in the context of election campaigns of 2010—2011: an expert opinion

This article presents an overview of the principal intellectual alternatives of today regarding the role and place of Russia in the social and political spaces of the former Baltic republics, which were articulated in the course of international expert discussions and round tables at the IKBFU.

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Introduction

Introduction
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International cooperation: legal aspects

Legal guarantees for international investment according to the legislation of the Russian Federation

This article analyses the notion and system of legal guarantees ensured by the foreign investments legislation, reviews its general feature, and focuses on the national regime for foreign investors,. The author draws a conclusion that the existing system of special guarantees for foreign investors is neither effective nor prudent.

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A unified and harmonised European law and its impact on third countries

Having transferred the title on visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons from the third pillar into the Treaty on European Community, the Amsterdam Treaty vested legislative power in the European Community in the fields of international civil procedure and private international law. On the basis of this power, the European Community enacted a series of Regulations, which will soon unify both areas of law. Such unification will not only facilitate legal relations within the European Union but also enhance legal relations with third countries.

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The European Court of Justice case of Elgafaji: the interaction between EU law and international humanitarian law

This article focuses on the increasing influence of international court rulings on the development of new concepts within international law, in particular, the concept of subsidiary protection to persons who fall outside the scope of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The author also considers the issues related to the concept of indirect effect in EU law, as well as the interaction between the EU and international law.

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The development of legal framework for Russia-EU relations: 2010 results

This article deals with the development of legal framework for Russia-EU relations in 2010. The author analyses the preparation of the new basic agreement, the development of sectoral EU-Russia agreements, and soft law amendments, as well as relevant regulations of the European Union and Russian law. The article reviews current initiatives and approaches of the Parties in the legal regulation of the „Partnership for modernisation".

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International cooperation: history and political science

The image of Russia in 2010—2011 international indices: positioning crisis

This paper considers the political and economic shortcomings of the image of Russia and its perception by the international community in 2010—2011. International indices are a comprehensive information source in terms of the economic and political image of a country and, to a great extent, a decisive factor in the global trends relevant to different countries and their development potentials. The author also compares the international images of Russia and the Baltic Sea region countries.

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The fifth wave of the European Union enlargement: pro et contra

This article analyses the principal complex of economic and political motivations of the states of Central and Eastern Europe and the EU members related to the EU enlargement towards the East. Special attention is paid to the discussion on the reasonableness of the EU enlargement and the positions of certain EU members.

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The Žalgiris movement and the formation of an alternative foreign policy philosophy (on the basis of the Žalgiris appendix to the Respublika newspaper)

After Lithuanian accession to the European Union and NATO, a cross-party political consensus has existed regarding the state’s foreign policy objectives. Against this background, the Žalgiris national resistance movement, which was established by eminent politicians, journalists, and public figures in 2009, posed a certain intellectual challenge. This article concentrates on the development of a new foreign policy philosophy — the focal point of the interviews, round tables and press conferences held by the Movemen

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International cooperation in the fields of innovations, education, and research

The Baltic macroregion: geographical macrostructures, communication features, innovative potential

The article considers and assesses the influence of macro-geographical factors on communication behaviour of people in the course of transition to innovative economy through the example of the Baltic Sea region.

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On the potential and opportunities for cooperation between the Baltics in the field of innovations

This article compares the research and innovation potential of Russia in general, the Northwestern federal district and the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) and explores the opportunities for cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Baltics in the field of innovations. The authors identify possible areas of cooperation and describe its mechanisms.

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The system approach to modernisation and innovative regional development: strategic objectives

Russia must follow the path of modernisation and innovative development. The analysis conducted shows the absence of laws, strategies and uniform terminology regarding modernization and innovations. The author examines the factors affecting the content of these terms, describes the system approach to modernization and regional innovative development, develops regional methodology and identifies the strategic targets for modernisation and innovative development.

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The Erasmus Mundus programme as a vehicle for development

This article analyses the Erasmus Mundus programme run by the European Commission in terms of structured cooperation between the EU and third country universities. Special attention is paid to the implementation of Erasmus Mundus projects aimed at environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, reduction in the use of hazardous substances, and the improvement of the attractiveness of the region.

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Russia — EU: the visa issue

The development of cooperation between the European Union and Russia on migration issues: from „the „common spaces” to the actual implementation

EU-Russia cooperation has experienced problems in many areas. Nevertheless, cooperation in the field of migration proves to be successful. Through analyzing the EU-Russia migration agenda from the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (1997) to the Roadmap for the Common Space on Freedom, Security and Justice (2005), the article assesses the main results of its implementation, such as the Readmission and Visa Facilitation agreements. Moreover, it stresses the role of Russia as an agenda-setter of the EU migration agenda in the Eastern Europe.

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The facilitation of freedom of movement between Russia and the European Union: prospects and legal issues

This article examines the legal aspects of the prospective visa free regime between Russia and the European Union,as well as the implementation of local border traffic mechanisms.

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The visa aspects of the academic mobility between the Russian Federation and the European Union: the experience of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

This article analyses different aspects of the EU-Russia academic mobility. The authors pay special attention to visa and migration registration issues faced by foreign citizens in Russia.

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Young scientist research

The aderoid factors in the development of the Kaliningrad region

This article analyses the factors of the development of the Kaliningrad region. Expanding G. M. Fedorov’s complex analysis, the author identifies a new independent class of factors (aderoid factors) that have a significant impact on the regional development and are subject to an independent study. The analysis of aderoid factors makes it possible to create a management system that would
change the sign of the factor from minus to plus or vice versa and block the model regression process.

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Reviews

Reviews
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From the Editorial Board

International relations

Historical memory in the age of globalization: the case of Russian- Estonian relations

This article contributes to the discussion within the "Towards the Common Past" international academic network bringing together scholars from Russia, the Baltic States and the Nordic countries. It assesses the relationship between globalization and historical memory, thus contributing to the discussion on globalization and the roles and applications of history. On the basis of an analysis of academic discourses on globalization and historical memory, the author arrives at two conclusions. On the one hand, the proponents of globalization use historical memory as one of their arguments: they claim that the history of globalization in international relations stretches back to the 19th century, thus globalization is an irreversible process. On the other hand, globalization attaches international significance to historical events that were earlier considered as being of local importance. The author proves the latter statement through comparing Russian and Estonian discourses on the relationship between the events which took place in Tallinn in September 1944 and April 2007. Highlighting the differences between the two discourses may help Russian scholars understand the reasons behind the political decisions made by the Estonian authorities in April 2007. It accounts for the practical significance of the research conducted, since one of the most important objectives of international relations as a discipline is not to explain what decision would have been the most appropriate in the given situation, but to further the understanding of the reasons behind the actually made decision. The author expresses his gratitude to his counterparts from St. Petersburg State University and the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, as well as those from the Universities of Lund (Sweden), Tampere (Finland), and Tartu (Estonia) for their comments on the earlier versions of the article. At the same time, the author alone bears all the responsibility for the conclusions drawn in the article.

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The formation of the political elite in Lithuania at the turn of the 1980s—1990s: the role of “moral politicians”

This article considers the trend of structural changes in the political elite of the Republic of Lithuania in the post-Soviet period through analyzing the role of the so-called “moral politicians” — intellectuals, artists, and cultural figures, who played a decisive role in the period of the communist system disintegration and further development of the country's policy. The role of the political elite, which is understood according to R. Putnam and J. Higley's definition, is considered in the conditions of political instability and uncertainty typical of transformation processes. In this context, the role of key actors is interpreted on the basis of the methodological structure of the so-called Stanford model developed by G. Almond and P. Bourdieu's theory of capital. This article reconstructs the course of political changes in the Republic of Lithuania at the initial stage of its independence, in the framework of which the key role was played by «moral politicians», most of whom subsequently retired from politics. Focusing on the situation in Lithuania, this research sets out to show the continuous dependence of today's policies of the Baltic States on the key choices made by the authorities at the turn of 1980s—1990s. Today, Russian political science lacks concrete regional studies into the issues of changes of elites in the context of research on the processes of postcommunist transformations. This work addresses the scientific interpretation of the content of mechanisms of «new» political elite development in postcommunist societies under the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors in the course of transformation. The stabilisation of elite formation processes in Lithuania, the assessment of patterns and trends, the identification of power centres and the character of intra-elite interaction, and a profound understanding of the functioning of Lithuanian political system in general will allow Russia to formulate a more efficient policy towards the Baltic States, which would promptly respond to emerging challenges.

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Modern Lithuanian foreign policy: the adjustment of traditional policy

The authors consider the core areas of Lithuanian foreign policy. Special attention is paid to the adjustment of the major foreign policy vector, which concentrated earlier on the cooperation with the United States of America and strategic partnership with the Republic of Poland. The article analyses the attempts of Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė to formulate the so-called «new foreign policy» based on the multivector approach  to the intergovernmental cooperation. This research is timely because of an increasing influence of small states on foreign policy decision-making within the European Union. It emphasizes the need to analyse foreign policy priorities of the Baltic States and Central and Eastern European countries and to identify the dominant trends in the international policy in the region in order to forecast further development at European and global levels. This objective is achieved with the help of an integrated approach with elements of interdisciplinary research. Special attention is paid to the comparative-historical approach, which facilitates the analysis of the relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the neighbouring states and its principal partners. Alongside traditional methods of historical research, this work employs such methods as participant observation, content and event analysis, and simultaneous and comparative analysis. The research and practical significance of this work is explained by its emphasis on the need to apply an additional theoretical framework to studies into the foreign policy initiatives of the Republic of Lithuania in the international arena. While earlier they were determined by the value (democratic approach), which was a reflection of American realism, today an increasingly important factor is the personality of the president, who does not always positively influence the changing policy of the country. The results of the research contribute substantially to the understanding of foreign policy processes taking place in Lithuania and the region in general.

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The role of the Kaliningrad region in the development of Russian-German relations

Germany is one of the principal partners of the Russian Federation. The Kaliningrad region plays a significant role in the development of partnership between the two countries, but the existing opportunities for development are not fully exploited. This article analyses the development, current state and prospects of an increasing role of the region in Russian-German cooperation. The authors emphasize the role of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University as one of the leaders in the development of research and cultural links with German universities and research foundations. This publication is based on the authors' presentation at the round table discussion on the cooperation between Russian and German partner regions held on September 23, 2011 in the framework of the 8th International Conference on Transborder Cooperation: the Russian Federation, the European Union, and Norway (September 22—23, 2011, Kaliningrad). The article considers topical issues of Russian-German economic and cultural relations in the Kaliningrad region, which facilitate the development of Russian strategy for the integration of northwestern constituent entities into the economic and cultural space of the Baltic region.

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Economic aspects of international cooperation

Does corruption influence the sustainability of economic growth?

Sustainable development is a term that is widely used by politicians nowadays. The definition of the concept of sustainable development is constantly revised. Sustainable development is about promoting an integrated approach. It includes economic, social and environmental objectives. Economic objectives include growth, efficiency and stability. The main purpose of the article is to analyze the influences of corruption on sustainable economic growth. The impact is decreasing continuously and the main reason behind this is the change in peoples’ attitude and saturation to ethically questionable actions. Individuals and organizations can join in sharing resources for creating a sustainable future. There are several factors that influence sustainable development. Among them are: government policies; management and organization; financial and economic factors. The main question for institutional sustainability may be formulated as the following: can the strengthened institutional structure continue to deliver the results of technical cooperation to the ultimate end-users? Individuals and organizations can join in sharing resources for creating a sustainable future. Anticorruption strategies are related to the reform of state institutions. One advantage of the fundamental economic reform approach is that by linking anticorruption strategies to the reform of economic policies and institutions, the struggle against corruption can be seen as one of the issues in economic policy. Finally, all development assistance should be implemented with the aim of achieving sustainable benefits.

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Euroregions as a factor of successful international integration in modern conditions

This article focuses on the correlation between the contemporary crisis phenomenon in the Eurozone and some CIS countries, and the existing Euroregions. We attempt to analyze the interdependence of the qualitative aspect of cross-border relations of European countries with their economic sustainability in the context of regional international integration. The theoretical significance of this work lies in the revealed correlation between the efficiency of cross-border Euroregions and the additional resources that can be retrieved in the framework of national economic policy during global recession. The practical component lies in clarifying the conceptual framework for the formation of successful crossborder cooperation in today's Europe. The authors employed the historical-descriptive approach and factual consideration of the cross-border and macro-regional level of interaction between European countries. The main results are as follows. The crisis in several EU countries is associated with a complex of causes that deplete the platform for multilateral cooperation in Europe. To a lesser extent, the crisis has affected the states that are actively involved in cross-border cooperation projects. The formation of European regions is closely related to the industrial development of their regions. The Post-Soviet space requires a redistribution of the overcentralized power. The abundance of Euroregions along the perimeter of certain states may be an indicator of economy's resilience to potential shocks. The provisions set forth in the article contribute to an improvement of the scientific understanding of political regionalistics and take the current understanding of the international system to the level of cross-border relations and institutions creating a system of interrelated elements of macro-regional and national building. The results can be applied in the development of a conceptual and legal framework for the construction of cross-border political formations in the Post-Soviet space, especially, within the Eurasian Economic Community, which coined the concept of «eurasiaregion».

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Russia's accession to the WTO as an important factor of the country's integration into the world economy

Russia's accession to the WTO is an efficient instrument of the country's integration into the globalized world economy. However, it can adversely affect a number of enterprises and industries within the national economy. Thus, there is a need to develop a methodology for the assessment of the preparedness for operating under WTO membership conditions, which can be practically applied in the development of measures aimed at increasing the competitiveness of economic entities. This determines the objective of the research. This article offers the author's assessment of the reasonability of Russia's accession to the WTO and suggests methodological approaches to the assessment of preparedness of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation for functioning in the new economic conditions based on the algorithm of choosing a system of indicators, as well as the organisation of enterprise monitoring according to this system, which makes it possible to formulate rational administrative decisions in order to minimise the adverse effects of Russia's accession to the WTO. The major result of the research is the conclusion that, although the objective of identifying the start position of the constituent entities before the accession to the WTO and its possible implications is quite difficult to attain, it is both theoretically and  practically feasible.

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On the concept of normative evaluation of cost-effectiveness of GLONASS application in coastal regions

Russia promotes the application of GLONASS satellite information system in regional economies. In three regions, the system has already been introduced and is widely used, 21 more regions are introducing the system. Experts believe that this process will take from 3 to 5 years. The introduction and integrated use of GLONASS pose a number of organizational and economic problems for regional administrations. One of such problems is the evaluation of economic benefit from GLONASS implementation in the region. Economics has developed a large number of methodological approaches to the calculation of such effects in different fields of satellite information application: Earth's remote probing, crop yield forecasts, forestry, water industry and agricultural monitoring, etc. However, the research shows that attempts to perform a calculation for various fields of satellite information application at a regional level prove the existing approaches to be inefficient due to the difficulties in obtaining initial data. To this effect, the authors developed a normative methodical approach to the calculation of the effect of integrated GLONASS application. This approach is meant to fill the existing gap and makes it possible to evaluate the economic benefit of an integrated GLONASS application for different fields.

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The features of EU energy strategy in the Baltic region

This article analyses the issues of EU energy policy in the 1990s-the beginning of the 2000s in order to identify the features of energy supply and energy safety of the Baltic region countries. The research and practical significance of the work lies in the stepwise description of actions taken by EU leaders and EU member states in order to formulate a common European energy policy. The 2004 EU enlargement posed the problem of taking into account the features of energy supply of Eastern European countries and, especially, the Baltic States. The energy industries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as other Eastern European and CIS countries, are closely related to the energy industry of the Russian Federation. Trying to allow for this circumstance, EU leaders and energy structures took a number of organizational measures aimed, on the one hand, at an increase in energy independence of new members of the EU and, on the other hand, at taking into account the recent trends in the energy market development. The research shows that most of the initiatives do not take into account the perspective and interests of Russia, which has a strong presence in the energy market. The analysis conducted will help the assessment of prospects of further development of the Baltic States' energy industry and its interaction with that of the Russian Federation.

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The image of modern Russian innovations in the Danish mass media

This article sets out to identify the attitude of the Danish mass media to modern Russian innovations. The research is timely because of the Russian interest in the experience of Denmark — one of the "innovation leaders" of the EU. The author analyses a number of publications on Russia in the Danish mass media. The positive image of Russian innovations in Danish periodicals is analysed against the background of historical stereotypes. The article also describes the Danish national innovation system. The image of Russian innovations in the Danish mass media is positive; however, the articles dedicated to Russian innovations constitute a small part of reports on developments in Russia. The article also contributes to social surveys carried out in Denmark through introducing new data. The research results can be used by politicians, scholars and social activists interested in the relations with Denmark.

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Diplomatic protocol as a tool of international economic relations

Both the official (state and diplomatic) and business protocols are frequently used in Europe; in Russia, it has become a focus of attention in recent years. Thus, there arises a need of training specialists in protocol. However, this aspect has not been tackled effectively by Russian universities. This article is aimed at identifying the need for the professional study of protocol at Russian universities. The paper analyses the level of teaching protocol disciplines in Europe and Russia and considers the results of the first Russian forum on protocol. The main conclusion drawn is that there is a need for introducing a qualification of an expert in protocol into Russian science. This research will help Russian universities create training plans for protocol disciplines.

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International relations: historical aspects

The features of choosing an institutional development trajectory in Eastern Europe in the 16th—17th centuries: Moscovy and the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth

Recent decades have witnessed an increase in the number of works dedicated to the analysis of effects of historical events on the choice of institutions and further economic and social development of regions. This article employs the new institutional economic theory approach to consider the choices regarding title to land and serfdom in Moscovy and the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth (earlier the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in the 16th—17th centuries. The author emphasizes the factors, which affected the choice of institutional development trajectory, and considers the influence exerted by these institutes on the political and military development of these states. This article shows how the contingent property rights in Moscovy turned out to be competitive in the conditions of a considerable contribution of decentralization factors to defence capacity and, opposite to the situation in the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth, ensured the formation of large and efficient troops. This work contributes to the research on the property rights and Russian economic history.

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The European idea in Central Europe and Scandinavia as a part of the security and peaceful co-existence policy in the framework of the postwar planning

This article is dedicated to the development of European unity in Central Europe and Scandinavia as a mechanism of collective security and intergovernmental cooperation development. The cultural and historical features of Central Europe and Scandinavia emphasize the need for a comparative study into the European idea. This article considers the tendencies and factors which affected the development of the European idea in the framework of the post-war planning. This research sets out to compare and identify similar or analogous features and elements of the theoretical bases of movements for European unity in Central and Northern Europe. The author comes to the conclusion about the correlation between the “Europe of regions” model and the European unity concept. The ideas of Scandinavian and Central European integration rested on national, cultural and historical connections of the neighbouring countries were expected to constitute such formations, which contradicted and were opposed to by the theoretical framework of Western European integration. On the other hand, regional integration implied that a federation or union of the neighbouring states could be considered a step towards a more universal organisation, which would not mean the isolation of Scandinavia and Central Europe from the rest of the world. The theoretical and practical significance of this work lies in the comparative approach to the analysis of the phenomena which have been considered individually in the framework of historiography. It is the major contribution of the article to the research on history of ideas and European diplomacy. Moreover, the subject of research is immediately connected to the problem of security in the Baltic region and the Soviet factor, as well as political stereotypes produced in this field. The author employed historical comparative and inductive types of the historical typological  method.

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Ehtnocultural differentiation of territories

Cultural and landscape zoning in the North- West Russia

This research was conducted in the framework of cultural geography — a relatively recent field of geography. This article considers the problems of geographical study of cultural landscapes of the North-West Russia, which includes Saint Petersburg, the Leningrad, Novgorod, Pskov, and Kaliningrad regions. This article sets out to develop and test the methodology for historical and cultural zoning at the mesogeographical level. The research and practical significance of the work lies in the identification of the features of formation of cultural landscapes in the North-West Russia, which can be used for the development of schemes of protection and rational management of territorial cultural and historical heritage. The authors rely on historical and cultural zoning as the basic geographical method of research on cultural landscapes. To this effect, the article offers a hierarchy of historical and cultural zones comparable to the zoning systems applied in physical, historical, and cultural geography. The major results of the research are the authors' taxonomy of historical and cultural complexes and the corresponding system of historical and cultural zoning of the North-West Russia presented on a sketch map. The article offers an exemplary description of historical and cultural provinces of the region. The contribution of the research to the Russian geography of culture is the authors' variant of taxonomy of historical and cultural complexes and the formulation of basic principles of historical and cultural zoning at different hierarchical levels. The research results can be applied, first of all, in the development of projects aimed at the protection and use of territorial cultural heritage in the framework of comprehensive schemes of territorial planning of the country's regions.

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From editorial board

Cross-border cooperation

The traditions of Russian and European perception of the state frontier in the conditions of transborder regional cooperation

The article focuses on the state frontier in European and Russian political cultures as a major instrument for developing trans-border regional cooperation. The term ‘state frontier’ is defined through a prism of regional integration processes. The authors examine the role of trans-border relations between Russia and the European Union in promoting mutually beneficial strategic cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. Historical experience, geopolitical position, national psychology and some other factors shape common perceptions of the state frontier in mass consciousness, which can vary from country to country. The state frontier is a key imperative of trans-border regional cooperation. The trans-border relations between Russia and the EU serve a foundation for the development of strategic partnership, and it is cross-border cooperation  in the Baltic Sea region that proves to be most efficient in this respect. At present, there are several cooperation mechanisms and programmes in place which are aimed at enhancing Russia — EU relations in the Baltic Sea region. In the long-term perspective, the development of regional integration processes in the Baltic Sea region is seen as one of the key elements for increasing and strengthening strategic cooperation between Russia and the EU.

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Transborder corporate integration in the Baltic Sea Region

The paper examines flows of foreign direct investment within the Baltic region. The author demonstrates close investment ties among the EU members, which are of special importance for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Transborder corporate integration in the region is characterized by significant imbalances. In many aspects, it can be viewed as Sweden’s economic expansion or development of domestic markets for northern European companies. Although many German, Polish and Russian companies are involved in corporate integration in the Baltic region, other vectors of their foreign economic relations are still more important for them. As a result, the integration of Russian business in the Baltic part of the European integration area is still rather weak despite Russia’s considerable foreign direct investment in the Baltic States.

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Twin cities: a new form of cross-border cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region?

The paper demonstrates the first attempt in Russian political studies to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the “twin city” movement as a form of cross-border cooperation in the Baltic region. This phenomenon emerged as a result of a global tendency towards more active involvement of municipal units in international cooperation, on the one hand, and aspirations of frontier cities and towns in the Baltic region to solve common problems together, on the other hand. This work is based on a comparative analysis method and a case study methodology. The authors consider four examples (city pairs): Tornio — Haparanda, Valga — Valka, Narva — Ivangorod and Imatra — Svetogorsk. The article specifies the terminological framework used in this field of research. The authors analyse achievements and failures of this type of international inter-municipal cooperation and emphasise that for twin cities it served not only as a means of survival in the difficult situation of the 1990s, but also as an experimental ground for new forms of crossborder cooperation. The authors arrive at the conclusion that this model proves to be promising for further development of integration processes in the Baltic region. This practice can be applied by Russian municipal, regional and federal authorities in promotion of cross-border cooperation not only in the Baltic region, but also in other regions of the country. Thus, influenced by the successful experience of Baltic frontier cities and towns, the Russian city of Nikel and the Norwegian city of Kirkenes decided to adopt this model for further development of their cooperation.

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International relations

Assessment of the efficiency of Russian response to the implementation of US missile defence deployment concept in Europe

This article is dedicated to the problems of deployment of the US anti-missile defence system in Eastern Europe. The European system of US missile defence is just one of the components of global US missile defence. This work aims to analyze possible Russia’s responses within military and political spheres. The measures proposed are divided into three subgroups: soft, medium and hard depending on the implementation of the adopted missile defence concept by the USA. This research employs the structure-system method and the method of actualization. The authors outline both positive and negative consequences of such actions for the Russian Federation, the USA, eastern European countries and the neighbouring countries, including the Baltic Sea states. The practical significance of this study consists in the proposed and justified responses of the Russian Federation that may serve as a basis for the scenarios of development of international situation and help to forecast the level of tension in Russia-US relations.

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The externalisation of migration control in the European Union: first steps towards the external dimension of the space of freedom, security and justice

The creation of an area of freedom, security and justice is one of the most rapidly developing aspects of European integration. It this paper, we take a look at the foreign policies involved in this process — aside from the internal development of the European Union, they concern a significant number of third countries, including Russia. In our view, the efforts to manage the flow of migrants and asylum seekers constitute a viable part of the external dimension within the AFSJ policies. Much of this article is based on the theoretical postulates introduced by the scholars of the Paris School, a school within the discipline of security studies that conceptualized the connection between migration, terrorism, asylum, crime and ethnic clashes, and its role as a major threat facing the European Union. Externalization of this complex threat (that is, externalization in relation to the European Union) is thus seen as one of the key prerequisites to advancement of migration management activities beyond the EU (i. e. externalization of migration management). In this article, we analyze the role the EU plays at the international scene and categorize the actions it took to manage the influx of migrants and asylum seekers from the 1980s until the time when supranational administrative bodies were granted mandates in the spheres of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) of the EU Member States. We conclude that it was as early as the 1990-s that the EU launched the policy which later allowed to transfer part of its security concerns to third countries.

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Foreign economic activity of Saint Petersburg, the Leningrad Region, and the Republic of Karelia: problems and opportunities for development

In this paper, we look at the interregional cooperation in adjacent areas. Specifically, we focus our attention on the cluster of regions formed by the city of St. Petersburg, the Leningrad region and the Republic of Karelia. All three areas face a number of challenges when it comes to international trade: challenges that are shared and that require strategic coordinated solutions from regional decisionmakers. One of such solutions, for example, could require pooling of competitive advantages of these areas. The analysis of strategic documents of regional development, however, shows that the issue of interregional cooperation has not been duly addressed at any level, theoretical or practical. It is important to strengthen international trade capacity and to increase cooperation in other areas of cross-border relations, since these processes are crucial for Russia’s integration into the global markets.

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Territorial systems

Territorial-political and regional geopolitical systems: correlation of concepts

The article examines the notions of ‘territorial political system’ and ‘regional geopolitical system' as well as a correlation between them from the viewpoint of the socalled activity-based geospatial approach. A regional geopolitical system includes geopolitical relations between the states within the region and those with powerful external actors. A geopolitical region itself can be characterized by integration, autonomization or a permanent geopolitical conflict. A territorial political system is studied in a broad sense (all political phenomena of a certain territory) and in a narrow context (geopolitical relations of a certain territory). The latter is considered to be a subsystem of regional geopolitical system. The research results can be applied in the study of geopolitical regions and geopolitical systems. The article develops a methodology for regional geopolitical and political geographical studies. The author wishes to thank his colleagues from Saint Petersburg State University for their comments on earlier versions.

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The transnational territorial transport system of the Baltic Region

In this paper we focus on the structure and territorial borders of the Baltic Sea region, and examine the key structural elements of the transnational territorial transport system. In this respect, we clarify some terms used in transport geography. For the first time the transport system gets territorially localized, which allows for a broad range of new studies of transnational  transportation in the Baltic Sea area. We also identify the main principles of development and operation of international territorial transport systems and present them taking the Baltic Sea region as an example. Our findings, we hope, will have a great practical application for researchers of transport geography, especially those studying international logistics.

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Regional development

Strategic opportunities for economic development of the Baltic Sea coastal zones and sea industrial and port complexes

Nowadays, one of the principal dimensions in attraction of the world economy structures is coastal territories as spaces where marine potential of a state is most pronounced. In this respect, it is vital to set the priorities of development of coastal zones taking into account the changes in the strategic situation in order to maintain the components of marine potential of the Russian Federation at the level of its national interests. The article aims to develop an indicator system of assessment of coastal zone potential, and sea industrial and port facilities in order to identify the characteristic and strategic capacities of the economic development of these territories in the complex approach. The research methodology is based on the assessment of marine potential of coastal territories as an indicator of the efficacy of its marine economic complex development with using the indicator methods as a multi-factor and multi-level spatial system. The proposed system is applied to a complex analysis of coastal territories of the Russian Baltic, the estimation of a socio-economic factor of coastal zone marine potential, as well as recommendations for long-term planning of the economic development of Russia’s coastal zones of the Baltic Sea and the organization of marine activities. This methodology can help to identify a role of coastal territories in the economy and reflect perspectives and directions of strategic development of coastal zones, and sea industrial and port facilities of the Russian Federation.

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The territorial structure of productive forces of Russian North-West in the 2000—2010s

A number of researchers are studying regional specifications of Russia from a variety of different perspectives. Economic geography has developed its own methods of approaching the study of territories, and looks, in particular, at geographical distribution of labour. In this article, we use the framework provided by this discipline to describe the changes in the economy of the Russian North-West in the first decade of the 21st century. We combine publicly available data to propose new methods of evaluation of regional economic efficiency. We also identify and describe new trends of North-West development that have not yet been reflected upon by the researchers in the field. We conclude that, having overcome the crisis of the 1990s, the economy of the Russian North-West displays an overall positive trend of coming back to the territorial structures of the beginning of the 20th century.

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The assessment of research and technical potential in the framework of the innovative model of development of regional economy

This article considers the research and technological potential and the innovative activity in a specific region of Russia — the Kaliningrad region. The authors assess its research and technological potential, and the achieved level of innovative activity in the Kaliningrad region as prerequisites necessary for the implementation of an innovative model of economy. This work identifies the problems of the research and technological potential development of the region, as well as a low level of development of the innovative activity in the Kaliningrad region in general and compared to the Baltic Sea region states. The authors also focus on the prerequisites for the development of research and technological cooperation between the Kaliningrad region and the Baltic Sea region countries. Special attention is paid to the opportunities for the creation of innovative clusters in the Baltic region states.

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Rural areas of Eastern Germany: modern challenges

After the German reunification the agricultural development of eastern territories seemed to have picked up its pace. Yet the main problems those territories are facing today hatched already in the mid-1990s. In our study we address the problems and challenges that hinder sustainable development of East German rural areas. We analyse agricultural statistics and describe the structure of agricultural enterprises, land-use, and other critical dimensions of agriculture. We discuss pros and cons of modern rural areas spatial planning policy and take a critical look at the current status of rural areas. We also put forward a number of concrete proposals aimed at the development of the area and counteracting the negative trends it is now experiencing. Even taking into account all ‘positive’ development trends that are postulated to have occurred since the unification, we underline the crucial necessity of diversification of labour forces and of changing the spatial planning policies in the rural areas of East Germany.

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Research of young scientists

Lithuania of the 11th—14th centuries in the works of Russian historians of the 1850—1870s

The article analyses the works on the history of medieval Lithuania (11th—14th centuries) by I. D. Belyaev, K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, N. I. Kostomarov and M. O. Koyalovitch. It focuses on Russian scholars’ perception of Lithuania in 1850—870. Employing the comparative historical method and content analysis, the authors identify the key characteristics underlying the perception of Lithuania in research discourse in the 1850s—1870s. Particular attention is paid to an analysis of preconceptions that affected the presentation of Lithuania’s past by Russian historians who studied it in the context of history of western Russia rather than as an independent subject. Special attention is paid to the process of formation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lithuanian State of the 14th century is perceived as "ours" in the historiography of the second half of the 19th century. The main thesis of Russian scholars — in line with their Slavophil positions — is that Russian culture is more developed than Lithuanian and more perspective for the Balts than the Polish one.

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International history

An escape from the embrace of politics. A study into the cultures of remembrance as a means to encourage a historical dialogue in Lithuanian-Russian relations

This article focuses on the factors inhibiting a productive rethinking of the past in contemporary Lithuanian-Russian relations. The rethinking of the past is understood as a process facilitating the reconsideration of historical meanings through adjusting them to the expectations and values of the contemporary society. The author argues that in this process historical research — as an important tool for encouraging the co-existence of communities —should fulfil certain social functions. Having chosen the Lithuanian-Russian communication space as a case, the author emphasizes the need to develop an interest in mutual knowledge of cultures of remembrance in this space. Outlining the strategies specific to the prevailing cultures of remembrance in contemporary Russia and Lithuania, the author addresses the issue of their proper relationship, as well as that of the appropriateness of historical policy. The criminalisation of certain evaluations of the past and the academic dialogue between historians are regarded as two opposite extremes of historical policy actually existing in the Lithuanian-Russian communication space. The author stresses that research into the values and interpretations of the past peculiar to certain social groups in both Lithuania and Russia may be considered as a basis for further development of the historical dialogue. It is assumed that such research may contribute to the improvement in the field of politics of history.

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The Vilnius issue in international relations: the historiography of the problem

This article considers certain historiographical aspects of the Vilnius issue as an international problem. The author analyses the origins of the Polish-Lithuanian conflict, the role of the struggle for Vilnius in the general context of the Polish-Lithuanian confrontation, and the origin and nature of Lithuanian nationalism. The article also examines historiographical perspectives on the seizure of Vilnius by the troops of the Polish general, L. Żeligowsky, and the international consequences of the violation of the Suwałki Agreement. The author pays special attention to the positions of western powers, the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors on March 15, 1923, and the mediation of the League of Nations in the territorial dispute between Lithuania and Poland. The article considers the existing historiographical concepts and evaluations of the role of the Soviet diplomacy in the Vilnius issue. The author identifies new trends in the contemporary historiography of the Vilnius problem.

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Episodes of the Klaipeda/Memel Anschluss in March, 1939

This article discusses the complicated diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Germany in 1938—1939 on the basis of archive documents and historical studies. The author identifies the methods used by the Germans in the Klaipėda region in order to destroy the system established by the Treaty of Versailles, propagate national socialist ideas among the population, and spread a positive attitude to the restoration of the region as a part of the German Reich. The author offers a detailed analysis of the actions of the Nazi and paramilitary groups during the Anschluss in March 22—25, 1939. An examination of the events clearly demonstrates that the German party had a well-devised plan of Anschluss, while the population had been ideologically indoctrinated and was ready for the fateful conversion. At the same time, the reactions of the Lithuanian party ranged from servility to panic flight. The Klaipeda region was taken by the Germans without a drop of blood spilled.

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The concept of guerrilla warfare in Lithuania in the 1920—1930s

This article analyses the military and tactical training of the members of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union for guerrilla warfare in the interwar period. Small nations, such as Lithuania and other Baltic states, being unable to build up military strength in order to ensure national security, were forced to seek for unconventional methods of warfare, including guerrilla strategies. The study places emphasis on the development of the guerrilla war concept in the Union periodicals. The author retraces a change in the intensity of the guerrilla warfare concept propagation amongst Lithuanian population and riflemen, in particular, through publications in the Trimitas — a periodical of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union. The author also identifies the narratives associated with the guerrilla matters employed for propaganda purposes in order to create an image of a guerrilla as a defender of the Homeland — Lithuania. Additionally, the structure and numbers of the Union are analysed through a comparison with similar organisations of the other «small nations» of the Baltic North-East. The author addresses the issue of military missions planned by the Lithuanian Army, as well as the way riflemen implemented them. Since the Union did not only offer military training, but was also engaged in the patriotic propaganda, the article focuses on the network of cultural institutions, homes of riflemen, orchestras, libraries, choirs, and athletic clubs used by the Union. The article sets out to establish whether the loss of Lithuanian sovereignty could have been possible without giving rise to a protracted guerrilla war.

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Russian history

On the establishment and early activity of the Soviet consulate in Königsberg (1923—1925)

This article analyses the reasons behind the restoration of diplomatic relations between Russia and Germany after World War I, as well as the fundamental differences in the performance of Russian imperial and Soviet consular missions in East Prussia. On the basis of the earlier unknown documents from the Central Russian archives and the Political archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, the author describes the establishment of the Soviet Consulate in Königsberg in 1923 and the contribution of the first Consul of the USSR in East Prussia, Yulian Boshkovich, to the development of bilateral relations in 1923—1925. The author considers the adverse political conditions under which Soviet diplomats were compelled to operate in Germany. The conclusion is that the principal line of Yu. S. Boshkovich’s activity concerned preparations for the opening of the USSR trade mission in Königsberg, as well as ensuring strong representation of Soviet foreign trade associations at the Eastern Fair.

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The “court cases” of General Ye. F. Kern

This article focuses on the battle career of the Russian general, Ye. F. Kern, who dedicated sixty years to the service of the country. General Kern participated in most wars and military campaigns the Russian state was involved in in the last quarter of the 18th-the first quarter of the 19th centuries. Despite being a contemporary and often a companion-in-arms to outstanding Russian public and military officers, he could not secure a dominant position on the military Areopagus. Moreover, in the post-war period his life was scarred by tragedies. In the Russian culture, he became notorious because of his wife. Over the last two centuries, Ye. F. Kern has been described as a “rude” and “ignorant” person destroying the aspirations of a young, courtly, and educated woman towards noble ideals and sublime feelings. This article considers the features of provincial military life in the light of its hardships and routine aggravated by the peculiarities of bureaucracy typical of Russian peripheral centres of the time. The case of Ye. F. Kern helps understand how a Russian general, despite the vicissitudes of fate — battle injuries, career hardships, family discord, and lack of stability — managed to remain true to the once chosen direction in life — service of the country.

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Political science

The Baltic-Pontic region in the Europe-Eurasia dual system

This article considers the Baltic-Pontic Sea region not only as a geographical space of Intermarium (Międzymorze, Tarpjūris etc.) but also as Intermundium or the interface of European and Russian (Eurasian) civilization. The study sets out to clarify the logic of changing patterns shaping this geopolitical area. To this end, the concept of the Baltic-Pontic conflict system proposed by Vadim Tsymbursky is applied and further developed. In contrast to his agent-focused vehicle of analysis disclosing the power interactions in Intermarium, the authors advance an alternative structure-focused model of the Baltic-Pontic system (BPS) as a multidimensional evolving space of heterogeneous interactions, which include cooperation. The authors suggest applying the BPS models in interpreting and clarifying historical developments in the area from the late 14th century until the present. The article analyses the spatial, geopolitical and geochronopolitical characteristics of the region, as well as the models of intercivilisational interaction between Europe and Eurasia. The author addresses the issue of the political identity of the region and its ability to play an independent role in the world politics.

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The historical and geographical evolution of the enclavity of the Kaliningrad region

This article considers the origin, development, change in the status, and extinction of enclave and exclave formations in the territory of the modern Kaliningrad region. The author offers information on their socio-economic and political features. The article identifies enclave (exclave) problems peculiar to them, including the land access (passenger and cargo transit) of the metropolis to the isolated territory, as well as the issues relating to the origins of state border, border control, visa regime, and political and economic relations to neighbouring states and the mainland. The author reviews cases of evolutional development of enclavity and peaceful and military methods of eliminating enclave formations. Actions towards the solution of political and socioeconomic problems taken in East Prussia are compared to those taken in the Kaliningrad region. The author emphasizes the need to solve the problems of the only Russian exclave region in view of the experience of its historical “predecessors”.

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Historical experience

On the possibility to adopt the historical practice of applying technologies for land fertility increase in Eastern Prussia at agricultural enterprises of the Kaliningrad region

This article considers the features of East Prussian land use system, whose crucial component was technologies for land fertility increase. A special package of measures in the framework of melioration and irrigation activities accounted for the high productivity of agriculture in this territory despite the fact that the local climate conditions can hardly be called perfect according to the well-known principles of agricultural science. The authors offer an overview of scientific approaches to the reconstruction and practical application of ideas and principles of progressive agriculture consistent with a more general area of organic agriculture. Special attention is paid to the modern agricultural practice in the territory of the Kaliningrad region — former East Prussia — and the possibilities to use the methods for increasing land fertility that were intensively employed by Prussians.

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Research of young scientists

The position of international community on the restoration of independence of the Baltic States

The separation of the Baltics from the Soviet Uni on was a difficult process accompanied by both political and economic conflicts. The third party in the negotiation process was represented by Germany and the USA. This article sets out to identify the role of the USA and Germany in the restoration of Baltic independence. Historicism and objectivity principles serve as the methodological framework for the research. The regional approach was applied in order to integrate the features of regional development into the overall picture of world politics. The scientific and practical significance of the article lies in a scientific evaluation of the Soviet-Baltic relations in 1989—1991. This study can help understand the mechanisms of formulation of foreign policy by the USA, Germany, and the USSR, as well as the practice of political interaction between these countries and the Baltic States. The materials and conclusions of this article can be used for further research on the foreign policies of the USA, Germany, the USSR, and the Baltic republics. In the process of the Baltics gaining their independence, western countries showed an ambivalent position and hesitancy regarding support for the struggle for liberation. As a result of internal contradictions in the USSR, Baltic leaders managed to achieve independence without any effective support from western powers. The research significance of this study lies in a diverse sel ection of sources and a new formulation of the problem of Baltic independence. The practical significance of the article results lies in the applicability of its materials in the development of Russian foreign policy in the Baltic region, further research on the history of the Baltic region, Germany, and the USA, and preparation of lectures.

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The role of the river Rhine in the formation of spatial structure of the economy of European countries (1st century BC — 19th century AD)

This article considers the main historical stages of formation of spatial economic structure of the European countries, parts of whose territories lie within the Rhine basin. The analysis covers a protracted chronological interval from the Roman colonization until the beginning of the 20th century. The author emphasizes the role of the River Rhine in the course of territorial structure formation. This study aims to retrace the historical sequence of the formation of territorial structure of economies of the Rhine basin countries. The research and practical significance of the work lies in the identification of the periods of increased activity in the formation of spatial structural communications of the states mentioned. The author applies the historical-descriptive approach and cartographical-geographical modelling to identify the main stages of this process. The author arrives at the following conclusions. The beginning of the formation of spatial structure of economies of the Rhine basin countries dates back to the Roman period of the history of European states rather than the industrial revolution. Similarly, it is possible to assume that primitive integration processes started to develop in the region in the same period. Throughout history, the River Rhine has served as the central axis for economic structure development. The practical significance of the article lies in identifying the early — previously insufficiently studied — stages of formation of territorial economic structure in the historical and geographical context.

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Reviews

Theoretical and methodological aspects of innovative economic development

Clusters in the institutional perspective: on the theory and methodology of local socioeconomic development

This article addresses the problem of definition and identification of clusters as localized mesoeconomic systems with fuzzy boundaries that stimulate the  development of these systems. The author analyses the influence of the inductive approach to the formation of cluster theory and juxtaposes different typologies of clusters and other types of localized economic systems. The article offers an overview of the existing methodological approaches to the problem of cluster identification and emphasises the major role of institutional dimension in the identification (and functioning) of clusters, especially in comparison to cluster formation theory based on the technological connection of adjacent units. The author comes to a conclusion that, without the inclusion of institutional factors, alongside localising and technological ones (demonstrated through different variables), it is virtually impossible to develop an independent cluster theory, different from the general  agglomeration theory. For the first time, a hierarchy of institutions affecting the formation of local economic systems is considered against the background of the identification of institutional levels, whose full development makes it possible to speak of the formation of clusters as most successful mesoeconomic systems. At the same time, the author emphasizes that, in economies gravitating towards the market type of organisation, the development of mesoeconomic systems is closely connected to competition for innovative rent. The article outlines the methodology for cluster studies, which makes it possible to consider such relatively new to the regional science phenomena as innovative and “transborder” clusters.

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The development of small innovative enterprises through harmonising economic interests

The harmonisation of economic interests is one of the essential preconditions for the development of enterprises, including small ones. As practice shows, the harmonisation of major interests of small innovative business requires not only market instruments, but also state regulation, which demands the development of a corresponding mechanism. This study sets out to develop and justify the macroeconomic mechanism of development of small innovative enterprises on the basis of harmonisation of basic economic interests of their agents. The research significance of the results presented in the article consists in the fact that, for the first time, the problem of economic interest harmonisation has been considered in relation to the agents of small innovative business. The author juxtaposes the major economic interests of these agents and identifies their compatibility and conflict areas. The article offers a mechanism for the development of small innovative businesses, including two sets of instruments — those aimed at combining the agents’ efforts on the basis of their common economic interests and prevention of conflicts resulting from their incompatibility. The recommendations on the application of instruments for harmonizing economic interests can be used in drawing up programmes for the development of small innovative business at the federal, regional, and municipal levels.

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The methodological features of managing the value of companies introducing "green" innovations

Although it is a common assumption that innovations are one of the most important factors of economic development, there is a need to review some provisions of innovation methodology so that new fundamental values are taken into account more fully. Most recent business models are based on the depletion of natural environment, whose potential has been almost exhausted. It is necessary to introduce new ideas that are of use for society and create values for companies. One way of achieving this goal is “green” (environmental) innovations. The next decade is expected to see a rapid growth in environmental innovations. Their organization and management will require modern — and adequate to the objectives set —technologies. One of those is the quest for value methodology. To date, the quest for value methodology has given rise to several conceptual approaches, which can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental innovations. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of major approaches. The author comes to a conclusion that that the modern theory and practice of corporate finance still lacks a generally accepted approach to assessing the value of companies that explicitly takes into account the impact of environmental factors on the cost. The article outlines the basic theoretical frameworks for the formation of such approach.

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The innovative development of the Baltic region: territorial differen-tiation

Innovative economy in the Baltic Sea region

Innovative activity is carried out at three levels — those of the state, region and a company or a university. This article considers the level of development of knowledge-based economy in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland at each of the three levels, as well as descripes the spatial differentiation of innovative activity within the Baltic region. The analysis is done on the basis of national and international research, as well as statistical data on the intensity of research and development, structure of research expenditure, human capital in the field of advanced technologies, and the methods of institutional support for innovative activity. The authors characterise the role of business, university, and authorities — which constitute the «triple helix» — in national innovative systems. The article also analyses such important factors as the intensity of research and development, the share of employees in the field of advanced technologies, and the methods of public support. Examples of private-public infrastructure for the implementation of innovative projects are offered.

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The innovative process in the Baltic Sea region

In order to maintain its global competitiveness in the future, the Baltic Sea region (BSR) needs to preserve and improve its technological capability and innovativeness. This article focuses on innovations in the Baltic Sea region, particularly on external innovation drivers and innovation environments in the BSR and individual countries within the region. Firstly, some definitions of innovations, innovation drivers, and characteristics of a favourable innovation environment are presented. Secondly, the current condition of innovation environments in the BSR is described and the innovation performances of Baltic countries are compared. Finally, the research aims to conclude, as well as to analyse, the future innovation development of the BSR. The research material for this desk study is collected from various sources, including journal articles, statistics, media, research reports, and other publications.

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Territorial differences in the innovative development of Sweden, Finland, and the North-western federal district of the Russian Federation

This article considers the innovative component of the economies of Sweden, Finland, and the Noreth-western federal district (NWFD) of the Russian Federation. The authors present the results of a comparative analysis of research and technological potential of the regions and their administrativeterritorial units in terms of innovative activity development. For the first time, the index of integral assessment of research and technological potential of the NWFD has been calculated in comparison to Sweden and Finland. The NWFD is proved to lag behind Sweden and Finland in terms of innovative development indices; however, the NWFD shows an increase in such indices in catches up in terms of individual indices (mobile communication density and Internet access availability). The authors offer sketch maps showing similarities in the character of territorial differentiation of innovative processes in the NEFD, Sweden, and Finland (which corresponds to the centreperiphery model).

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Innovations in the development of rural territories

Innovative factors and conditions of sustainable development of rural territories

This article considers the main features of sustainable development of rural territories, identifies the factors of innovative entrepreneurship, and assesses their influence on the condition of rural economy. Special attention is paid to the analysis of concepts, programmes, and projects in the field of rural territory development. The authors summarise conceptual and strategic approaches and actions of the Baltic region states in the field of sustainable development of rural territories. The article identifies objectives, common for the Baltic region, relating to sustainability of rural territories, including sustainable use of natural resource potential, diversification of production through support for non-agricultural activities and employment, application of innovations and efficient technologies, and manufacturing of environmentally friendly products. The analysis of the development of agricultural and innovations in the Baltic Sea regions serves as a basis for identifying the factors and conditions of supporting innovative entrepreneurship. Of special importance are the research, technological, and innovative potential of the territory, the availability of adequate innovative infrastructure, and the formation of innovative culture. The authors corroborate the idea of innovative entrepreneurship development in rural territories through the transformation of organizational and economic mechanism of management relating to the creation of institutional, infrastructure, and spatial conditions. Research and technological cooperation in the Baltic region is emphasised as a priority area.

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Innovation centres as growth points for smaller towns and rural areas

This article addresses the role of innovative centres in the development of surrounding areas beyond large cities. At the same time, the innovative development of rural areas should be of a composite nature; municipality development strategies take innovations into account. International practices serve as a an argument in favour of establishing innovative centres in smaller and medium-sized towns in order to facilitate the socioeconomic development of the territory and surrounding rural areas. Science parks created in smaller towns give a boost to socioeconomic development. The authors analyse the case of the science park in the town of Gusev in the Kaliningrad region and emphasise the role of development and adoption of legal acts at regional and municipal levels, for example, the law «On the production policy of the Kaliningrad region».

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Innovative development of fishing industry

The formation of a risk management system for projects in the field of aquaculture innovative development in the Kaliningrad region: a case study

This article sets out to develop the concept and the principal scheme of the formation of a risk management system for innovative economic development projects in the field of aquaculture. The research carried out by the authors helps identify the main problems and characteristics of risk management projects for the development of aquaculture in presentday Russia. The authors outline the status and features of aquaculture development projects in the North-western federal district and the Kaliningrad region. The article formulates and justifies the concept of “risk management projects in innovative development of aquaculture in the region” focusing on the classification of aquaculture risks in relation to innovative development projects, which expands the conceptual framework of risk management in view of the specific risks relating to economic development projects in the field of aquaculture. The authors characterize modern methods and approaches to risk management projects and organizations in the context of their application in the framework of aquaculture development projects and offer mechanisms for risk management of aquaculture development projects, which make it possible to include risk management activity in the general context of activities of parent project organizations. The authors develop the concept and principal scheme of the formation of risk management system for innovative development projects in aquaculture.

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The innovative aspects of the fishing fleet development in the Russian exclave region

Our country has set a course for the economy modernisation on the basis of innovative development. In the post-war period until 1991, the exclave of Russia — the Kaliningrad region — showed high rates of socioeconomic development due to the establishment of a large-scale sea fishing industry. Such success rested on research and innovative activity. This article analyses the successful innovative development of the fishing fleet in the historical perspective: new vessels, the development of new equipment, introduction of innovative forms of fishing organisation. The authors offer data on the efficiency of such innovative initiatives. This historical experience  is of great importance given the revival of industrial fishing in the Kaliningrad region.

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Research and education

Organisation of scientific research in Germany

This article considers the structure of research system in Germany. It describes the federal and state levels of research management. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) bears primary responsibility for science and technology policy at the federal level. At the state level, this responsible is shared by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Economy. The author emphasizes the role of the National Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”, whose principal objective is to provide advisory services to German policymakers and present German science at the international level. Special attention is paid to the wide spectrum of German research agents: public and private research organizations, higher education institutions, R&D departments of industrial companies. The article stresses the research potential of universities that receive funding under the Excellence Initiative and describes the contribution of production in research and development activities, focusing on the top ten German  companies in terms of R&D expenditure.

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Universities of the North-western federal district in Russian-Finnish research cooperation

This article focuses on the cooperation between universities of the North-western federal district (NWFD) of the Russian Federation, Sweden, and Finland, its intensity and territorial differentiation. The analysis was conducted on the basis of public domain information on the international activity of universities available on their official websites. The authors identify the principle areas and leading centres
of such cooperation. The NWFD universities have significant experience in cooperation with Finnish universities. Cooperation with Swedish universities is proved to be less developed. Approximately 50 NFWD universities, 29 of which are located in Saint Petersburg, are involved in cooperation; most NWFD universities do not cooperate with the mentioned countries. Such low degree of cooperation in the field of education is a serious inhibiting factor, which reduces competitiveness on the modern market of educational services.

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Reviews

Topical issue of innovative development

The assessment and factors of increase in innovative competitiveness of Latvian regions

Latvia’s participation in the process of integration and globalization within the European Uni on creates a need to improve tools of competitiveness and management assessment of the country’s regions. It also requires the development of common approaches to sel ection criteria, competition indicators and assessment tools at the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. This study identifies the development stage of Latvia’s regions and considers methods as well as experience of evaluation and improvement of the competitiveness of Latvia’s regions. The authors describe priorities and tools for regional innovative development and analyze conditions affecting regional development in the country. This work takes into account the current priority of the European Union — innovation and development of socioeconomic activity aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of European regions. This study sets out to evaluate the competitiveness of Latvia’s regions using a method developed by the European Commission. An  expert survey based on the analytic hierarchy process identifies priority areas and instruments for their innovative development.

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The methodological bases of comparative evaluation of sci¬entific and technological potential of Russia and the EU: regional and international aspects

This article analyses approaches to the definition of such categories as “scientific and technological potential” and “innovative potential” in view of their resource, structural, procedural and resultant components. The author gives a more accurate definition of the scientific and technological potential through identifying its resources and orientation towards transforming abilities. On the basis of the existing methods of comparative analysis used in Russia and abroad, the author proposes a methodology for evaluating scientific and technological potential in the context of regional and international comparison. The integral index is calculated on the basis of a customised information and statistical database of normalised indicators through the identification and convolution of subindices that characterise individual components of potential. These subindices include pecific indicators applied in different statistical systems, in particular, those used in Russia and the EU, which made it possible  to compar the data. The article presents the result of the application of this methodology based on a comparative evaluation of the scientific and technological potential of Russia (Northwestern federal district) and EU states of the Baltic region. The experimental check suggests that the methodology be further improved for future clustering of Russian and EU regions according to the level of their innovative development.

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The prospects of entrepreneurship in the formation of new hi-tech markets in the Baltic Sea region

The article offers an analytical review of the prospects for the formation of new hi-tech markets in the Baltic Sea region with the participation of small and medium businesses. In view of the essential features of entrepreneurship, its prospects in the development and implementation of innovations seem to be quite attractive. However, in the current economic context, growth requires special measures. The authors analyse the measures taken by the European Union and individual countries in order to strengthen the participation of small and medium business in R&D and innovation, describe conditions which are necessary for unlocking innovative potential, identify new industries that might become drivers of innovative economy in Europe. The authors also offer a country-specific list of basic markets, which can be developed by small and medium enterprises in a short-term perspective. In the structure of the Baltic Sea region a special position is held by the Nordic countries — Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland  — major regional innovators, as well as a group of South-eastern regions that serve as innovation consumers. Best hopes rest with information and communications technologies and biotechnologies, which are expected to become the centre of major clusters of small and medium enterprises.

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On the historical context of innovative development in Russia

The present analysis is based on the institutional model of research on social processes. Thus, the idea of possible modernisation of Russian society rests on the consideration of the current situation in the field of economics, management, and science. On the basis of a secondary analysis of statistical data and the works of Russian and international sociologists, this article describes the fundamental conceptual framework of the modernisation of Russian society. In particular, it focuses on the criticism of the modernisation project initiated by the forces that present themselves as conservative. The author also mentions significant problems arising during the modernisation of Russian society; these problems are rooted in both objective conditions of the on-going process and subjective factors. The article addresses the emergence and development of the modernisation idea in Russia. The relevance of this work lies in theidentification of the features of the transition of Russian society into a new phase, which reflects the trends of global innovative processes.

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Research and technology agreements in the Norwegian concession system of the 1970s—1990s

This article is devoted to research and technology agreements in Norway, and their positive impact on the development of relations with foreign oil and gas companies during the period of formation of the Norwegian oil and gas industry. Based on archival documents, the article considers Norway’s experience of conclusion of research and technology agreements for transferring the latest technologies of exploration and oil and gas production to national oil and gas companies in the process of developing the country’s oil and gas industry. The author concludes that Norway made significant scientific and technological progress through promoting active cooperation with foreign companies. Norway’s successful experience could be applied by Russian state authorities in order to develop relations with foreign oil companies. These companies could take part in offshore exploration in the Russian sector of the Barents Sea through concluding similar agreements between Russian state institutions, and foreign oil and gas companies, which would give an impetus to the development of the technological component of Russia’s oil and gas sector. Research and technology agreements have been used by Norwegians with the aim of diversification of the economy and prevention of excessive dependence on the energy sector, which is one of the major challenges faced by Russia.

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International cooperation

The foreign policy of Poland and the Kaliningrad region in 1989—2012

This article sets out to analyse the role of the Kaliningrad region in the Polish foreign policy after 1989. The analysis focuses on the political and regional determinants, which had the greatest impact on the Poland-Kaliningrad region relations. The methodology used in the article is not unusual for political science and is based on analysing original (documents) and secondary (scholarly publications, press articles) sources. The authors also use the system and decision analysis methods. The analysis covers the period after 1989, when the geopolitical changes brought about by the collapse of the Yalta-Potsdam order resulted in Poland redefine the priorities of its foreign policy. One of the most important challenges for the Polish diplomacy after 1989 was the development of economic and political relations with the Russian Federation. Cross-border cooperation between Poland and the Kaliningrad Region is conducted, inter alia, through euroregional structures functioning in the border areas. The analysis of this issue is vital for further cooperation in the Polish-Russian borderland, especially after the conclusion of the local border traffic agreement in 2012. The authors come to a conclusion that the implementation of the local border traffic agreement can improve cross-border relations but it will not significantly change the role of the Kaliningrad region in the Polish foreign policy.

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International research cooperation in the Baltic region: a scientometric analysis

This article examines the processes of international research cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. It focuses on research works published in the leading periodicals in 1993—2012. The empirical material is collected from the world’s largest abstract and citation database, SciVerse Scopus, which makes it possible to evaluate macroindicators at the national and global levels as well as the contribution of scholars to the global progress. The article also offers an assessment of the efficiency of research activities in the Baltic Sea region countries. It is based on a number of scientometric indicators that reflect the performance of universities in terms of research journal publications and the development of research cooperation in the field of Baltic studies. The authors consider the dynamics of research contribution and academic cooperation in the Baltic Sea countries in four leading fields — i. e. agricultural and biological sciences, Earth sciences, ecology and social sciences presented in the SciVerse Scopus scientometric database. The article provides a map of research cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

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The historical aspects and current issues of the development of Russian-Lithuanian economic relations

This article focuses on development of Russian-Lithuanian economic ties. The research and practical significance of this study lies in the identification of the sources of modern Russian-Lithuanian economic cooperation and the prospects of future mutually beneficial economic relations. The first attempt at establishing economic relations was made in 1919. However, young Lithuanian Republic gravitated towards the West, severing ties with the Russian market. However, the initiatives of Lithuanian authorities did not result in successful state building, and the economic situation remained unchanged. The USSR leadership made an effort to improve the living conditions in post-war Lithuania. There were some mistakes made in the relations with the local population that resulted in Lithuanians’ resistance to sovietisation. However, in the conditions of post-war restoration of national economy and acute deficit of material and human resources, the Soviet leadership managed not only to reform and develop a socialistic  economy in Lithuania but also to turn it into an industrial republic with developed agriculture and modern manufacturing facilities, whose major industries manufactured products used in nuclear and space technologies, aviation and navigation. The research shows that the post-Soviet period led to a dramatic change in Russian-Lithuanian economic relations; however, these relations retained potential for future development.

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Similarities and differences in curricula of a bachelor’s degree in oceanology at the universities in St Petersburg, Klaipeda, and Kaliningrad

Conducting a multi-aspect comparative analysis of curricula of bachelor’s degree programmes in oceanology offered at universities in St Petersburg, Klaipeda and Kaliningrad, the authors trace similarities between the existing variants of oceanologist training in the context of competence modules, disciplines, the so-called academic practices, and the number of hours and credits stipulated in the existing curricula. A formal comparison of generalised quantitative indicators without analysing the content of curriculum components demonstrated certain similarities in all indicators in terms of workload, the number of disciplines (50, 56 and 45) and academic practices. The clustering of competence modules and disciplines at each university within generalised academic areas — physics and mathematics, philosophy, informatics and computers, geoecology, measurement disciplines, etc. — made a more detailed comparison possible. The results of research demonstrate considerable similarities in the curricula used at the  given universities in terms of all variants of comparison. The strongest similarity is observed in the areas of basic and professional disciplines.

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Academic discussion

Russia and the European Union: an elusive quest for common values?

This article focuses on the dialogue between the Russian Federation and the European Union based on “common values” (legal sphere and the rule of law), which form the framework for the EU-Russia “common spaces” — on the economy, freedom, security and justice, as well as in the field of research and education (including cultural aspects). The author analyses the current state of the EU-Russia dialogue (section 1), East-West cooperation in the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (section 2), and the position of the Council of Europe member states on the European Court for Human Rights (section 3). The author comes to a conclusion that the concept of “common values” is to a great degree fictitious, and its viability depends on whether Russia behaves as a European country. The complete internalisation of democratic values, human rights, and good governance is still unattainable for the Russian Federation, which uses the platform of common values predominantly to achieve strategic  goals (section 4).

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Research reports

The instruments of Russia — EU research and technological co-operation in the sphere of innovations

The article focuses on the basic tools of Russia-EU international cooperation, cofunded by the EU and Russia, such as crossborder, trans-border, and trans-national cooperation programmes, which can contribute to innovative, scientific and technological development. The author gives an overview of large-scale Russia-EU international cooperation projects in the field of innovations and comments on the cooperation programme running until the end of 2013. Special attention is paid to a special financial tool — the Framework Programme — one of the most important tools of financial support for joint projects in the fields of science and innovation with the EU participation. The article emphasises the opportunities for career growth and professional development for individual researchers in the field of innovation.  

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On the international cooperation of North-West Russia in the field of innovations in the Baltic

This article focuses on the cooperation between the constituent entities of the Northwestern Federal District of the Russian Federation and the Baltic countries (Finland, Estonia, and Norway) in the field of innovations at national and regional levels, as well as at the level of corporate cooperation. The author reviews successful implementation of innovation projects within cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes. The most significant projects focus on the development of information and communications technologies in healthcare, the development of networks uniting innovation centres in the Baltic Sea region, and the transnational network of business incubators in the Baltic Sea region. The author identifies promising areas of cooperation between North-West Russia, Finland, Norway, and Estonia in the field of innovations, including telecommunications, information and, space; biological, environmental and nanotechnologies; software, medicine, education, culture, energy efficiency and ecological construction, as well as the development of creative industries. The article pays attention to large-scale national projects, such as “St. Petersburg Corridor — Two Model Open Innovation Platform” and “Partnership in commercialization of Russian innovations”.

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Reviews

Practice and Prospects of Cross-Border Cooperation in the Baltic region

Innovations in the Baltic Sea Region and Network Cooperation between Russia and the EU

Transnational (involving countries) and cross-border (involving adjacent regions of different countries) cooperation and integration are rapidly developing in the Baltic Sea region. Russia lags behind the Nordic countries and Germany as far as innovative development is concerned; yet our national pace here is comparable to that of Poland and the three Baltic States. At the same time, the features of innovative cooperation vary a great deal depending on the group of countries involved in cooperation processes. Independent of its type, however, international cooperation is beneficial for all parties concerned and should therefore be more actively encouraged. Northwestern Federal District traditionally plays a special role in the development of EU-Russia cooperation, since a number of its regions border on the EU countries. The district participates in the development of network innovative structures within the Baltic Sea region. It takes an active part in cross-border cooperation — activities that involve the formation of transborder innovative clusters. There are high expectations associated with the formation of such territorially localised innovative networks, as the Helsinki — Saint Petersburg — Tallinn and Tricity (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot) — Kaliningrad — Klaipeda transborder innovative clusters. The city of Saint Petersburg and the adjacent Leningrad region, as well as the Kaliningrad region can become innovative development corridors between Russia and the EU and, eventually, develop into the ‘economic growth poles’ of the Russian Federation.

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Management of Trans-boundary Water Resources: Comparing Russian and American Experiences

This article is based on a comparative analysis of Russia and US’s experience of participation in international cooperation in the field of trans-boundary water management. The author showcases the work of Russian-Estonian Commission for Protection and Rational Use of Trans-Boundary Waters and the US-Canadian International Joint Commission. The Russian-Estonian Commission works in accordance with the principle of intergovernmentalism, whereas transnationalism is the founding principle of the International Joint Commission in North America. Though the Russian-Estonian Commission is more efficient in water quality improvement in its area of responsibility, it is early still to claim that intergovernmental cooperation is more effective than transnational cooperation. However, it gives a reason to question the conclusions of the proponents of transnationalism in the international relations theory, who claim that the latter is more efficient. Practical significance of this paper is in the proposed recommendations for further modernization of international cooperation in the field of trans-boundary water management. 

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Cross-border Specialization of Interregional Interaction: Applying New Assessment Methods

Cross-border cooperation as a type of interregional interaction is becoming a significant factor in the development of border regions. It can be viewed as a result of intensification of cross-border contacts and greater economic openness of cross-border regions. Thus, the roots of current development are quite easy to pinpoint. However, assessment of the impact of cross-border cooperation on the development of border regions appears to be a research challenge. In this paper, we offer an approach to the assessment of the role of cross-border cooperation in the system of interregional interaction between border regions. We present a system of indices to describe cross-border specialization of interregional interaction in certain fields, namely investment, international trade, tourism, and migration. Cross-border specialization determines the role of cross-border cooperation in regional external relations. The empiric data we have gathered is used to develop and implement a pilot assessment of cross-border  specialization of interregional relations which are characteristic of the border regions of the Northwestern Federal District of the Russian Federation. The article offers cross-border specialization indices for each border region of the Northwestern Federal District. With their help, we were able to identify the spheres of interaction with the highest degree of cross-border specialization, and in particular foreign investment and business activities with the participation of foreign capital.

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Development of International Clusters in the Baltic Sea Region

This article offers a comprehensive definition of international, cross-border, and transnational clusters. The author presents a classification of international clusters of the Baltic Sea states, and identifies cross-border and transnational clusters. The paper considers the features of international clusters in the Baltic Sea region, as well as certain cases of implementation of national and international cluster policy. A comparative analysis of the Baltic Sea region provides a basis for identifying countries with high concentration of international clusters such as the Scandinavian countries and Germany. Also, the analysis indicates the potential participants of international clusters, namely the Baltics and Poland as they are involved in a large number of international cluster initiatives. The author identifies the factors contributing to the formation of international clusters in the Baltic Sea region.  

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Network Modelling of Transboundary Cooperation between Russian and Belarusian Regional Enterprises: the case of the Kaliningrad and Grodno Regions

This article examines the development of a new process within Russian-Belarusian-Kazakh integration — interregional transborder cooperation. Network modelling is suggested as a mechanism for its regulation. The authors present a network model of transborder cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus based on the case of the Kaliningrad and Grodno regions. The model is developed on the basis of the well-known and widely accepted PERT. It covers the three main stages of the whole transborder cooperation process identified in the case of the two regions — the Kaliningrad and Grodno: organisational and analytical support, methodological and technological support, and the development of a complex cooperation programme. The working version of the model includes approximately 150 events. As to its purpose, it is a representation of a well-balanced established international coordination programme of transboundary cooperation at a level of two regions.  

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Regional development and spatial planning

A Situational Approach to Strategic Management and Monitoring of Regional and Urban Development

Through a situational approach to strategic management of regional and urban development it is possible to identify the interaction between the managerial process and mechanism; bring together the spatial and activity-related concepts of territorial development; and explain the phenomenon in question from both general and specific perspectives. Territorial development is becoming the principal object of strategic management of a region or city, its key tool being the utilization of its own good practices. The main objective of territorial development is increasing the capacity for constructive interaction between all its “actors and factors”. In this situation, the monitoring territorial development is seen as an integral part of management. It ensures the inventory, observation, and comparison of various trends determining the situation, as well as the results of actions aimed at its targeted alteration. Monitoring helps not only to promptly identify threats, but also to detect the opportunities for  developing the situation in the desired directions within the “natural” trends of its dynamics. The situational approach to the monitoring of regional and urban development presented in the article was implemented in the development of the Strategy for the Socioeconomic Development of the City of Moscow until 2015 (as commissioned by the Department of Economic Policy and Development of the Government of Moscow) by an international team headed by the experts of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and the Higher School of Economics.

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Key Strategies of Development of Research Tools and Methods for Marine Spatial Planning

Marine spatial planning has been widely applied in the leading maritime countries. However, it is not so common in Russia, since the relevant legal framework is largely absent. Spatial planning shares a number of features with marine planning, especially when it comes to the tools, principles, and methods. The differences mainly concern characteristics of the planning object; principles of delineating the borders of territories and water areas; and the authorities responsible for regulation. The use of marine space, its parts, and sea (water) is covered by a number of laws of the Russian Federation. However, a mechanism for marine planning has yet to be integrated into Russian legislation. The Strategy for the Development of Maritime Activities until 2030 sets the task of developing such mechanism. In this article we address key strategies that can be used in the development of marine planning tools: assessment of applicability of the existing legal framework to water relations; territorial development and strategic planning; and possible distribution of authority between different governing bodies in this new field of administrative activity.

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The Development of International Tourism in Lithuania: a Comparative Analysis of Regional Aspects

The processes related to the development of international tourism in Lithuania are of importance for the growth of economic, social, and cultural welfare. The increasing tourist and recreational attractiveness of such cities as Druskininkai, Trakai, Palanga, Vilnius, and Klaipeda to international tourists, as well as an advantageous quality-price ratio of the services offered contribute to the growth of competitiveness on the international tourism market. Service standards applied in Lithuania at the international tourism market uphold and improve the image of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region. The interregional cooperation between Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in the field of international tourism development is based on the principle of public private partnership. It has been recently acknowledged that the three Baltic States form an integrating region in the field of international tourism and thus affect the Kaliningrad region, North-east Poland, Southern Finland, and partially Belarus. Therefore, Lithuania plays an important role in the integration of the tourist infrastructure of the Kaliningrad region into the tourist system of the Baltics. This study aims to conduct a comparative analysis of the processes relating to the development of international tourism in Lithuania in the context of the Baltic States. We also carry out the comparison of regional competitive factors and trace the patterns for further development of international tourism in Lithuania in the framework of cross-border and transborder cooperation.

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Research of young scientists

Innovation Capacity of Russia and the Baltics: a Comparative Approach

This article considers the possibility of Russian integration into a common research, technological, and innovative space of the Baltic region. The author presents the results of a comparative analysis of innovative development in Russia and the Baltic Sea countries based on the calculation of an integral research and technological potential index for the Russian Federation, the Northwestern Federal District of Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The paper describes the level of research and technological development of Russia in 2008—2010 in terms of human resources, R&D, material and technical components, and the transformation capacity of innovative potential. The author identifies the key issues in the field of research and innovation that inhibit the growth of research and technological potential concentration, as well as innovative development of the Russian Federation. The article considers the prospects for the development of research and technological potential in Russia through the use of instruments of international research and technological cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

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Reviews

Energy policy

Russia’s energy geostrategy in the Baltic Sea region

This article explores Russian energy policy in the Baltic Sea region in the context of the world energy market globalization. The study focuses on the three Baltic States — Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia — which have a similar geographical location and history. The dynamic development of the region as a whole is strongly influenced by the stability of energy supply in each state. The article analyses the role Russia plays in the energy policy of the region from both geopolitical and geostrategic viewpoints. The author identifies the main characteristics of the Russian energy policy in these countries, and provides with a forecast for energy policy development in the region. A geostrategic approach dictates any successful energy policy in the Baltic Sea region to bring in line Russian interests with those of the European states.

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Russia’s energy policy in the Baltic region: a geoeconomic approach

This article analyses certain issues of implementation of Russian energy policy in the Baltic region fr om the geoeconomic perspective. The purpose of the study is to explain Russian energy policy in the region as dependent solely on the import capacity of its partners. Russian energy policy is viewed as one of the most important activities of the state and its business structures. As such it aims to achieve both general economic goals (generation of profit, market domination) and more specific geoeconomic tasks. At the same time, the policy follows the traditional rules of consumer/producer market game. Russian energy resources are delivered to an energy deficient region, wh ere the demand and need for them is stable. The study is based on the author’s geoeconomic methodology, which extensively uses geographical and general scientific methods. This work aims to develop a geoeconomic paradigm in the framework of social geography. It will be of interest to anyone who aims to analyse the true motives behind
Russian current energy policy.

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The prospects of nuclear power development in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea region as a factor of the formation of international relations system in the region

The current development of economic diplomacy in the world is determined by a combination of globalization and regionalization. In addition, it has an economic dimension. At the same time, the Baltic Sea region demonstrates large-scale politicisation of economic cooperation. The development of nuclear power in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea is indicative of the effectiveness of political and economic cooperation in the region. The author believes that Russia and the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have the economic and technological opportunities for building up cooperation in the field of energy. This points to a question whether the traditional patterns of relations that developed among these countries in the past can be changed. A more pronounced international division of labour accompanied by the historically developed specialization of Russia makes nuclear power an important factor in Russia’s economic diplomacy. The promotion of Russian energy projects in the region contributes  to the development of a system of mutually beneficial ties. The increasing energy deficiency in the region can serve an economic prerequisite to this process.

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Nuclear power in the Baltic Sea region: the history of emergence and the political and economic features of its development

This article focuses on the development of peaceful nuclear power. The author draws attention to the fact that nuclear power is a rather young branch of national economy. However, over recent decades, it has already seen rises and falls, and a number of states have had tragic experiences of nuclear emergencies. Nevertheless, many countries — including the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — express a strong interest in development, generation, and application of nuclear power. In the Baltic States, nuclear power dates back to the Soviet times, but its development was suspended pursuant to the EU regulations (the Ignalina NPP). Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have been striving for energy independence from Russia — the principal supplier of energy carriers to these countries. For a long time, the three Baltic States have been proclaiming their unanimity on the general European path of development. However, the reality proved to be different. The touchstone for achieving common goals was the idea of constructing a new NPP at the site of the closed Ignalina NPP. The author concludes that the joint construction of a new NPP is quite questionable. When it comes to politics, each of the three Baltic States is ready to build its own NPP. Thus, the development of nuclear power in the Baltic Sea region requires joint coordinated actions independent of any bloc-inspired interests of the states involved. Moreover, this success may prove sustainable if the actions are based on innovative decisions and modern technologies.

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Gas infrastructure development in the countries of East Baltic as a way to increase energy security

In the context of regional gas infrastructure development this paper considers the issue of energy security of the countries of East Baltic, which depend heavily on a single energy supplier — Russia. In recent years, the countries of the region have announced several LNG terminal construction projects. The European Union will provide political and financial support to only one of these projects. The paper explores the role of gas and energy in the economy of the Eastern Baltic countries. The author concludes that the countries mostly dependent on Russian gas are Lithuania and Latvia. The announced LNG terminal projects are being reviewed in detail. Their necessity is estimated from the perspective of the current and future demand for natural gas, including the terms and conditions of contracts concluded with OAO Gazprom. Different scenarios and prospects for individual LNG terminal projects and associated pipeline infrastructure are evaluated. It is shown that the inability of countries to find a political compromise on this issue and the terms of existing contracts for Russian gas, as well as low domestic demand for gas hamper the implementation of a regional LNG terminal project even in the long term.

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International cooperation

North-West Russia in the context of European integration

Integration is one of the main consequences of globalization. Elements of microsystems are growing closer, which brings to the foreground problems of interaction and — in a longer perspective — those of close cooperation between different social systems. The article considers the case of North-West Russia, the only territory having a common border with the EU, in order to examine the issue of Russia using the geographical factor, which Otto von Bismarck called the most powerful and intrinsic factor in history. The significance of this factor increased after the Cold War. It was then when the independent Baltic  States became a platform for emergence and recognition of the Baltic Sea region. The author focuses on the social and cultural integrity of the region and considers the traditional Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea states as interrelated components of a single region, different from other European regions in terms of economic interests, as well as its natural and sociocultural landscape.  

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Electric energy cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and the role of Russia in it

This article examines cooperation in the electric energy sector in the Baltic region. The author explores the existing undersea HVDC power exchange projects. It is emphasised that cooperation in the electric energy sector is concentrated largely in the EU member states despite earlier plans to establish the Baltic energy ring, which would also include Russia and Belarus. The author stresses that one of the most acute problems for the EU today is overcoming isolation of the energy systems of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) from that of the major part of the EU. This task has become especially relevant after the closing of the Ignalina NPP (Lithuania), which used to be the primary energy source for the three Baltic States. The article examines key projects of the construction of new international power transmission lines in the framework of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) and the prospects of the Visaginas NPP (Lithuania) in solving energy problems of the Baltic States.  The author analyses Russia’s role in the electric energy market and focuses on a possible increase of the country’s energy market share following the construction of the Baltic NPP and the export of generated electric energy to Poland, Lithuania, Germany, and Sweden. The author concludes that the prospects of Russia’s energy export to the Baltic Sea region will be determined not only by technological, economic and market factors, but rather by the general state of relations between Russia and the EU. Moreover, a lot depends on Lithuania’s decision on the construction of the Visaginas NPP, as well as the way the EU and the Baltic States solve the problem of energy supply in case the NPP project is terminated.

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The creation of a common EU energy market: a quiet revolution with far-reaching consequences

The article explores important changes in the EU energy structure and legislation. The authors examine the main stages of the creation of a common energy market in the EU. They analyse recent actions taken by the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the EU against its member states and energy monopolists who directly or indirectly breach the rules of competition in the energy sector. The authors come to the conclusion that liberalization of the European energy sector will eventually have serious theoretical and practical consequences for the EU, as well as third countries, including Russia.

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Cross-border cooperation between nongovernmental organisations in the Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian voivodeships

This article is devoted to the issues of cross-border cooperation carried out by agents resident in the Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian voivodeships. Among such agents there are non-governmental organizations. This article aims to identify the role of NGOs in cross-border cooperation and the predominant fields of their cooperation, as well as to assess their activity in attracting funding from European budgets. The article widely applies the results of surveys of NGOs conducted by the author, compares the results of performance reports submitted by these organisations within international projects, and offers the data presented in relevant publications (Euroregion Baltic documents and Phare CBC reports, Interreg IIIA and, Interreg IIIB, NMF, and Polish-Swiss Cooperation reports, as well as the data of the Central Department of Statistics). The research covers the period from the late 90s to 2012. The article highlights the difficulties agents face in forging and implementing cross-border cooperation, resulting from the mismatching definitions of the tertiary sector in Poland’s neighbour states.

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The role of transit in the economy of Latvia

Transit is an important issue in the history of world economy, including the economy of Latvia. Transit makes a significant contribution to the budget of many transit countries, one of which is the Republic of Latvia. These countries do not have significant natural resources and prefer to focus on logistics and infrastructure in order to facilitate the transit process. This article focuses on the role of transit in the economy of Latvia, whose unique geographical position makes the country an effective transport corridor (bridge) in both the west-east and north-south directions. The article presents the results of an opinion poll conducted at Latvian transit enterprises regarding their future development and offers an overview of the main seaports and the Rīga international airport. The author examines the issue of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization and its impact on the Latvian transit, the prolongation of EU sanctions against Belarus, and the use of Latvian transport infrastructure for  handling the non-military cargo traffic to/from Afghanistan. In conclusion, a forecast of possible transit development in Latvia is provided.

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Research reports

The concepts of enclave and exclave and their use in the political and geographical characteristic of the Kaliningrad region

This article focuses on the genesis of and correlation between the related concepts of enclave and exclave and the scope of their use in different sciences, fields of knowledge, and everyday speech. The author examines the circumstances of their emergence in the reference and professional literature in the Russian language. Special attention is paid to the typology of the world’s enclave territories as objects of political geography; at the same time, their new categories and divisions (international enclave, overseas exclaves, internal enclaves of different levels) are extended and introduced. The author offers a new classification of contemporary and historical enclaves and exclaves. The article identifies the specific features of the Kaliningrad region in comparison to other enclave territories. The difference between the exclavity of the Kaliningrad region in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods is emphasised. The author shows the evolution of the use of concepts of enclave and exclave for describing the fe atures of the Kaliningrad region’s positions from the perspective of the mother and surrounding states. The article introduces the concept of dividing states and stresses the need to take their interests into account to ensure the functioning of the Russian exclave. The author substantiates the thesis that the Russian region is an enclave of the European Union (but not NATO) and an exclave of the Russian Federation and a number of political and economic intergovernmental alliances with Russian participation. The article offers a generalised characteristic of the Kaliningrad region from the perspective of its enclavity / exclavity.

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The Baltic region in the context of European development

EU — Russia energy cooperation: major development trends and the present state

The article analyzes the development of EU — Russia energy relations through the lens of the evolution of three parameters: the political agenda (the Energy Dialogue), the institutional structure, and the legal modalities. The identification of these three aspects for assessing the evolution of EU — Russia energy relations is the novelty in the author’s approach. This study aims to identify the previous stages and assess the current state of EU — Russia energy dialogue, since they set out conditions for energy cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. This research is based on a political and legal analysis of various documents and employs various international relations theories (including integration theories). The article demonstrates that the EU nd Russia have made a transition to the integration agenda manifested in the Energy Dialogue (its current goal is the creation of a common European energy market). The author describes the process of gradual consolidation of transgovernmental and transnational  institutions, which leads to depoliticization of cooperation and mutual socialization of the partners. Finally, legal discussions on the development of common rules have become more constructive. In sum, the current situation in EU — Russia energy relations is favourable and positively affects cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

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Problems and prospects of EU — Russia dialogue on visa-free travel

This article deals with the issues pertinent to the EU — Russia visa dialogue — one of the major areas of cooperation between the two partners. The article aims to identify the main problems of this dialogue, as well as prospects for the introduction of a visa-free regime between the EU and Russia. The authors provide a historical overview of cooperation in this area and consider problems and prospects of visa liberalization from the economic, legal, and political perspectives. The analysis draws on primary sources such as the EU and Russia’s legislation, EU — Russia agreements on visa facilitation and readmission, visa statistics, expert interviews, as well as analytical reports and research works on the topic. Particular attention is paid to the “Common steps towards visa-free short-term travel of the citizens of the EU and Russia”, which is currently the main document in the visa dialogue. Having assessed the implementation of the provisions contained in the four blocks of the “Common Steps”, the authors draw conclusions about the political nature of major obstacles to a visa-free regime. This article is based on the proceedings of the “Russia and European Union: the dynamics of interrelations” international conference organized by the EU center of the I. Kant Baltic Federal University (the EU4U project).

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Civil protection in the EU and its effect on the safety of the Baltic region

This article describes civil protection activities of the EU in the framework of the Community Civil Protection Mechanism — a system for coordinating civil protection resources and in-kind assistance to countries stricken by natural and manmade disasters. By analyzing the legislation and actual activation of the Mechanism, the authors present the functioning of this system as well as the ongoing changes towards a more planned approach to providing civil protection. The authors address the issue of extending the current civil protection system by introducing preventive measures. The project, co-financed by the by the Civil Protection Financial Instrument, is used as an example of the introduction of preventive measures in the Baltic Sea region.

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Regional studies

The regional approach in the policy of the Russian Federation towards the Republic of Estonia

This author uses regionalism as a theoretical framework for analyzing the foreign policy of the Russian Federation towards the Republic of Estonia. Regionalism is interpreted as a situation, when a political leader’s beliefs change depending on what region of the world is considered. Leaders of great powers often assume that, for example, small European countries are subject to a treatment different from that of small Middle Eastern countries. The method of operational coding is employed to identify the impact of the regional approach on the beliefs of political leaders. The author comes to the conclusion that Russia’s policy towards Estonia largely depends on Russia’s policy towards the regions which the Russian elite relate Estonia to — the Baltic States, Northern Europe, and Europe as a whole. The results of the study can further the understanding of Russia’s policy towards Estonia both in Russia and abroad. Lack of understanding sometimes results in sharing the views of radical Estonian politicians who claim that Russia’s policy towards Estonia is unpredictable and thus poses a threat to security and stability in Europe.

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Processes of convergence and divergence in the regions of the European Union: features and qualimetry

A higher level of unity and cohesion across the European Union member states is an important aspect of European integration though it has a rather ambiguous nature. The Law on the Common Market, which aims to increase the economic efficiency of the EU, became a subject of extensive discussions among researchers suggesting that its viability at the political and socio-economic levels depends on a fair distribution of gains among the countries and regions of the Community. These discussions resulted in a considerable increase in funding allocated for the development of the EU regions from the EU Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund aiming to reduce regional disparities. The present analysis and the assessment of convergence processes (GDP per capita at purchasing power parity) in the EU regions of NUTS-1, -2, -3 levels in 1995 -2009/2010 help demonstrate the efficiency of these efforts.

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Intergenerational transmission of poverty: a challenge for Poland

This article argues that urban poverty pockets emerged in Poland in the course of the system transformation towards capitalism. The main poverty drivers were the three overlapping processes: de-industrialization, ‘dewelfarization’ and de-institutionalization of the family accompanied by the devolution of social care management from the central to the local government. The enclaves of poverty emerged as a result of better-off residents leaving dilapidated blocks of flats and both spontaneous and deliberate accommodation of poorer citizens in these houses as social housing residents. In these areas, poverty tends to take root and reproduce in subsequent generations. The article is based on a 20-year study carried out in the city of Łódź under the author’s supervision. The article summarizes the findings obtained from three sources: 1) narrative interviews held twice — in 1998 and 2008 — among 90 adults belonging to the subsequent generations of a certain extended family residing in a poverty enclave; 2) 73 in-depth interviews with teenage mothers residing in poverty enclaves, 3) a quantitative survey of 500 13-year-old pupils attending schools located in poverty enclaves. The author arrives at the conclusion that poverty enclaves in Łódź resemble neighbourhoods of relegation as conceptualized by Loic Wacquant.

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International cooperation in the Baltic region

Current problems in Russian-Latvian relations

Current relations between Russia and Latvia are still influenced by a series of mutual claims that appeared after the demise of the USSR. Latvia — as well as Estonia and Lithuania — is both an EU and NATO member state. However, unlike the above mentioned countries, its relations with Russia are developing at a more pragmatic level. Numerous political differences often result in economic losses both for Latvia and Russia. Despite the fact that Latvia has been an independent state for more than 20 years, there are still some unresolved issues in its relations with Russia. Today, relations between the two countries are often viewed through the prism of EU — Russia relations. Nonetheless, they often do not fit this context. Settling differences between Latvia and Russia will contribute to trade relations, which are increasingly important for both parties. In order to prevent and localise emerging conflicts, diplomats, politicians, and experts should interpret Russian-Latvian relations in view of the national features without referring to theoretical models based on the mythological “unity” of the three Baltic States.

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Cross-border cooperation in tourism between the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship and the Kaliningrad region

The border location of the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship and the Kaliningrad region is a prerequisite for active cooperation at different institutional levels. The development of cross-border cooperation between the Kaliningrad region and the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship was launched in 1992, when the first agreements on international cooperation were signed. As of today, a high emphasis is placed on cross-border cooperation between the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship and the Kaliningrad region, which is manifested in a series of partner agreements and contracts. The local border traffic agreement between the Kaliningrad region and selected areas of the Republic of Poland should give an additional impetus for the developmentof the economies, services sectors, and tourism industries of the border territories and facilitate the development of these regions. The article makes an attempt to identify the determinants of cross-border cooperation between the Kaliningrad region and the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship that contribute to the development of tourism between the regions, as well as to outline the barriers to their cooperation. The results of the survey presented in the article indicate that the current activities aimed at the development of cross-border cooperation between the Kaliningrad region and the border regions of Poland are not sufficient. On the basis of the survey the authors identify the major barriers to cross-border cooperation as seen by the regions’ residents and authorities. The removal of these barriers can form the basis for developmental measures to improve the situation.

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Historical aspects of international cooperation in the Baltic Sea region

Political reconsideration of the Soviet past: attitudes and actions of the Lithuanian elites

Different political elite groups of post-communist Lithuania offer different accounts of the Soviet past. Even twenty years later, after the collapse of communism Lithuanian politicians (with the exception of certain conservative anti-nostalgic leaders allied with some populists) still do not have a unified and coherent view on the Soviet political and social practices, truths, and methods. However, conservatives are very consistent in their restrictive views about the past and are willing to engage in propagating decision-making that prevents them from repeating the actions of the past. Social democrats, liberals, and populists are much more internally divided and tend to display lukewarm attitudes towards the Soviet past and its political reconsideration. Yet, the present analysis of the adopted laws and public policies, alongside a study on the attitudes of political elites make it possible to conclude that anti-nostalgia, the negative assessment of the Soviet life-style, criticism of it and attempts to keep the former Soviet decision makers out of Lithuania’s public administration are key ways of treating the past in Lithuania. All efforts to accommodate a more permissive attitude towards the Soviet past and civil servants whose career began under the Soviets do not find much support within the Lithuanian elite.

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The “Polish question” in Soviet-German relations in the second half of the 1920s (based on the materials of the USSR consulate in Königsberg)

On the basis of earlier unknown documents of the Soviet consulate in Königsberg retrieved from the Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, the author analyses relations between the USSR and Germany in 1925—1930. The author focuses on the role of the “Polish question”, which largely affected the nature of bilateral relations. The consulate documents indicate that Soviet diplomacy aspired to exploit the differences between Poland and Germany over a wide range of issues (the geopolitical situation of East Prussia, the position of national minorities, the problem of transit through the Polish corridor, the status of the Free city of Danzig, etc.). Soviet consuls carefully observed political life in Königsberg and the province. On the one hand, they paid attention to an increase in the nationalist and fascist attitudes. On the other hand, they emphasized the aspirations of the local political and business elite to develop economic cooperation with the Soviet Union. The People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs tried to transform East Prussia into a Soviet lobby in the German government. These plans were not implemented at that time, but the 1920s ideas of cooperation between the two states on the anti-Polish basis were put into practice on the eve of World War II.

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The transformation of the Swedish political party system in the late 20th/early 21st century

This article studies the process of transformation of the Swedish political party system in the 1980s. The study aims to develop a typology of the Swedish political party system before and after the transformation processes commenced. The article identifies the key prerequisites for such transformation: the crisis of social democracy and an increase in the nationalist attitudes in the society caused by the negative repercussions of the system of integration of migrants into the society based on the multiculturalism principles. The interethnic tension manifested itself in the wide support for the Swedish Democrats Party in the 2010 parliamentary election. From a political party system dominated by social democrats, the Swedish political party system turned into one with two leading parties – the centre-left Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party and the centre-right Moderate Party. The Swedish Democrats position themselves as an alternative to the two party blocs headed by the dominating parties (the Alliance and the Red-Green). The study employs an interdisciplinary approach in the framework of science synthesis. Its results can be of practical significance for politicians, social activists, and academicians.

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Theory and practice of networking

Construction of transport and energy networks in the Baltic region as an impetus for regional development

In light of some new aspects of the EU functioning, particularly, the recovery from the 2008-2009 global crisis, transportation and energy development projects are coming to the forefront in the Baltic region. At the same time, there is a need to consider EU’s recent adoption of a common seven-year financial program (2014—2020), which serves, in effect, as the Union’s budget. Given that, one may conclude that the countries of the Baltic region are entering a new stage of development. We look at the role and significance of transportation and energy projects as an instrument of economic development. Having studied the largest transport and energy projects in the Baltic region, we were able to show that the new infrastructure networks supported the investment expansion of Swedish and Finnish companies into the post-communist countries of the Baltic Region. Which, in its turn, allowed the Nordic investors to expand their domestic markets. The analysis also shows that the experience of private businesses proves a recent theoretical concept — the pyramid of regional development factors. As a result, the actual regional policy of the EU cannot be considered in the narrow sense of the Cohesion Policy alone.

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Interorganisational networking as the principal form of technological, innovative and research cooperation between Russia and the European Union in the Baltic region

This article concerns the role that international cooperation in research, technology, and innovation plays in ensuring innovative development and producing an innovative model of the Russian economy. One of the key objectives of the country’s integration into international research, technological, and innovative space is the development of Russia-EU cooperation in the Baltic region. It is established that, with the development of integration connections and regionalization processes, interorganizational networking takes on special importance in the organization and development of the innovative space. The authors analyze the existing typologies of forms of cooperation in the field of research, technology, and innovation, within which cases of networking are identified. The article gives a definition of interorganizational networks in view of the spatial and structural components of networking. The authors introduce the notion of international interorganizational networks as a special form of international cooperation. A study into the spatial form of interorganizational networks helps explain the effect of different levels and types of economic integration. Key areas of research on international interorganizational networks are identified in view of the features of integration processes in the development of network processes and in the framework of network approach in general.

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A spatial study of networking in the Vistula Lagoon region using geoinformation systems

Network cooperation — the most efficient form of unlocking the economic and natural potential of territories — is rapidly developing in Russia under the influence of global processes. Due to its unique geopolitical position, the Kaliningrad region is one of the regions where such networks develop at both the regional and international levels. When studying such forms of cooperation, the traditional methods of social sciences as research tools are not sufficient, which is explained by the dynamic nature of network cooperation as well as the fact that it involves a significant number of independent agents. We believe that one of the important tools of research on network cooperation is regional integral geoinformation systems (GIS). Modern GIS are successfully used in related fields, such as environmental and climate studies, geology, urban studies, and serve as rather efficient tools of analysing spatial objects and phenomena. One of such systems has been developed and is successfully functioning at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, which makes it possible to use it in studying network cooperation in the framework of crossborder development with the involvement of Kaliningrad municipalities. The key objective set by the authors of the article is to justify the need for studying the emerging network cooperation with the help of both traditional methods of geography and modern GIS; a specific case is made of the cross-border Vistula lagoon region — the one that brings together Russian and Polish municipalities. The authors provide with the background for the search of possible development strategies in the region, and note that the creation of a regional GIS structure can become a necessary component of the region’s information and communication structure; this conclusion can be considered the key result of the research conducted. The practical significance of the article lies in justifying the use of modern geoinformation systems as a tool of territory development as well as for the purpose of making efficient managerial decisions at different levels.

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International cooperation

Russia and the European Union in the Baltic region: a treacherous path to partnership

This article examines policies of Moscow and Brussels in the Baltics since the launch of the European Union’s Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in June 2009. An increase in the efficiency of Russia’s policy in the region requires not only the development of bilateral relations with the region’s countries but also a dialogue with the European Union, the key player in the Baltic. The author identifies Russian economic, military, political, and humanitarian interests in the region, and describes the structure, content, and main areas of the implementation of the EU Baltic strategy in 2009—2013. The article examines the evolution of the Strategy, which initially ignored Russian national interests in the region, yet eventually resulted in cooperative efforts in the areas of common interest such as energy, transport infrastructure, environment, research, education and culture. The results of the Russian presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (2012—2013) are evaluated. It is noted that, despite an appealing presidency strategy and certain achievements in its implementation, Russia was unable to draw up a regional agenda and use the CBSS as an efficient platform for harmonizing its Baltic strategy with that of the EU. The causes of the current deadlock in EU — Russian relations regarding the Baltic are analyzed. The author formulates policy recommendations on fostering Russian-European cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. These recommendations range from the suggestion of joint revisions of mutual conceptual perceptions and strategic goals pursued by the EU and Russia in the Baltic Sea region to more practical measures in the institutional, administrative, and financial fields.

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Cooperation between Russia and the EU in the field of innovative development of tourism: the case of the Lithuania — Poland — Russia cross-border cooperation programme

To study the key instruments of international cooperation between Russia and the European Union aimed at stimulating innovative development of tourism co-financed by the EU and Russia. The author describes specific projects implemented in the framework of the Lithuania-Poland-Russia cross-border cooperation programme for 2009—2013 in the field of tourism. Special attention is paid to analysing tourism innovations that have emerged as a result of the projects aimed at cooperation and tourism development in the border regions of Russia and the EU countries. A number of projects have been implemented under the supervision and with the participation of the author. The article focuses on the role of innovative types of tourism in the regional development of territories in the case of the Kaliningrad region. The current approaches to defining tourism innovations in Russian and international studies are not comprehensive and do not reflect the essence of innovative processes. Innovative development is often reduced to the introduction of new information technologies, i. e. informatization replaces innovative development. However, it is important to take into account other innovative tools: for instance, interactive network museums in developing innovative tourist attraction objects, e-marketing in introducing innovations in tourist product promotion, programmes of private- public partnership in the field of public regulation and tourism stimulation, etc. These technologies contribute to the transition fr om a certain economic agent, the industry as a whole, or a tourist destination to a fundamentally new level in terms of tourist product presentation and increase of competitiveness. The sources for innovations in tourism are both the providers and consumers of tourist services. In those regions wh ere tourism is considered an economic priority, local authorities and even super-governmental organisations, such as the European Commission (through different co-financing programmes), can also become innovators.

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The potential for expanding inter-cluster cooperation between the ship-building industries of Estonia, Finland, and North-West Russia

The shipbuilding industry clusters in the Eastern Baltic Sea region, i. e. Estonia, Finland and North-West Russia, may benefit significantly from increased mutual cooperation; however, the international networks between the clusters are still poorly developed. The aim of this article is to analyse the preconditions for cluster internationalization between these clusters, which are rather different but complementary in terms of skills. The research material for this desk study was collected from various sources, including journal articles, media, research reports, and other publications. The results of the study indicate that the increasing cooperation within the triangle of these clusters has a significant potential in terms of combining different areas of expertise and creating a multidimensional maritime industry hub in the region. However, differences in the cluster structure and development stages lead to certain difficulties in achieving these objectives. In conclusion, the authors identify the factors both facilitating and inhibiting networking between the three clusters. This study provides a platform for further research focusing on the factors identified and gives ideas for public discussion on increased inter-cluster cooperation.

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Competitive effects of low trade barriers: evaluations for the Kaliningrad region

International trade is an important factor affecting competition in domestic markets. Considering the vastness of Russian territory, one can expect the pro-competitive effect to vary from region to region. This analysis tests the hypothesis that the unique geographical position and economic status of the Kaliningrad region contribute to the rapid development of international trade, which, in turn, exerts competitive pressure on regional prices. The study incorporates two major lines of analysis: a) a comparison of the international trade growth rates of different Russian regions; b) an assessment of the influence of Russian and European prices on the consumer price index as well as prices for particular tradable goods in the Kaliningrad region. Rosstat and Eurostat serve as the main data sources. To test their hypothesis, the authors use the methods of statistical and econometric analysis. The status of the free economic zone and unique geographic position of the Kaliningrad region do not result in high growth rates of international trade in the region, but rather lead to a structural shift towards import thus exerting additional competitive pressure on domestic prices. The analysis did not confirm the hypothesis about the considerable influence of European prices on the short run dynamics of the regional consumer prices index or prices for certain imported goods. Nevertheless, indirect evidence of competitive effects of foreign trade was found in the course of a comparative analysis of price levels in the regions of the Northwest Federal district: the cost of the standard set of consumer goods and services in the Kaliningrad region is lower than the level defined by the regional per capita income.

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Geography and economy of the Kaliningrad region: limitations and prospects of development

With its exclave status, the Kaliningrad region has been drawing attention of many researchers in different fields. Yet the prospects for cooperation between the region and neighbouring communities in Poland and Lithuania, which once constituted an integrated social, economic and political space, remain unclear. Media analysts and scholars alike tend to view the Kaliningrad region as “double periphery”, since it is excluded from major modernisation processes both in the European integration zone and in the Russian Federation. However, a detailed study involving polyscale socioeconomic indices, expert interviews, and surveys run contrary to this viewpoint. A look at the key indices of the Kaliningrad region and the neighbouring communities of Poland and Lithuania showed that both socioeconomic situation and standards of living are comparable in these areas, which indicates the prerequisites for mutually beneficial interregional cooperation. We have analysed factual information on socioeconomic development of cross-border regions and surveyed the students from the leading universities of Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda. We were thus able to conclude that the reasons behind the delapidated cross-border relations are rather subjective and lie in the field of geopolitical orientation, information and institutional policy, as well as persistent stereotypes that shape public opinion. In this light, integration between the Kaliningrad region and mainland Russia is seen not only as an economic, but also as a sociocultural objective. An analysis of the stages of the region’s exclavisation, and policies of social support stemming from the uniqueness of the economic and geographical position of the region substantiate this conclusion.

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Political elites in the region’s countries

The structure of political elite networks in the Republic of Poland in 1993—2013

To identify the structure of network ties within Polish political elites; to study the features of network ties formation and the impact that both primary and labour socialisation periods and diaspora characteristics have on this process; to describe the structural features of the resultant network structures over different periods of time and analyse the structural dynamics of political elites for the purpose of forecasting major trends in the structural transformation of Polish political elites. In the course of the study, biographical data on the presidents, ministers, advisors, and party leaders of the Republic of Poland was collected and processed. The work follows the network analysis paradigm and identifies the dynamics of the key network parameters: distance, density, transitivity, and compactness. The author analyses the dynamics of representation in the structure of political territorial diaspora elites, business community members, and ‘moral politicians’. The article identifies two periods of formation of political party networks in Poland: the first period (1993—2007) saw a transition from rather weakly integrated systems to high density and cohesion networks as early as the second electoral cycle, after which a gradual decrease in the key indices of network integration was registered. A new peak of network cohesion and integration was reached in 2007—2011; however, the death of some key members of political elites in a plane crash resulted in a decrease in the network integration indices to the level of 2001—2005. On the whole, the network structure of Polish political elite is characterised by unstable dynamics relating to the crisis events of the past. However, it is established that the elites have a pronounced diaspora core and an unstable periphery; the share of businesspeople directly participating in political processes is decreasing, whereas ‘moral politicians’ usually take an active part in the formation of political elites.

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The political elite recruitment in the Baltic: the role of the ethnic factor

The role of the ethnic factor in political processes in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia has been rather significant since these countries’ independence. The author investigates the assumption that after the completion of major Eurointegration procedures, the ethnic factor — which became especially important in the Baltics after independence — relegated to the periphery of political life. After a period of ‘independence-induced euphoria’ faded, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian power groups had to tackle the problem of civil society formation and the development of a political regime based on democratic procedures. In these countries the processes of elite recruitment were largely affected by the factor of ethic homogeneity of the social structure. This article analyses the process of elite group formation in the Baltics through the lens of the ethnic factor. By applying the ethnopolitical approach, the author concludes that the de facto barriers to non-titular population groups entering power structures, which exist in Latvia and Estonia, “freeze” the system of elite recruitment. In the conditions of increasing social unrest, it may have an adverse effect on the overall political stability in these countries. The results obtained can be used for research, educational, and practical purposes. In the field of research and education, they can be employed in further research on the transformation of the elite structure in the Baltics in view of the ethnopolitical factor, including comparative analysis of the elite re-grouping processes, as well as in developing corresponding university courses. As to the practical aspect, the results obtained can be used by the authorities of the Russian Federation in making decisions regarding interaction with the representatives of Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian political elites.

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International relations: Russia and the Baltics

Major infrastructure projects and the foreign policy of the Baltic states in 2010—2014

At the current stage of social development, particular attention is drawn to studies that assess major infrastructure — and thus political — projects aimed at a qualitative breakthrough in the socio-economic development of the countries under investigation. The scheduled multi-billion investments into energy sector are of political rather than economic nature. The projects to develop alternative power grids and high-speed railways can result in large-scale economic downturns diminishing the prospects of balanced social development. The author addresses the classical concepts of the theory of regional economy and new economic geography and their interpretation of the interconnection between political and economic factors. The article aims to demonstrate the inconsistency between political and economic objectives of the development of the Baltics. The study contributes to a broader set of research into the issues of post-Soviet economic and political development. The Baltic States follow their own political and economic ways. The study proves the hypothesis of low efficiency of large infrastructure project and their political motivation. It is concluded that the disregard of the factor of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with Russia destabilizes the development of national economic of the Baltic States. The author believes that modern infrastructure projects in the Baltic Sea region should be integrated into both western and eastern dimensions.

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Russia-EU energy efficiency cooperation in the Baltic region: the untapped potential

A stereotypical understanding of EU-Russia energy relations is often reduced to trade in oil and natural gas, which downplays the importance of energy efficiency cooperation. Such cooperation is promoted within the Energy Charter and its Treaty, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Energy Dialogue, Common Economic Space, Partnership for Modernisation. However, it lacks practical development, which relates to the instability of the legal environment in Russia, insufficient mechanisms of financial support for energy conservation projects and poor political support. Nevertheless, energy efficiency cooperation is capable of changing Russia-EU energy cooperation qualitatively: it offers a cheaper way to meet the needs of the EU, redefines interdependence between the parties, and introduces new elements of equality between them. Energy efficiency cooperation also transforms the patterns of the EU-Russia legal harmonization, creates new conditions for the convergence of regulations and the development of the middle class in Russia. Due to its specific features, cooperation in the Baltic Sea region becomes a locomotive of the Russia-EU energy efficiency cooperation, and, as a result, is capable of changing the quality of relations between the partners.

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Russian-Estonian relations: a medium-term forecast

This article shows why the non-existent political dialogue between Russia and Estonia will hardly develop in the next five years and why Estonia can lose its significance for the Russian foreign policy rhetoric and Russian mass media. This conclusion is drawn from a medium-term forecast about the changing role of Estonia in Russian foreign policy. The forecast is based on the scenario methodology, which suggests that the modern means of political forecasting make it possible to make conclusions not about the future states of political phenomena, but rather about the trends of current states, which are called scenarios. The article describes the four possible scenarios of changes in the role of Estonia in Russian foreign policy that are evaluated from the perspective of the development of Russian-Estonian relations and factors affecting the probability of each scenario. It is shown that any change in the role of Estonia in Russian foreign policy depends not only on the specific actions of the Estonian elite, for example their readiness to change their position on the participation of Russian-speaking population in the democratic decision-making process or the evaluation of controversial events of the past, but also on the meaning that will be attached to these actions by the Russian elite.

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Development of the Kaliningrad region: challenges and perspectives

The development of Kaliningrad regional economy: A new stage of restructuring

The Kaliningrad region is developing in complicated exclave conditions, which results in insufficient resilience of its economy to external impacts. There is a need for constant monitoring of the economic situation in the region and the adaptation of the regional strategy to changing conditions. This article sets out to evaluate the stages of regional economy development and the methods of its modernisation and restructuring in view of accumulated experience in reacting to changes in conditions of regional development. The authors analyse complex statistical data from 1990—2012 and the modern condition of the Kaliningrad regional economy compared to the national average. The article relies heavily on the results of the survey of specialists working in regional companies. Russian accession to the WTO and the abolition of certain customs privileges planned for 2016 form the basis for the import substitution manufacturing and will significantly affect the conditions of regional economy development. Implementation of the Strategy for the Socioeconomic Development of the Region will contribute to the innovativeness of economy, its export orientation, development through an increase in labour productivity, and cooperation with both Russian and international partners. It will reduce the dependence of production on imported raw materials and semi-finished produces, as well as its energy intensity. The formation of a new more stable economy will be facilitated through federal support and implementation of a number of regional programmes.

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Commodity flow model for an exclave region: Rent-seeking in the ‘transitional period’ of the special economic zone

This article focuses on a commodity flow model for an exclave region (CFMER). The CFMER development is aimed at identifying aggregate proportions of the exclave’s economy in the transitional period of the special economic zone (SEZ) functioning. The key method of analysis is the comparison of data on the generation of gross regional product and regional foreign economic activities (including export and import of goods and moving goods from/into the Kaliningrad region to other Russian regions). It results in a conceptual CFMER, which is assessed as of 2011. The availability of additional — as compared to a regular region — data on commodity flows in the framework of the SEZ transitional period makes it possible to identify structural disproportions in the economy. It is shown that the introduction of the SEZ transitional period did not result in a change in the conceptual model of the regional economy’s functioning merely increasing the opportunities for rent extraction. The authors predict structural imbalances in the exclave economy at the microlevel, in particular, the article analyses the conceptual model of rent extraction in the SEZ transitional period. The CFMER can be used for forecasting the development of exclave’s economy under different scenarios of the evolution of SEZ in the Kaliningrad region.

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Measuring social well-being in the rural areas of the Kaliningrad region

This article evaluates the social wellbeing of rural municipalities of the Kaliningrad region. The degree of social wellbeing is assessed on the basis of an analysis of statistical data and expert evaluations. Rural districts were identified in the Kaliningrad region on the basis of the following criteria: the share of population residing in the rural areas (threshold value of 50 %); the share of non-residential areas (threshold value of 75 %), the share of agricultural lands (threshold value of 50 %). Further analysis was based on the indices of geodemographic situation, investment potential, and production development. Rural municipalities were ranked according to these indices. The study showed that the best performing area are the suburban districts of Guryevsk and Bagrationovsk and the agricultural districts of Nesterov and Pravdinsk, whereas the worst performing ones are those of Gvardeisk, Krasnoznamensk, Ozersk, and Chernykhovsk. A comparison with the other constituent entities of the Northwestern federal district proved that the level of social wellbeing of Kaliningrad rural municipalities is rather high and most of them have made the transition from depression to sustainable development.

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Economic geography

Modern understanding of ‘geoeconomic position’ and the Saint Petersburg agglomeration

This article presents a modern interpretation of the concept of ‘geoeconomic situation’ as applied to one of the most important centers of the Baltic region — the St. Petersburg agglomeration. The coastal location of the agglomeration and close connections with the Leningrad region make it possible to consider the Saint Petersburg coastal region (Baltic Area) as a whole. The article sets out not only to verify, confirm, and explain the features of the geoeconomic position of the coastal region, but also to describe the contiguous geoeconomic space. The position of the St. Petersburg coastal region is of crucial importance for ensuring a steady growth of regional economy, the propagation of industrialization impulses, and modernization in the heart of Russian Northwestern macroregion. At the same time, the specific features of the region’s geoeconomic position magnify the ‘inherited’ ad acquired effects of focal industrialization and space polarization, which creates additional prerequisites for the inversion of the Russian economic space — ‘Russia of the physical space’ and ‘the economic space of Russia’. The study uses traditional methodology of economic geography (the territorial, cluster, and spatial approaches) and the geoeconomic approach developed by the authors. The article also addresses recent findings in regional economy and spatial studies. It is aimed at the development of the geoeconomic paradigm in the framework of social geography and that of spatial science. An analysis of the geoeconomic position and the developing spatial relations can be of interest for researchers of geographic clusters, agglomerations, and such cross-border forms of cooperation, as growth triangles, for example.

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Development of Aland Islands: major trends and challenges

This article considers key conditions and factors of the development of Aland Islands, describes main international legal regulations determining current status of the islands, identifies the trends in volume and structure of economic activities, ana lyzes processes of population change by regions and communes, as well as migration flows. The article also characterizes legal framework for socioeconomic development of the Finnish region. It is argued that the key factor behind modern welfare of the islands is not their political status or institutional makeup, but rather their economic and geographical position, the ‘concentration effect’, and the population influx. It is stressed that wide regional disparities observed within such small territory are indicative of the spatial structure of society development — primarily under the influence of natural features, which are nearly impossible to disregard.

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Spatial planning in the European Union and the Russian Federation

This article analyzes the principles of spatial planning, which form the basis for this type of urban development in the countries of the European Union (EU) and in the Russian Federation. The following principles are considered and compared for both territories: 1) promotion of territorial cohesion through a more balanced social and economic development of regions and improved competitiveness; 2) encouragement of development generated by urban functions and improvement of the relationship between the town and countryside; 3) promotion of more balanced accessibility; 4) development of access to information and knowledge; 5) reduction of environmental damage; 6) enhancement and protection of natural resources and natural heritage; 7) enhancement of cultural heritage as a factor for development; 8) developing energy resources while maintaining safety; 9) encouragement of highquality, sustainable tourism. An efficiency analysis of these principles showed that the level of their application for ensuring sustainable development differs. It is a result of the significant differences in natural and socio-economic conditions of sustainable development in these countries, as well as different experiences and traditions in the space-time dimension. In most EU countries, ministries of spatial planning were established as early as the 1960s; in the Russian Federation, such authority still does not exist. The coordination of spatial development by the Russian Ministry of Regional Development is of fragmentary nature; therefore, at the moment, the efficiency of spatial planning is rather low. The authors find it necessary to adopt EU practices of urban planning in view of the Russian spatial potential.

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Geography of international clusters in the Baltic region

International cluster is a relatively new form of spatial organisation of economy in the globalisation conditions, which has become a frequent phenomenon in European countries, including those of the Baltic region. It requires a comprehensive study of both regional economics and economic geography. This article aims to identify structured international clusters in the Baltic region and map the corresponding regions. The results obtained will make it possible to get a comprehensive idea of the aggregate of international clusters existing and emerging in the region and put forward a hypothesis about the prerequisites of their formation. The methodological framework of the research is an integrated case study. The article considers the processes of transboundary and transnational regionalisation in the countries of the Baltic region aimed at the development of international clusters. ‘International cluster’ is defined as a new form of spatial economy. The author identifies and maps organised international clusters and cluster initiatives in the Baltic Sea region countries. The international clusters of the Baltic region are characterised according to the following criteria: the degree of geographical localisation, the organisational type of formation, and specialisation areas. The author analyses the degree of involvement of a Russian region into the processes of international cluster cooperation in the macroregion.

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Reviews

Demography

Current Issues in the Geodemographic Studies in Russia

The article takes stock of the “state of affairs” in contemporary research of geographical demography in the USSR and the RF. The issue, concludes the author, has not received sufficient attention, and the use of geodemographic studies in managing regional development remains limited. This article aims to demonstrate three things: the importance of geodemographic approach in comprehensive regional studies to the needs of regional strategic planning; the key features of geodemographic typology of Russian constituent entities; the need for a differentiated approach to geodemographic management in regions of different types. The cluster approach is used to identify types of Russian regions on the basis of both natural and migration-related change. The author identifies correlations between demographic and economic, social, residential, ethnic and environmental demographic indicators; and describes the possibilities of geodemographic situation management stemming from the typological features of the region. The work seeks to draw attention to further development of geodemographic research in Russia and its role in pre-planning studies at the regional level.

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Demographic Ranking of the Baltic Sea States

The relevance of the study lies in the acute need to modernise the tools for a more accurate and comparable reflection of the demographic reality of spatial objects of different scales. This article aims to test the methods of “demographic rankings” developed by Yermakov and Shmakov. The method is based on the principles of indirect standardisation of the major demographic coefficients relative to the age structure.The article describes the first attempt to apply the method to the analysis of birth and mortality rates in 1995 and 2010 for 140 countries against the global average, and for the Baltic Sea states against the European average. The grouping of countries and the analysis of changes over the given period confirmed a number of demographic development trends and the persistence of wide territorial disparities in major indicators. The authors identify opposite trends in ranking based on the standardised birth (country consolidation at the level of averaged values) and mortality (polarisation) rates. The features of demographic process development in the Baltic regions states are described against the global and European background. The study confirmed the validity of the demographic ranking method, which can be instrumental in solving not only scientific but also practical tasks, including those in the field of demographic and social policy.

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Natural Increase in the Baltic South and South-West

This article analyses the natural population increase (decrease) in the postcommunist part of Baltic Europe (the federated state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, West Pomeranian, Pomeranian, and Warmian-Masurian Voivodeships, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Kaliningrad and Leningrad region, and the federal city of Saint Petersburg) in 2002—2011. The study uses standard methods of demographic analysis, the data provided by national statistical services and Eurostat. All regions analysed are characterised by a low stationary phase of the demographic transition model (DTM). The situation proves to be unfavourable in the Polish regions under consideration and highly unfavourable in the remaining area.

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The Baltics and Russian North-West: the Core and the Periphery in the 2000s

This article analyses population changes in North-West regions of Russia (the former North-Western economic zone and the Kaliningrad region) and the Baltics at the level of urban districts and municipalities. The cohort component method is used to analyze the youth population dynamics in the administrative territorial units of this level, which makes it possible to estimate the international (intraregional) migration of this population group. This method is used quite rarely, yet it is more accurate in studying the shifts in distribution of this group of population than current statistics. The article uses the data of the last two censuses (2000 and 2010), namely, the population size and the age and gender composition. In order to demonstrate the core-periphery relationship, the authors identified the core ATUs (national and regional capitals and capital areas), whereas the other units were grouped by their remoteness from the center. The analysis shows that in the countries and regions studied, population concentrates in the capitals and capital areas, whereas the periphery loses population at a fast rate. The centripetal movement is especially pronounced with the youth; moreover, it affects not only the size but also its structure of population in the core and periphery areas, which aggravates the processes of depopulation and ageing.

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Migration

Federal Repatriation Programme in the Kaliningrad region: an Assessment of Risks and Opportunities

This article presents the results of comprehensive research the migration situation in the region and the practices of migration management in the framework of risk theory within modern society studies. The key target group of the study are the migrants who have arrived to the region within the Federal Repatriation Programme. The work is based on numerous expert interviews of migration officials.The article analyses written queries to regional ministries on the assessment of local recruiting needs and the opportunities for the arrival and adaptation of compatriots. The authors discuss migration and economic statistics, and propose a forecast for human resources development with and without taking accounting for the migration. The article identifies both the opportunities relating to the implementation of the Federal Repatriation Programme in the Kaliningrad region in view of the current social and economic situation and the risks associated with the first stage of the programme implementation (2007—2013). Possible migration risks are considered from the perspective of cultural studies and management research.

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International Migration in the Periods of Transition and Crisis: the Case of Latvia

Migration processes are amongst the most relevant issues in the geography of the Baltic States. The authors analyse the changes in migration patterns from the early 1990s until today. The focus of the study is the recent trends of migratory movements in the case of Latvia. Due to the country’s economic recession, migration has accelerated in the recent years. Empirical results show the response of the migration system to the changing internal factors and external influences in the times of transition and global crisis. Long-term emigration exacerbates the problem of demographic change in Latvia.

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Migration and the Transformation of Multiethnic Population Structure in the Kaliningrad Region of the Post-Soviet Era

This paper analyses the migration processes and their influence on the transformation of multiethnic population structure in the Kaliningrad region. The author uses official statistics (current statistics and census data), as well as interviews with the representatives of ethnic cultural associations as information sources. Special attention is paid to the migration features associated with different ethnic groups. The author identifies major reasons behind the incoming and outgoing movement of population. In the post-Soviet period the Kaliningrad region has experienced positive net migration. This active migration into the region has contributed to the development of “migration networks” and established a new basis for further population increase through migration. The article describes changes in the regional multiethnic population structure and identifies key factors behind them. It is concluded that migration has played the decisive role in the process of multiethnic population structure transformation in the Kaliningrad region in the post-Soviet period. The author views migration as a serious test for both the migrants and the receiving society. On the one hand, migrants have to adapt to a different national, cultural, and linguistic environment and look for the ways of successful integration into the receiving society. On the other hand, the receiving society also faces a serious transformation as a result of the changing population size and structure, the emergence of new elements in culture, rules of behaviour, and the development of new attitudes.

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Supranational Policy of Migrant Integration in the EU

Integration of migrants is an intrinsic part of the modern life of almost all European states pursuing an active migration policy. This article sets out to identify socioeconomic and demographic conditions for the formation of a national migrant integration policy in the framework of implementing European directives. The study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms of efficient integration policy development. The article presents an overview of the major forms of social integration of migrants. The author analyses the existing sociological theories and concepts, as well as the practice of implementing supranational policies of integrating third country nationals in the European Union and its major aspects and mechanisms. On the basis of statistical data and with the help of correlation analysis, the author identifies the key factors affecting a country’s approach to the integration of immigrants. These factors were used in conducting a cluster analysis, which made it possible to identify four groups of countries. The study showed that, despite the large-scale and positive EU policy, due to differences in the socioeconomic and demographic development European states adopt different approaches to the implementation of migration policy in the field of integration. The author stresses that in the countries characterised by a tolerant approach to immigrants, the crime rate is much higher than in the states with a selective or poorly developed policy towards migrant integration.

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Human resources

Human Resources of Post-war Lithuania and Their Role in the Rebuilding of Klaipeda

This article focuses on the issues of post-WWII economic restoration effort in the Soviet Lithuania. German occupation of the republic caused significant damage to its industry and agriculture. Pre-war Lithuania was an agrarian state aspiring to embark on an industrial-agrarian path of development. After the war, this aspiration did not only persist, but was intensified. To reach this objective, however, Lithuania required qualified workforce. Before the war, hardly any attention was paid to the training of workers for industrial-scale production and construction. Then, a considerable decrease in population during the war aggravated the already substantial labour shortage. The attempts of the republic’s leadership to solve the problems of labour shortage through organised labour migration and labour mobilisation yielded no significant results. The appeals to the Centre with the request to send a substantial number of specialists and workers to Lithuania were heard, but a state ravaged by war did not have sufficient human resources. One of the solution was the use of labour of German prisoners of war. A network of prisoner-of-war camps was established in Lithuania. In a matter of two to three years, PWs completed a significant amount of work aimed at the rebuilding of important infrastructural objects. The case of Klaipeda is used to demonstrate the opportunities of the region and Centre in organising workforce in the Lithuanian SSR. The study uses the data obtained by modern historiography and documents kept in the Lithuanian State Central Archive.

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Economics

The Balance Model of Regional Development Management in Certain Territorial Conditions: Development and Application

In this article the authors detail the methodology of regional development forecasting with the balance method. They provide with an overview and assessment of the existing models and systems, and their use for the purposes of public administration at the regional level. The article underlines the need to develop a balance approach models for specific territorial conditions. In particular, the authors identify the possibilities of studying the connections between the proportions of material and cash flows within the regional system, and reconciling the needs of a regional economy with the production and resource potentials. The long-term sustainability balance model – a simulation of event-based forecasting – has been developed for the Russian exclave. The authors provide a general description of the balance model, its elements and simulation algorithm. The results of calculations using the balance model for forecasting regional development are provided for three alternative scenarios for the Kaliningrad region for the period until 2018.

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Knowledge Management and the Increase of SME Competitiveness: a Case Study

The need to enhance the competitiveness and innovation capacity of small and medium enterprises is one of the key objectives of emerging EU economies. In this regard, the authors define the role of knowledge in enhancing business competitiveness in a regional economy. The effect of knowledge management processes on the economic activity of businesses in the Latvian region of Latgale is considered. To assess the role of knowledge and knowledge management processes, the authors apply integrated metrics calculated with the help of correlation analysis based on a 2013 survey of managers and staff of SMEs in Latgale. An assessment of the role of knowledge and knowledge management processes in SMEs of Latgale region using the SPSS programme shows that the knowledge and experience of employees have is at an average level of development — from 2.9 to 3.6 on a 5 point scale. It suggests the possibility of that the processes of knowledge management are not used to their full capacity at the regional small and medium-sized businesses; therefore, there is untapped potential for enhancing the competitiveness of these enterprises. The study emphaisises the need for regional businesses to interpret new knowledge as a key value for developing the competitive and innovative potential.

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Network Transformations in Economy

In the context of ever-increasing market competition, networked interactions play a special role in the economy. The network form of entrepreneurship is increasingly viewed as an effective organizational structure to create a market value embedded in innovative business solutions. The authors study the characteristics of a network as an economic category and emphasize certain similarities between Rus sian and international approaches to identifying interactions of economic systems based on the network principle. The paper focuses on the types of networks widely used in the economy. The authors analyze the transformation of business networks along two lines: from an intra- to an inter-firm network and from an inter-firm to an inter-organizational network. The possible forms of network formation are described depending on the strength of connections and the type of integration. The drivers and reasons behind process of transition from a hierarchical model of the organizational structure to a network type are identified. The authors analyze the advantages of creating inter-firm networks and discuss the features of inter-organizational networks as compares to inter-firm ones. The article summarizes the reasons for and advantages of participation in inter-rganizational networks and identifies the main barriers to the formation of inter-organizational network.

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St Petersburg Business Information Centres and Their Role in Increasing the Efficiency of International Business Activities

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation acknowledges the significant contribution of regions to the development of the state’s foreign policy. An increase in innovative production, a commitment to achieve complete import substitution, and the development of measures to promote non-raw material export are the principal objectives established by the state for its regions. The current trends in world economy and the geopolitical situation formulate new goals and objectives for regions and suggest the creation of innovative and universal mechanisms to increase the efficiency of international economic activities, promotion of a positive image of Saint Petersburg and other regions of the Russian Northwest. The article analyses the activities of Saint Petersburg business information centres abroad, similar experience of other Russian regions, and prerequisites for reforming the institution of regional offices abroad. In the course of the study, new theoretical and methodological questions as to improving the regulatory framework for development and functioning of Russian regional offices abroad, the use of public-private partnership mechanism in foreign economic activities and information technologies of positive image promotion were formulated.

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Border Territory Development

Border Position as a Factor of Strategic and Territorial Planning in Russian Regions in the Baltic

In the conditions of globalization, Russian border regions can form transborder regions through cooperation with the neighbouring territories of other states. The optimisation of spatial organisation of economy, social sphere, and nature management using the tools of spatial planning is fully justified in the case of transborder regions as well as in that of national ones. However, in Russia, spatial (strategic and territorial) planning does not imply joint development of documents with the border regions of neighbouring states. Nevertheless, the border position of a region (at least, due to the presence of border zones) has a significant effect on the content of regional strategies for socioeconomic development and schemes for territorial planning of constituent entities and municipal districts. The result is a combination of measures aimed simultaneously at solving defence problems, delivering economic security, and supporting trans-border cooperation. The Baltic macroregion has vast experience in developing joint Russia-EU programmes. This experience of coordinating activities in the economic and sociocultural spheres, as well as international spatial planning innovations (German landscape planning, etc.), can be adopted in Russia.

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Theoretical Aspects of Cross-border Integration-based Economic Cooperation

In this article the author analyses theoretical aspects of border economy in the conditions of modern processes of integration. The author describes the existing schools and concepts of integration stressing the role of government regulation relating to the deformations in the development of the world economic mechanism. Modern studies focus on the evolution of integration processes, which has largely affected the key elements of the world economic mechanism from classical political economy, monopoly regulation. This resulted in monopolistic competition, imperfect competition, and oligopoly – largely, through all fields and poles of economic growth to certain elements of government regulation and social reproduction on the international scale. The author examines the key elements and stages of economic integration. These stages assume a number of consecutive forms: free trade zone, customs union, common market, complete economic integration, and economic union. The article shows that the transition occurs from the lowest to the highest stages — from the processes of integration involving, firstly, trade market and then capital and labour markets to the integration of social sphere. The theoretical aspects of all these transformations can be easily traced in the case of EU integration processes.

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Borders and Identity in Theory and Practice of the Eastern Baltic Region

At the present stage of social development in Europe and Russia, studies analyzing and evaluating ethnic and national borders are of increasing relevance. Over the last three decades, the state borders in the Baltic region have been stable, which is not the case in Europe in general. The author believes that the key reason behind the current crisis in Russia-EU relations is the conspicuous neglect of Russian interests in the neighboring countries that formed after the disintegration of the USSR. However, escalation of the conflict was historically and geographically predetermined. The political borders of post-Soviet states do not coincide with the ethnic ones and, therefore, the attempts to consolidate states through ethnic mobilization meet corresponding resistance from groups with a different identity. In the Baltic region, these processes have not reached the Ukrainian scale; however, there are prerequisites for ethno-political conflicts of this type. The post-Crimean political debate in the Baltic states has shown that that hardliners of a strict assimilation model of state identity prevail in Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn. This study sets out to analyze the political consequences of the conflict between the existing models of ethnopolitical identification in the border areas of the Eastern Baltic region. The main result of the study is that it has proved the existence of a special type of identity characteristic of border regions of the Baltic countries. In the context of this identity, the classic postmodernist dilemma of “us and them” is insufficient for a proper scientific analysis, and even more so for a political forecast. The formation of a special “double” or “transitional” identity in the border areas can serve both as a tool for strengthening of states and intergovernmental relations and as a ground for large-scale conflicts with hardly predictable consequences.

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Polish-Russian Small Border Traffic in the Context of Russia-EU Relations

This article sets out to analyse the Polish-Russian agreement on small border traffic in the context of relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation. The analysis focuses on the role of the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation in relations between the EU and Russia and conditions of the Polish-Russian agreement on small border traffic. The methodology employed is based on analysing primary (documents) and secondary (scholarly publications, press articles) sources. The article also addresses the “Kaliningrad question” — one of the most important issues in Russia-EU relations. The analysis shows that the signing of the Polish-Russian agreement on small border traffic should be viewed as a success. Based on the agreement, the inhabitants of borderlands in Poland and Russia (the Kaliningrad region) can cross the border without obtaining an entry visa. For the inhabitants of the borderlands, the agreement brings a range of significant advantages relating to the intensification of social, cultural, touristic, and economic contacts. It is worth noting that the agreement is one of very few examples of EU —Russia cooperation, especially in context of deterioration thereof observed over the last several years.

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The Kaliningrad Region as a Potential Coastal Transport Cluster

The coastal regions of Russia, which ensure the country’s major export/import transactions, have potential for developing special forms of spatial organisation of regional transport system – transport clusters. This form of spatial organisation is better adapted (in comparison to a transport complex) to the ever-changing conditions of a competitive market. It suggests that all business entities of the territory interact thus increasing the competitiveness of transport cluster as a whole. The Kaliningrad region is one of the territories where the formation of an efficient international transport cluster is possible. This article offers a definition of a transport cluster and describes its internal organisation as well as the features of formation thereof in the Kaliningrad region. The practical significance of the article lies in justifying the production of practical recommendations for developing the region’s transport potential based on the cluster theory. One of the major results of the study that is presented in this article is the justification of the need for modernising the information and organisational elements of the regional transport complex alongside modernising the transport system infrastructure.

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Cross-border Tourism in the Russian Northwest: General Trends and Features of Development

As a result of the socioeconomic transformations in the Russian Federation, the openness of border regions under the influence of integration process taking place in the world community facilitates tourist mobility between neighbouring countries. The author describes an approach that considers the border regions of Northwest Russia as attractive destinations for tourists from neighbouring countries. The development of cross-border tourism as a specific form characteristic of only border regions is one of key areas of tourism development in these regions. An assessment of the prospects of developing cross-border tourism in the border regions of Russian Northwest becomes a relevant research objective. The author identifies the specific features and general trends in the development of cross-border tourism in the Russian regions in question. It is proven that Russian border regions are less competitive than the territories of neighbouring states in terms of the development of crossborder tourism. The author also points out to the avenues of stimulating cross-border tourism development in Russian border regions.

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The Development of New Trans-border Water Routes in the South-East Baltic: Methodology and Practice

This article offers an integrative approach to the development of trans-border water routes. Route development is analysed in the context of system approach as integration of geographical, climatic, meaning-related, infrastructural, and marketing components. The authors analyse the Russian and European approaches to route development. The article focuses on the institutional environment and tourist and recreational resources necessary for water route development. Special attention is paid to the activity aspect of tourist resources. At the same time, the development of all routes included an analysis of physical geographical, technological, infrastructural, economic, political, and social aspects. The case of water routes developed in the framework of the Crossroads 2.0 international project is used to describe the practical implementation of the theoretical assumptions. The work also tests the methodology of point rating for objects that can be potentially included in the route. The creation of trans-border water routes is presented as an innovative technology of identifying a territory’s potential and its further development. The authors stress the trans-border nature of water routes is their essential characteristic based on the natural properties of water routes.

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International Relations

The Youth in Kaliningrad, Gdansk and Klaipeda: Geopolitical Vision of the World, Identity and Images of the Other

This work juxtaposes the analysis of the federal discourse on the exclave position of the Kaliningrad region in 1994—2012 based on the screening by the Nezavisimaya gazeta and the results of surveys of students at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and the Universities of Gdansk and Klaipeda using a similar questionnaire. Students of all three universities show latent dissatisfaction with employment prospects, which is manifested in the declared intention to emigrate. The orientation of young residents of Kaliningrad and their peers from Gdansk and Klaipeda towards prevailing connections with Europe is complicated by the uncertainty of the EU-Russia relations. Young residents of Gdansk and Klaipeda reproduce dated stereotypes, and their interest in the Kaliningrad region is limited. However, as the experience of the other countries suggests, local border traffic between the Kaliningrad region and the neighbouring Polish voivodeships can contribute to the improvement of mutual images. Long-lasting eforts to diversify cooperation and promote a positive image of Kaliningrad in the neighbouring Polish regions can prove worthwhile. Apart from the measures aimed at strengthening the region’s economic base, it is necessary to increase the symbolic capital of Kaliningrad to achieve harmonious development of Kaliningrad identity.

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Local Border Traffic as a Form of Visa Liberalisation and Territorial Development

This article addresses the issue of visa liberalisation between Russia and the European Union, which constitutes a key aspect of the parties’ diplomatic cooperation. This work sets out to identify the main results of Russia/EU cooperation. The authors have conducted a brief historical analysis of this area of relations. The visa “regionalisation” is considered in the context of identifying the key actors of the EU — Russia negotiations: the Kaliningrad region, Germany, Poland, and Lithuania. In their analysis, the authors rely mostly on primary sources: intergovernmental agreements on simplified border traffic, border-crossing statistics for the Kaliningrad region in the framework of the local border traffic, expert interviews, and related analytic reports. Specifically, local border traffic is viewed as the most effective form of interaction in the field of visa regime simplification and border territory development. An assessment of the positions of key negotiators shows that local border traffic between the Kaliningrad region of Russia and the Polish border voivodeships is a success, which stresses the need for a prompt transition to a visa-free regime with the EU.

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The Role of Small Countries in Post-Soviet Territorial Restructuring: the Baltic Case

This author analyses the 2013 Lithuanian presidency of the EU in the context of the Ukrainian crisis and evaluates the contribution of Latvia and Estonia (the former Soviet republics set to preside over the EU in 2015 and 2018) to the shift in the power balance in the post-Soviet space. Through assessing the actions of small countries in promoting the Eastern Partnership programme with an emphasis on the anti-Russian agenda, the author concludes that they will inflict harm on the EU in a long-term perspective. These former Soviet republics no longer rely on mere diplomacy, but resort to a whole new problematic narrative, where Russia is described as an “aggressive and unpredictable neighbour” that poses the “threat from the East.” Being more mobile, small countries are able to concentrate power and resources in one or several key areas. This makes it possible for these countries to take advantage of international politics (even if the consequences of such steps are miscalculated) and “feed” on it through — so metimes consciously — creating “conflict nodes” in the relations between major players. This is especially true in the case of states that do not bear responsibility for global stability.

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Economy and Tourism

The Coastal Regions of Europe: Economic Development at the Turn of the 20th Century

This article explores the current condition and spatial dynamics of the key socioeconomic processes in the coastal zone of the European subcontinent at the turn of the 20th century. Europe is a region where the “coastal component” of socioeconomic development plays a major role and is therefore one of the most interesting objects for research in this field. Russian geographical proximity to the European countries, a significant number of shared problems, and a considerable potential for cooperation in solving them and developing the world ocean’s resources create grounds for an integrated study of European coastal regions. The author analyses Russian findings in the field of the socioeconomic development of coastal regions. The differences in the natural and socioeconomic conditions and resources along a significant portion of the European coastline necessitate the zoning of subcontinent’s coastal territories and contiguous water areas. The findings of EU maritime research constitute the economic and statisti cal basis of the study, whose author, relying on necessary calculations, proposes a new concept of coastal regions.The study identifies significant differences in the nature and trends in the development of European coastal regions in the first decade of the 21st century. Thus, Russian coastal regions show the most dynamic development rate. In general, coastal regions are not superior to inland European regions in terms of major development rates.

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The concept of “network” in the system of basic concepts of regional economic geography

The concept of “network” is traditionally used in sociological and economic sciences and serves as an in important object of research on the organisational forms of different phenomena and processes. This article examines the use of the “network” concept in socioeconomic geography through identifying the place of this concept in the system of traditional concepts of this branch of geography: spatial system, territorial production complex, and cluster. The interaction between networks on a certain territory at a certain stage of its development comprises the framework of a region as a complex socioeconomic territorial system. The author examines economic networks as organic systems characterised by resistance to external effects and comprised of interconnected economic agents from one or several related industries. A concentration of strong connections within such network constitutes its core or a cluster. Based on a retrospective analysis of studies into the spatial organisation of economy, it is concluded that there is a need to examine network forms from the perspective of regional socioeconomic geography in the context of managerial decision-making. The regional economic geographical approach to studying network forms of spatial organisation makes it possible to take into account not only the organisational features of the network itself, but also their connections to the related contextual conditions. It is an integrated approach, thus, it makes it possible to forecast the development of a certain network form in case of a change in the conditions or factors affecting it.

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Kaliningrad Architectural Landscape as a Tourist Attraction

The authors consider the development of urban tourism as one of the factors behind the socioeconomic development of a territory. They give estimates for tourism revenues associated with the emergence of a new attraction and its inclusion into travel itineraries and landmark maps. The authors look at the experience of development of historical European towns from the perspective of tourist attractiveness and explore the role of architectural landscape in creating a positive image of a town for tourists; they also provide a background for including historical and cultural landmarks into a traveller’s experience. The authors analyse the results of the international urban development competition for the best concept of the historical area of the centre of Kaliningrad Korolevskaya Gora and Its Surroundings/The Heart of the City. Further, they come up with recommendations on using the most interesting proposals of the contestants from the perspective of tourist attractiveness and identify the possibilities for the development of new architectural landscapes.

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History

The Evolution of Settlement Areas of Ingrian Finns in Northwest Russia in the Second Half of the 20th Century

Based on the nation-wide censuses conducted between 1959 and 2010 in the Soviet Union and in the Russian Federation, as well as on the contemporary data of the Estonian Department of Statistics, the author of this article studies the spatial aspects of the dynamics of the ethnic area of Ingrian Finns within their main settlement area. This is done through utilizing ethnicity-related statistical data of the district at the lowest level of administrative division. The author emphasises a significant increase in the rates of degradation of the Ingiran settlement area in the post-Soviet period, identifies the factors behind it, and considers district differences in the rates of depopulation and assimilation of the Russian Finns. The results of research make it possible to foreground and describe in detail the available information on the spatial organisation of Russian Finnish population in the North-western region of Russia.

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The Works of Modern Russian Historians and the Historiography of Medieval Lithuania before and after the Red October

This article examines the views of modern Russian scholars A. Dvornichenko, M. Krom, A. Filyushkin, and S. Mikhalchenko on the pre-revolutionary and Soviet historiography of medieval Lithuania. Chronological problem analysis constitutes the methodological framework of the study. Special attention is paid to the priorities of the Russian scholars in the analysis of the pre-revolutionary and Soviet Lithuanian studies. It is shown that the disintegration of the Soviet Union marked a new period in research on the historiography of medieval Lithuania. The activation of historical and historiographical studies was a result of a revision of views of Lithuanian past. The authors believe that modern historiography exhibits a “nostalgic” attitude to pre-revolutionary works, while the reception of the later, Soviet-era publications is more critically inclined. Post-Soviet historians do not restrict themselves by describing previous historiography: they also consider factors behind the change in the attitudes to Lithuani an past. Thus, the scholars pay special attention to studying the connection between the political situation and the evolution of the views of Russian scholars on the events of Lithuanian history.

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Reviews

Academic Science on the Interdisciplinary Approach to the Analysis and Evaluation of Russian Spatial Development

Фундаментальные проблемы пространственного развития Российской Федерации: междисциплинарный синтез : коллективная монография. — М. : Медиа-Пресс, 2013. — 663 с.
[Basic problems of the spatial development of the Russian Federation: An interdisciplinary synthesis : multi-authored monograph. — M. : Media-Press, 2013. — 663 pp.]

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Europe without Russia and the Eastern

Пономарева Е., Шишелина Л. Председательство Латвии в ЕС-2015: «Eastern Partnerhsip» вместо или вместе с Россией : аналитический доклад / под ред. О. Гаман-Голутвиной ; Российская ассоциация политической науки. — М., 2014. — 92 с.
[Ponomareva E., Shishelina L. Latvian presidency of the EU-2015: Eastern partnership instead of or with Russia : an analytical report / ed. by O. Gaman-Golutvina ; Russian Political Science Association. — M., 2014. — 92 pp.]

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Economics

Monotowns: A New Take on the Old Problem

The authors of this paper propose an approach to studying risk management in the most vulnerable monotowns that would account for the relations between major stakeholders and use the tools developed in the framework of the new institutional economic theory. Having compared the existing definitions of the “monotown” concept, the authors present their own approach. They identify key reasons behind monotown vulnerability and systematize stakeholders’ risks. The authors then posit that a study of monotown- related issues would be incomplete without accounting for stakeholders’ interests and relations. Monotown problems become apparent in the context of institutional agreements carried out with high transition costs and increased risks of opportunistic behaviour encountered by the institutional agreement stakeholders. Solving these problems through the methods proposed in the article would help to identify a wider range of alternatives while still taking into account all the typical scenarios. The authors analyse the process of risk management in monotowns from the viewpoint of international practices; and identify structural alternatives of outweighing these risks by considering key relations affecting the implementation of each alternative.

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The Baltics in the Geography of the Largest Transnational Corporations of Europe

The aim of this study is to examine the place of the Baltic States on the corporate world map, a contemporary, foreign-investment-driven alternative to the more familiar political map. To this end, the author studies the geographical place of the Baltics in the documentation of transnational corporations. The research database consists of financial reports and presentations of 60 leading European (including Russian) transnational corporations. Special attention is paid to companies from countries with significant FDI stock in the Baltic States. This study is a first step towards analyzing international investors’ interpretation of the new European borders. The connection between the neighborhood effect on FDI distribution and geographical segmentation in the corporate paperwork is established. Some companies use a multilevel division (e. g. Europe/Eastern Europe), where the Baltics is usually associated with “Europe” (with or without Russia and Turkey). However, in some cases the Baltic States are clustered u nder “home market” (as is the case with some Swedish companies), “former Soviet Union” (some Russian companies), “Northern Europe and Central Asia,” and even “Middle East and Eastern Europe." Varying understanding of where exactly th borders of Europe lie could explain the plurality of attitudes of the European business establishment to the EU sanctions against Russia.

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The Belarus Business Environment as Assessed by the Management of Leading Finnish Companies Operating in the Country

Inward foreign investment stock has grown remarkably in Belarus. It increased tenfold since 2000 to reach over $14 billion by the end of 2012. According to the Central Bank of Belarus, Finnish firms have invested nearly $100 million in Belarus making Finland the sixteenth most active foreign investor in the country. Approximately 7,000 companies with foreign capital were registered in Belarus by the beginning of 2013. Finnish companies founded three dozen of these foreign firms. A lack of scientific reports on the perception of foreign businesspeople in the Belarusian business environment necessitated an empirical study. This article studies the attitudes of the directors of Finnish firms operating in Belarus on the Belarusian business environment. In September-October 2013, the author conducted interviews with directors of 10 Finnish corporations. The PEST model was used to describe the perception of the Belarusian business milieu by Finnish businesspeople. The main empirical finding can be summarised by quoting a Finnish CEO, “Belarus is like any other market on the globe with the exception that foreign firms do not want to attract publicity about their activities in the country due to the poor public image of Belarus.”

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International Relations

Latvia in the System of European Territorial Security: a View from the Inside and Outside

This article focuses on Latvian contribution to European security, which, for the purposes of this study, is understood as a territorial system of regional security. Such system is a combination of interconnected institutions with Latvian participation operating in the field of security, Latvian cooperation with other European countries in the field of security, and the European perception of major security challenges and threats (that Latvia may or may not agree with). A systemic approach to studying the role of Latvia in the territorial system of European security requires a solid theoretical framework. The theories of international relations discussed in this article fall into two categories: those where territorial security systems are viewed as a product of external factors, and those that focus on internal regional factors. In this article, the authors rely on a variety of methods, including those that are characteristic of classical theories of international relations (such as realism and liberalism), and those employed in social constructivism studies. It is concluded that Latvian cooperation with institutions and countries of the territorial system of European security is rather limited, which indicates either a lack of the country’s integration into the system or a crisis of the system itself. An important result of the study is the validation of a systemic approach to studying regional security systems. This angle proves particularly useful in identifying crises of territorial systems of regional security in various regions of the world.

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The EU Vs. Russia: Legal Nature and Implementation of the Union’s Restrictive Measures

The author proposes his take on the EU sanctions against Russia. He aims to understand the legal nature of the EU restrictions, the exact procedure of their implementation, revision, and repeal, as well as their judicial review. To this end, he proposes a system of sanction classification, analyses current EU legislation on the imposition and implementation of sanctions, as well as the case law on the sanction policy. The author also examines EU sanctions imposed on other countries and compares them to the Russian ones. He thus comes up with the following classification of sanctions against Russia: individual sanctions, those targeted at Crimea and Sevastopol, and anti-Russian economic sanctions. He concludes that the EU sanctions against Russia are inconsistent with the legal nature of restrictive measures, since they are a punishment rather than a policy tool. The author believes that in the current political conditions it may be difficult for the European Union to reach a unanimous agreement to repeal or prolong the sanctions. This article is inspired by the discussions that took place during the international conference “Russia and the EU: the Question of Trust” held in Luxembourg on November, 28—29 (2014).

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The Kaliningrad Region

Human Resource Efficiency as a Development Factor for the Kaliningrad Economy

Various studies of economic and geographical relations in Russian regions often overemphasise the role of economy. However, the quality and quantity of human resources is one of the key factors behind distribution and development of production. Human resources are of even more importance in the Kaliningrad exclave. This paper aims to increase understanding of the role of human resources in the economic development of the Kaliningrad region. The study uses the cohort component method, scenario-based forecasting of the development and application of human resources, and econometric calculations of the comparative efficiency of human resources application across a range of economic activities. The author puts forward a number of recommendations for a better application of labour resources through sectoral restructurization of economy (which requires a higher value-added standard and has to be consistent with local natural, human, and innovation resources) and through improvement of the professional training system.

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Social Facilitation: the Kaliningrad Region and Russian Mainland Regions

The authors look at the concept of social facilitation as a possible component of Russian social consolidation in the course of social reforms. The article focuses on the results of an empirical study of the levels and characteristics of competence in social facilitation, which is here understood as the ability to apply certain knowledge and systems of skills and as a success rate of actions based on experience in improving the conditions of social development. The study was conducted in the Kaliningrad region in 2012—2013. The data was obtained through a survey of 400 respondents using the authors’ methodology encompassing eight basic elements of competence and a structured interview aimed at a better understanding of the subject of the study and attitudes towards it. The data is compared against the results of a similar study in two regions of central Russia with similar conditions. The results suggest a disharmonic and inconsistent structure of competence in social facilitation, low motivation for social
activity in youth, and a narrow range of ideas about possible areas of personal activities in the current conditions. Gender differences are identified in the level and structure of competence. The authors believe that certain differences in competence components identified through mathematical methods are determined by the geographical characteristics of the Kaliningrad region — its exclave nature, a relatively small territory, and proximity to the EU countries. It is stressed that the regional conditions affecting motivation, forms and areas of activities, and structure of experience should be taken into account in selecting means and methods of organising youth activities. They can also serve as a basis for the regional youth policy.

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Economics and Geography

The Baltic Finnish Peoples Divided by State and Administrative Borders: Territorial Development of the Karelians, Vepsians, and Setos

Ethnocultural diversity of the Russian Federation is not only an important component of its historical heritage but also a significant resource for development. However, a number of ethnic groups are on the brink of extinction. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of changes in state and administrative borders on the territorial and demographic development of small ethnic groups. The article analyses the case of three Baltic Finnish peoples living in the Russian North-West and divided by borders of different levels: Karelians (Finland, the Republic of Karelia, and the Leningrad and Tver regions), Vepsians (the Republic of Karelia and the Leningrad and Vologda regions), and Setos (Estonia and the Pskov region). The analysis is based on the cartographic and statistical demographic data, as well as the results of a complex expedition made in summer 2014 in the Pechory district of the Pskov region. The results of the study show that the assimilation of peoples divided as a result of migration and di vision of their ethnic territory by political borders takes place at an accelerated rate. The study makes it possible to formulate certain recommendations and improve the measures to maintain the language and culture of ethnic minorities of the Russian North-West.

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Structural and Functional Characteristics of the Spatial Development of Rural and Urban Areas in the Northwestern Economic District

This article is dedicated to the problem of increasing spatial polarisation in the population distribution systems of the Leningrad, Novgorod, and Pskov regions. The author examines the impact of development and distribution of factors of production on demographic processes and trends in the transformation of the population distribution system. Based on an analysis of the sectoral structure of economy and demographic development trends, the author proposes a functional typology of urban and rural settlements. He stresses the discrepancy between the established population distribution systems and the demographic trends in regional development. It is suggested in the paper that the overcoming of spatial heterogeneity should be considered at the regional level from the perspective of improving the stability of district population distribution systems and strengthening organisational and economic ties between urban and rural areas. The author issues a number of recommendations for overcoming the spatial differentiation and ensuring a balanced development of district population distribution systems.

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Reviews

International Relations

Russia and the Baltic States: Some Results and a Few Perspectives

Russia has a vested political interest in the Eastern Baltics; yet acting upon this interest is made either difficult or altogether impossible when it comes to the Baltic States. For 20 years, the Russian Federation has been actively promoting a model of mutually beneficial co-operation. The anti-Russian discourse of the Baltic States' political elites — driven by their own wish to maintain their political monopoly — halts most of co-operation efforts. It is time to accept that the previous model of co-operation with the Baltic States is now irrelevant, since these states now form the avant-garde of anti-Russian movement; whether they will — or, indeed, shall — be held accountable for that is another question that bears answering. for which they should certainly be held accountable. The author of this article believes that the current model is unprecedented and failing, so it is unwise to speak of its continuing long-term application. The aim of this study is to draw some conclusions on the 25 years of interg overnmental relations between Russia and the Baltic States. The author uses a number of cross-disciplinary methods and relies heavily on the method of historical analysis. It is concluded that there are reasons rendering mutual co-operation impossible — however beneficial such co-operation may seem. Conservation of the current political system will inevitably lead to economic stagnation in the Baltic States. If external pressures continue to rise and the relations with Russia continue to deteriorate, the destruction of economic and political systems of the neighboring states may become a reality.

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Lithuania's Lonely Leadership 2.0.

The article scrutinizes Lithuanian foreign policy within the framework of the regional leadership concept first introduced in the early 2000s. The reasons of failure of the first leadership attempt in 2004—2008 are analyzed, as are the reasons behind the revival of the concept in 2010 and onwards. While the overall economy seems to be on the mend and the relationships with the adjacent countries (Poland, mostly) are improving, Lithuanian leadership, argues the author, is still very much a subcontract one: it follows the model of “export democracy”, has a narrow agenda and is implicitly geared towards curtailing the influence of its eastern neighbor. The escalation of violence and further development of social and economic crisis in Ukrane make a European-style reform (where Lithuania is a selfproclaimed expert) even less relevant, and confrontational rhetoric towards Russia may lead to economic losses and contribute to rising political tension in the region.

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International Co-operation

On Russian/Nordic Investment Competition in the Baltic States

The researchers often overlook the relationships between Russian and Nordic investment capital; and even less attention is paid to studying the competition between the two. Yet this subject can be of particular relevance to the areas that are geographically, historically and culturally close to both Russia and the Nordic countries. Thus, the aim of this article is to understand how the competition between Russian and Nordic capital investment is played out in the Baltic States. The study discusses the principles of Russian and Nordic investment in the Baltic, and suggests ways to regulate these relations. To this end, we compare the investment conditions created in the Baltic States for both Russian and Nordic investors. The analysis shows that most of the Baltic market is controlled by the Nordic capital, which blocks the arrival of Russian investment to the Baltic States. With a nod to a number of previous studies, the authors of this article suggest some adjustments to the theory of foreign direct investment. The study will be also of practical interest to those Russian investors who are seeking entry points to the Baltic markets.

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Russian-Estonian Economic and Investment Cooperation During the Crisis: Dynamics and Possibilities

The article deals with the development in Russian-Estonian relations during the crises of 2007 and 2014, taking into consideration the balance between political and economic factors in the decision-making by Estonian government. A number of special aspects, trends and problems in trade and investment ties are detected. The aim of the study is to uncover key motivation behind the actions of both Russia and Estonia, to identify the drivers for economic and political development in the region, and to work out recommendations to adjust them. The questions put forward by the authors of this article could not be more topical at the time, when Russian economic situation is obviously getting worse and capital flight (to the neighboring EU Member States) is likely to increase. The method of the study is comparative analysis of the impact on economic ties made by Russian-Estonian crisis of 2007 and the current international tension around Ukraine. The regional fossil fuel market and the possibilities of Gazprom involvement in its development are also analyzed. It is concluded that political motives are still important for Estonian decisionmaking, though they are balanced out by measures of business support (despite some of these measures being taken by the EU bodies). The role of political factor for the Russian side is increasing. It is acknowledged that there is a growing number of missed economic opportunities in the Russian Northwest.

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Domestic Policies

Estonian Political Parties in the mid-2010s

The article provides an analysis of political party system of the Republic of Estonia in the mid-2010s. The analysis is based on the works of Moris Duverger. As one might expect, the establishment of proportionate electoral system in Estonia has resulted in the formation of a multi-party system, in which no single party dominates in the parliament even in a short run. The article demonstrates that though Estonian political party system develops in line with the tendencies typical to political party systems of most European countries, some of its elements are more common to postcommunist countries. It indicates that the political party system in Estonia has stabilized throughout the past decade. Today, five sixths of voters support one of the four main political parties. A minority of voters does not consider any of the four dominant parties as a representative of their interests; thus, they vote for parties that had not been previously represented in the parliament. This allowed for two minor political parties to pass into the parliament at 2015 elections: the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, and Free Party. In the long run the minor parties will be able to keep parliamentary seats depending on their ability to build coalitions, either with the three governing parties — Reform Party, Pro Patria and Republic Union, and Social-Democratic Party, or with opposition Centre Party. The article considers the impact of the split in the Estonian society between ethnic Estonians and Russophonic people on political party system. It demonstrates that the majority of Russophonic voters in Estonia support the Centre Party, every major political party in the country has its Russophonic voters, while Estonian United Left Party, which promotes itself as a particular representative of the country’s Russophonic minority, remains a marginal political force.

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The Role of Political Elites in the Development of Politics of Memory in the Baltic States

The article focuses on multiple cases of the politicization of history by the Baltic political elites. Three states of development of politics of memory in the Baltic States are identified. Problems of political exploitation of the past are scrutinized in the context of political life and international relations. It is concluded that the narratives of the past where nazi and Soviet legacies are equated are actively promoted on the pan-European level. Elites of the Baltic States play a salient role in this process and enhance ties with the elites of the Eastern Europe, expert and political communities of the Western Europe and USA. The dominant trends in the development of the historical politics in the Baltic countries are the administrative and legislative instruments for approval of the preferred narratives of the past, as well as an active political work at the international level aimed at the inclusion of the Baltic narratives of the past into the European politics of memory. Historical politics of the Baltic States shows the Baltic countries as the victims of "two totalitarianisms" ("Nazi and Soviet occupation"), and this point of view is widely used as a foreign policy tool. The politicization of the "anti-totalitarianism" issue is now a popular foreign policy tool that not only serves the interests of the Baltic and Eastern European politicians, but also finds ideological supporters in Western Europe and the United States.

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Polish Accession to the European Union: Participating Institutions

In May 2014 it was aready ten years since Poland’s accession to the European Union. The accession was preceded by a long period of political action and negotiations between the Polish and the EU institutions. The process of integration was extremely complex. It covered almost all areas of economic, legal and civil aspects of the aspiring country’s economy, in which all necessary requirements had to be met. The aim of the article was to present the institutional framework created for efficient implementation of the process of accession. The considerations involved especially an institutional method. The research resulted in poining out both the actually efficient and less efficient bodies participating in the process of integration.

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Discussion

Russian Socio-Economic Geography: Status, Challenges, Perspectives

The socio-economic geography studies the processes, characteristics and patterns of spatial development. In the recent decades, however, this area of scientific investigation has failed its promise, which happened for a number of external and internal reasons. The main external reason is the development of "consumer society", which does not require the search of new space and therefore ignores the "spatial" science, geography. Internal reason is the blurring of socio-economic geography along the variety of new lines of research. The discipline was, in many ways, redundant, and unselective in the application of theoretical and methodological tools liberally borrowed from other branches of both geography and economics. The only way this discipline can return to its former glory is by going all the way back to doing proper spatial research.

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The Development of Russian Social Geography: Challenges, Trends, Priorities

Promoting the development of social geography (one of the most important components of present-day social sciences) is especially important for contemporary Russia. In the last 25 years Russian social geography has seen dramatic disciplinary changes. On the one hand, it has widened its scope. On the other hand, it has suffered from a growing contradiction between the popularization of the social geographic knowledge, the need to have a clear understanding of the factors and results of a multi-scale territorial social and economic dynamics, and the limits of the field (with its organizational structure, possibilities and practitioners desperately falling behind the times). The aim of this article is to analyze the post-soviet period of the development of social geography to identify the strengths and weaknesses that the discipline has demonstrated, the challenges it still has to overcome and the priorities it has yet to formulate. It is shown how the traditional dimensions of social geography (with their focus on humanities, culture, economics, geography or environment, respectively) not only keep their value but acquire new meanings. The author concludes about the importance and the strategies of further integration within the community of social geography researchers, and points out the directions of future research: fundamental issues of Russian spatial planning, Russian positioning in both global and local (Eurasian) contexts.

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Economics and Education

Improving Human Resource Training Policy for the Balanced Economic and Demographic Development of the Kaliningrad Region

Balanced economic and demographic development is vital for ensuring the dynamic and proportional development of the regions. However, Russia as a whole and the exclave region of Kaliningrad as its integral part demonstrate significant disproportions between the need for human resources and their availability. This article aims to assess the balance between the components of the regional system of demography, education and economy system. It also explores the possible solutions to the problems revealed. The study relies on a modified concept of regional eco-nomic and demographic situation that supplements traditional analysis of the connection between the demographic characteristics of regional population and economy with the ‘education’ component. The author identifies disproportions in both quantity (lack/excess) and quality (level of training and occupational structure Vs. the needs of the region) of human resources. The number of specialists in the humanities trained at universities heavily outweighs that in engineering and technology. The number of skilled workers trained in the region is insufficient. Frequent changes in the economic specialisation complicate an accurate forecast of the need for human resources. The rectification of disproportions requires comprehensive interdisciplinary studies within the demography/education/economy system at all territorial and regional levels, which will make it possible to produce a reliable forecast for each element of the system.

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Evolution of International Research Cooperation models in the Contemporary Foreign Policy Environment

This article focuses on the principle models of international research and academic cooperation. The author divides international academic cooperation into periods and analyses the evolution of the connection between foreign policy and international cooperation in education and research aimed at raising the prestige and improving the position of a state in the international arena. The author focuses on the non-linear nature of periods stemming from the fact that different states are characterized by different (non-linear) time cycles resulting from the differences in cultural and historical backgrounds and dissimilar foreign policy contents and formats. Through comparing a variety of foreign policy approaches (including that of the Russian Federation), the author answers the question about the contribution of universities to the development of mechanisms of cooperation and mutual understanding in the modern world — a world increasingly influenced by information and communication technologies.

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Economic and Geographical Development of the Russian Northwest

Social and Economic Space Compression in Border Areas: the Case of the Northwestern Federal District

The so-called “compression” of social and economic space has been the subject of quite a few studies in the past decades. There are two principle types of compression: communicative, that is, associated with the development of transport and information systems, and physical, manifested in the rapid decrease of the number of new territories to explore. While physical and communicative compression are interrelated, they have different spatial expressions depending on geographical conditions, economic, environmental, historical, and political characteristics of the re-gion. The authors identify the patterns of communicative and physical space com-pression using comparative mapping, statistical and historical research methods, and a model showing the spatial differentiation of regional socioeconomic charac-teristics in the Northwestern Federal District. The study focuses on border areas, where the following key manifestations of compression have been identified: trans-port connectivity, level of agriculture development, and depopulation. All these indicators of space compression process are studied at the municipal level. The authors identify the key features of socioeconomic space compression for the border areas of the Russian Northwest.

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Saint Petersburg as a Global Coastal City: Positioning in the Baltic Region

The Baltic region consists of coastal areas of nine countries — Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. The region’s hubs are the port cities located along the Baltic Sea coast. However, Peter Taylor and Saskia Sassen’s classification identifies higher status cities and ‘global cities’, which are to be considered in the global context. Seven coastal regions are distinguished within this region, whose organising centers are the global coastal cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Riga, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, and Malmö. The concept of a “global city-region” (Sassen) can be used as a methodological framework for analyzing this connection. Within this hierarchy, the dominant alpha group global city is Stockholm. The authors argue that, as a global coastal city, St. Petersburg forms the St. Petersburg coastal region, which can be defined as a typical "global city region". The index method shows that the position of St. Petersburg in the system of global coastal cities of the Baltic region is relatively favorable in view of its transport, logistics, and demographic potential and the advantageous geo-economic situation. St. Petersburg has certain competitive advantages in the region brought about by its demographic potential, port freight capacity, and the favorable geo-economic position of the "sea gate" of Russia. However, the level of high-tech services and ‘new economy’ development is not sufficient for the port to become a match for the top three cities (Stockholm, Helsinki, and Copenhagen). This is increasingly important because transboundary global city networks demonstrate that global cities are functions of global networks. Saint Petersburg is just starting to integrate into these networks through the Pulkovo airline hub and seaports of Ust-Luga, Primorsk, and Saint Petersburg.

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Model Structure and Content of a Comprehensive Maritime Plan: the Case of Kaliningrad

The need for maritime spatial planning is articulated in the Strategy for Marine Development of the Russian Federation until 2030. However, Russian legislation contains no provisions regulating this field. This article presents the results of a study aimed to devise a methodology for developing the model structure of a maritime plan for the Baltic Sea. The study methodology is based on current regulations on marine use and na-ture management as well as international maritime planning practices. Since marine planning is closely connected with spatial planning, the study pays special attention to their convergence in developing maritime plans. The authors stress the need for legislative efforts aimed at integrating marine planning in the current legal framework for the regional authorities of different territorial levels. The structure and contents of the maritime plan and the methodological framework for suggested measures are based on relevant regulations, publications, and maps. The main result of the study is the identification of functional offshore areas of federal, regional, and local significance. The research significance of this study is associated with the further development of strategic planning, namely, marine planning. Its practical significance is in devising the legal and methodological framework for marine spatial planning.

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Opportunities and Challenges of Large Investment Projects in the New Economy: the Port of Ust-Luga

The aim of this study is to search for a mechanism for implementing large investment projects of crucial economic importance in the modern economic conditions characterized by the sanction policy of foreign states, limited public investment, and a mass exodus of foreign investors. An example of a large-scale investment project is the construction of a multipurpose multimodal complex — the commercial seaport of Ust-Luga. This is one of the most recent large projects in seaport infrastructure development. This article estimates the project’s significance for the development of the Baltic region and presents a competitive analysis of the seaport position in comparison to the largest European ports. The authors analyze the strengths of the seaport construction project, namely, the favorable natural environment and climate, advantageous geographical position, strong political will demonstrated by the federal and regional authorities. The article also considers the challenges the project faces — unfortunate geopolitical situation, growing competition from other seaports, and lack of investment. Based on the analysis of challenges, it is concluded that there are significant risks associated predominantly with lack of investment. In these conditions, a large investment project requires the enhancement of public-private partnership, which will ensure the timely implementation of such projects

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Economy of the Kaliningrad Region

Towards a Stable and Dynamic Economy in the Kaliningrad Region

The economy of the Kaliningrad exclave is not sufficiently stable and is heavily affected by external factors. This work aims to estimate the current economic situation in the region and explore possible ways to increase the stability of regional economy. The study employs economic statistical methods and identifies factors affecting regional development. The author analyses the dependence of the manufacturing industry on customs and tax privileges under the law On the Special Economic Zone in the Kaliningrad region and federal programmes supporting the development of manufacturing and social infrastructure. The article stresses that the abolition of customs privileges in 2016 will result in a significant reduction in industrial output, since a lot of production is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and components. It is expected that the companies enjoying customs privileges to produce goods for the national market will receive government support for reequipment. Effective use of the allocated funds would require setting up a regional programme identifying priority areas of regional economic development thus ensuring economic stability. There is also a need to support companies ensuring the economic — including food — security of the region.

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Matrix Representation of the Kaliningrad Regional Accounts System: Experimental Development and Modelling Prospects

This article addresses the task of creating a regional Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) in the Kaliningrad region. Analyzing the behavior of economic systems of national and sub-national levels in the changing environment is one of the main objectives of macroeconomic research. Matrices are used in examining the flow of financial resources, which makes it possible to conduct a comprehensive analysis of commodity and cash flows at the regional level. The study identifies key data sources for matrix development and presents its main results: the data sources for the accounts development and filling the social accounting matrix are identified, regional accounts consolidated, the structure of regional matrix devised, and the multiplier of the regional social accounting matrix calculated. An important aspect of this approach is the set target, which determines the composition of matrix accounts representing different aspects of regional performance. The calculated multiplier suggests the possibility of modelling of a socioeconomic system for the region using a social accounting matrix. The regional modelling approach ensures the matrix compliance with the methodological requirements of the national system

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Russian Spatial Development: General Patterns

Russian Population Ethnic Structure: Trends and Transformations

Based on the census data from 1989, 2002 and 2010, the article analyzes the evolution of the ethnic structure of the population of the post-Soviet Russia from the territorial perspective. The stability of the ethnic structure of the “Russian mega nucleus” and indigenization of the national regions are considered in view of the differences in migration trends during the two inter-census periods and the socioeconomic situation in the regions. The urbanization rate of major ethnic groups is an indirect indicator of the prospects of traditional “primordial” ethnic identities in different ethnic groups. Special attention is paid to new trends — an increase in the number of people refraining from answering the question about their ethnic identity or giving an unclear answer. Alongside serious census errors, this phenomenon can be a result of growing complexity of the ethnic identity structures and the processes of modernization, which occur at different rates in Russian and national regions. Based on the 2010 census data, the article analyses the differences in polyethnicity between the rural and urban population, which are accounted for by the historical background, particularities of regional development, settlement features, and migration processes of the past two decades.

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Key Directions of Sectoral and Spatial Changes in the Russian Industry

This article considers major trends in the spatial and sectoral structure of national production and analyses the patterns of transformation of industrial systems into integrated industrial complexes, which show higher efficiency in transit condiétions. The author presents a new approach to studying the structural transformation of industrial systems during the transition of the national economy, which will make it possible to identify major trends in national production. The article seeks to draw attention to the methodology of developing and implementing industrial policy and devising an algorithm of effective transition of Russian industries in the modern conditions of international division of labor. The modernization and transnationalization of national production rests on a number of methods that make it possible for the corporate management to react rapidly to changes in the global market situation. These methods include strategic segmentation, analyzing the ability to adapt to the expected conditions, devising a company’s entrepreneurial strategy, and changes in the spatial and industrial structure of production. The transformation of national industry is associated with the introduction of mechanisms of industrial integration structures using single organizational production modules capable of rational combination and transformation of the elements of national production structure to create competitive transnational production associations, such as clusters and other production forms serving as ‘growth poles’ and becoming elements of the emerging framework for national production. This methodology makes it possible to develop new approaches, methods, and principles for analyzing the transformation of the national spatial and industrial system during economic transition. Current factors, features, patterns and trends in the transformation of national industrial systems are identified; a mechanism for devising and implementing a more structured industrial policy in Russia is developed

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Economics

Motivations of Russian firms to invest abroad: how do sanctions affect Russia’s outward foreign direct investment?

In 2013, Russia’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) soared and the OFDI stock exceeded $ 500 billion. However, a year later, Russia’s OFDI dropped by nearly 15 per cent. Rapid upward and downward swings make it necessary to analyze the motivation of Russian firms to invest abroad as well as to assess the impact of sanctions on Russian OFDI. The author points out that a significant part of Russia’s outward FDI stock is accounted for by the operations of Russian corporations in their home market. It is concluded that although Western sanctions target a relatively small number of Russian citizens and companies, they nevertheless affect some of Russia’s key people, largest banks, and hydrocarbon producers. Therefore, their direct impact could be substantial. Alongside the direct impact, one should consider their indirect impact, such as the tumbling rouble exchange rate and Russian banks’ increasing interest rates, which decrease Russian firms’ capability to invest abroad. Moreover, a less amicable politic al atmosphere in the West may push some Russian corporations out of the Western markets and diminish the enthusiasm of new ones to enter them. Today, Russia’s counter-sanctions do not directly restrict the country’s OFDI, but Russian state-owned enterprises may reach a decision to hold foreign investments to support Russia’s sanction policy.

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The Baltic economic model: some results of the 1990—2015 transformations

During the last 25 years, the economy of the Baltic States has been developing in the conditions of sovereignty, both de facto and de jure. This period has been sufficient to identify regular patterns in the national economic models. Studies into the nature of the economic development of the Baltic States have a considerable practical and scientific significance. On the one hand, the three Baltic States are a part of the post-Soviet space. The nature, success or failures of their economies contribute to a more accurate assessment of Russia’s development. On the other hand, it is the second decade of the Baltic States’ EU membership, and the countries’ experience is very relevant. The article identifies and analyses key characteristics of the Baltic States’ economic model. The author puts forward a hypothesis on two stages of the economic transformation undergone by the Baltic States. The first stage is characterised by a combination of transformation and modernisation whereas the second - by transformation accompanied by a number of destructive trends in the economy. The current economic model demonstrates limited stability, partly due to deliberately severed economic ties with Russia.

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Politics

On crisis trends in the legitimacy of the political regimes of the Baltic States

This article considers the legitimacy of political regimes in the Baltic States by analysing three major parameters: confidence in political institutions, level of corruption, and the development of their party systems. The author identifies the major crisis trends in the legitimacy of the political regimes of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The article stresses the problem of legitimacy reproduction resulting from the limited representation of the national party systems. Special attention is paid to compensatory mechanisms used by political elites to ‘artificially’ reproduce legitimacy. It makes sense to analyse the deficit of legitimacy in the Baltic States not only in the context of threats to democratic institutions but also considering weaknesses of public institutions and insufficient resources to ensure stateness. This requires developing a hypothesis about smaller states ‘importing’ legitimacy from larger states and intergovernmental organisations, in whose zone of influence they are included. In other words, the EU and NATO can provide smaller states not only with economic and military resources but also legitimation ‘resources’ using their prestige to support the belief of local residents that there is no alternative to the current political system of social organisation. Legitimacy deficit increases the risks of a rift between political elites in the Baltic States, which can become a prologue to a deep political crisis. In these conditions, compensatory mechanisms cannot be considered as targeted exclusively at broad social strata. They are also aimed at political elites, whose consolidation or ‘encapsulation’ is achieved by exaggerating external threats and resorting to repressive measures in an attempt to develop an ethnonational consensus. These methods are used to ensure self-preservation of the Baltic States political regimes within the current ideological and institutional configuration.

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Legal aspects of the EU policy on irregular immigration

This article addresses the issues pertaining to the adoption and development of legislation on irregular migration in the context of uncontrolled growth in the number of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East to the EU. The article attempts at studying the EU legislation on irregular migration, classifying it, and analysing the prospects of EU migration legislation in the light of an increase in irregular immigration into the EU. The author systematises, classifies the current EU legislation on irregular immigration, and analyses the conditions, in which this legislation was developed. Using the legislation analysis method, the author proposes the following system of EU legislation on irregular immigration: rules preventing assistance to irregular immigration, rules preventing employment of irregular immigrants, rules on the return of irregular migrants and readmission, rules on border control, and rules on collaboration with third countries. The author pays special attention to analysing the current state of irregular immigration to the EU, which was dubbed the ‘greatest migration crisis in Europe’. The conclusion is that the European Union succeeded in the development of pioneering legislation on irregular immigration, which can serve as the basis for reception by other states. However, changes in the political and economic situation in the EU’s southern borderlands made the current legal mechanisms incapable of withstanding new threats. It necessitates a radical reform of the legislation on irregular immigration.

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The concept of the European Union’s normative power

Traditionally, studies into a state’s foreign policy focus on the international situation and national interests of the parties. However, such approach does not completely conform to the objectives of studies into the foreign policy of the European Union – an example of unique integration of states. One of the modern approaches aimed to describe the nature of the EU as an actor in world politics is the concept of the EU’s ‘normative power’ arguing that the ‘power’ of the EU lies in the ability to change the international community’s idea of the ‘norm’. The concept of the EU’s ‘normative power’ is the focus of the article. The author describes the historical background of EU’s foreign (and to a degree, domestic) policy, assuming that the policy is a ‘product’ of its time. The article examines three approaches to understanding these concepts and analyses the correlation between the ‘normative’ and ‘soft power’ as well as related contradictions. In conclusion, the author identifies prospects of studies into the сoncept of ‘normative power’ of the European Union.

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A ‘divided history’: the politics of memory on the territory of the former East Prussia in the light of current discussions

In the humanities and social sciences, the politics of memory and related culture of remembrance increase their significance, affecting legislation, historiography, and political science. This article aims to present key approaches to studying the politics of memory and employ them to the analysis of the politics of memory on the territory of the former German province of East Prussia. The author shows different research perspectives on the key concepts of memory studies. Some researchers identify the notion of the ‘politics of memory’ with that of the ‘politics of history’, while others distinguish between them. The author evaluates the effects of using the category of ‘memory sites’. Applying the method of historiographical analysis, the author examines similarities of and differences between approaches to the politics of history and the politics of memory. The author evaluates the effects of using the notions of ‘memory sites’ and ‘memory conflicts’ in the Baltic Region states, and reviews recent works of historians and political scientists on the changes in the culture of remembrance in Russia in general and the Kaliningrad region in particular during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. Modern historiography is used as an example to demonstrate that ‘memory sites’ and the ‘politics of history’ are the most relevant concepts in the study of the culture of remembrance and identity, whereas a comparative analysis proves to be effective for the identification of the main features of the politics of memory on the territory of the former East Prussia.

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Human geography

Socioeconomic typology of Russia’s coastal regions

The relevance of this study stems from the importance of Russia’s coastal regions for the development of the national economy and foreign economic ties. There are significant differences between coastal regions, which should be taken into account when devising a regional development policy. The article aims to identify specific features of Russia’s coastal regions, compare them with other national regions, provide a typology of them, and identify possibilities and areas of their socioeconomic development. The author employs theoretical and empirical methods of classifying regions within J. Friedmann’s theoretical framework. The article distinguishes between five socioeconomic types and a number of subtypes of Russian regions and identifies key areas of development for each types. The author’s conclusions can be used for formulating the regional policy of Russia and development policies of its regions.

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Local border traffic and the development of retail trade in the Kaliningrad region and Polish borderlands

Signing the agreement on local border traffic (LBT) between the Republic of Poland and the Russian Federation was welcomed by experts as an important step towards the future visa-free regime between the European Union and the Russian Federation often discussed in the international dialogue. The three years of LBT mechanism have shown its practical significance for the development of research and cultural contacts, cooperation between municipalities and NGOs of the Kaliningrad region and the borderland (Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian) voivodeships of Poland. When considering retail trade as a structural element of economy, it is important to address the differences in the effect LBT has had on the development of this sector in the Kaliningrad region and the neighbouring Polish voivodeships. According to Russian experts, LBT results in 7-20% losses in the Kaliningrad region’s retail sales, whereas in Poland LBT stimulates retail trade (accounting for 12% of sales in the border voivodeships). This article analyses the role of LBT in the development of retail trade in the Kaliningrad region and the Polish border voivodeships as well as prospects of its development in view of the changing geopolitical situation and adjustment of the currency exchange rates at the end of 2014. Based on statistics and analytical data, the authors arrive at the conclusion that the positive effect of LBT outdoes its negative impact on various sectors of the border regions’ economies, including retail trade.

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Lutheranism in Finland: past and present

The article focuses on the spatial and temporal differentiation of Lutheranism in Finland. The study aims to identify historical and geographical features of the development of Lutheran space in Finland, as well as modern trends in its transformation. This study is very relevant, since Lutheranism is currently the major confession in Finland and religion tends to strongly affect the system of values and worldview prevalent in society. The article describes the administrative structure transformation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. It is argued that Finnish Lutheranism emerged in 1923. The religious and national unity of Finland contributed to bringing together the Finnish society during the Winter War, the Continuation War, and the post-war reconstruction of Finland. In the following decades, the number of Lutheran parishes and parishioners decreased. These processes were most pronounced in the first years of the 21st century. Probably, they mark the beginning of Finland’s transition to a ‘new society’ that is not based on Christian values. Similar processes are observed in other countries of United Europe. The authors establish a connection between secularisation processes in the society and changes in the administrative structure of the Lutheran church of Finland. A decrease in the number of Lutherans is accompanied by the closure or merger of the church primary territorial units - parishes. Probably, this process will be followed by the transformation of the diocesan division.

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Ecology

Assessing spatial and temporal changes in the landscape vulnerability in the Kaliningrad region as an element of sustainable spatial planning

The relevance of applied regional studies aimed at solving problems of adapting the nature management and spatial planning system to the current conditions of natural landscape transformation is based on the widespread interest in this topic from Russian and international researchers. Environmental approaches, which gained currency at the legislative level elsewhere in Europe, are virtually absent in the Russian system of spatial planning. This results in the emergence of and increase in the number of nature management conflicts at the regional and local levels and creates problems for using advanced international experience in problem solving. This study aims to establish a methodology for a comprehensive assessment of the Kaliningrad region’s territory according to the degree of landscape vulnerability to the anthropogenic impact in spatial and temporal aspects. In practical terms, this study demonstrates the possibility of introducing environmental approaches into the system of regional spatial planning in view of the geoecological, economic, geographical, and historical factors. The key result of this study is the preparation of cartographic documents describing changes in landscape vulnerability of the Kaliningrad region. These documents serve as the basis for proposals aimed at optimising the regional nature management system. The findings of the study make it possible to augment the existing approaches to spatial planning in the Kaliningrad region and its municipalities.

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The effect of railway network evolution on the Kaliningrad region’s landscape environment

This article addresses methodology of modern landscape studies from the perspective of natural and man-made components of a territory. Railway infrastructure is not only an important system-building element of economic and settlement patterns; it also affects cultural landscapes. The study of cartographic materials and historiography made it possible to identify the main stages of the development of the Kaliningrad railway network in terms of its territorial scope and to describe causes of the observed changes. Historically, changes in the political, economic, and military environment were key factors behind the development of the Kaliningrad railway network. Nature was less important. The existing Kaliningrad railway network is to a great degree the legacy of the earlier, pre-war times. Today, its primary function is to provide international cargo and passenger transportation. Two types of railway infrastructure are identified in the Kaliningrad region – modern (functioning) and relic (abandoned) ones. In the Kaliningrad region, the process of land reclamation of the railway system starts when the maintenance of railroads is discontinued, which is followed by the formation of primitive soils and emerging biocenoses enhanced by fill soils and artificial relief.

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International relations

The Baltic Sea region and increasing international tension

For many years, the Baltic Sea region stood out for its remarkable stability. The dramatic changes following the end of the Cold War did not have a profound effect on the territory. However, Russia's cooperation with other states in the Baltic Sea region began to lose momentum. This paper discusses the negative effects of the Ukrainian and Syrian crises and the increasing tension between Russia and other countries in the Baltic Sea region. In the short term, these trends are unlikely to re¬verse. Of the two possible scenarios — suspending relations until a solution to the political and military problems is found or trying to make use of every opportunity in economy, culture, science, education, etc., — the latter is preferable. A breakdown in regional cooperation will weaken Russia’s position. However, gaining positive momentum may prove instrumental in overcoming the confrontation between Russia and the West in the future.

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Eastern Europe. On the centenary of the political project

This article describes the characteristics of Eastern Europe as a political pro-ject. The author considers the genesis of Eastern Europe as a political region and identifies several periods in its history. The author analyses key features of sover-eignization- desovereignization of the region and examines geopolitical projects of Intermarium. It is shown that Eastern Europe as such is an objective reality, whose history has not ended. At the same time, the author advances and proves the thesis that various ‘Baltic/Black Sea’ cooperation models aimed at isolating Russia act against the interests of all participants of the political process. A number of meth¬ods, including the historical and structural functional analyses and the system ap¬proach are used in the study. The central hypothesis is that, as a political project, Intermarium reflects an important part of the systemic features of Eastern Europe as a political region. However, it is not identical to the region in terms of its geography or political regionalism. The anti-Russian sentiment of the Intermarium project is dominant. Yet, it is not immanent in this group of concepts. Reformatting the Inter¬marium concept in line with the new Moscow-Warsaw-Berlin cooperation model can be considered a feasible political task, which requires an adequate scientific solution. Moreover, Eastern Europe has reached the point of bifurcation. The region may become another new source of instability in Europe. Intermarium projects — a traditional object of research – have to be re-evaluated in the new political and eco¬nomic conditions. This article is a step in this direction.

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The US ballistic missile defence policy in the Baltic and Nordic regions

This article examines the implications of the deployment of the US ballistic missile defense (BMD) system in the Baltic and Nordic regions. These implications are to be considered to ensure Russia’s military security. Using the structural-functional method, the authors analyse the internal structure of the US BMD in Europe, stages of its implementation, and its influence on the military equilibrium in the region. Being similar to other regional missile defence systems of the Pentagon, BMD in Europe increases the offensive capabilities of the US armed forces and its allies and in doing so, it stops performing a purely defensive mission declared by Washington. It is stressed that the deployment of mobile sea- and land-based BMD elements in the Baltic Sea region and Nordic countries will inevitably destabilize the strategic situation and may lead to a new round of arms race in the region. The efficacy of BMD in Europe is evaluated from the perspective of military technology. The system’s potential threats to Russia’s military security and its armed forces are assessed. The article considers measures to enhance national security that could be taken by Russia provided the US plans to deploy BMD in Europe are fully implemented.

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Key actors of German ‘soft power’ in the Baltics

This article focuses on Germany’s key ‘soft power’ actors promoting the country’s interests in the Baltics. The authors analyse the policies of ‘soft power’ aimed to create a positive image of Germany in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The article examines the activity of German political foundations, research institutions, communities, language centres, and scientific and cultural organisations. It is stressed that Germany makes use of the Baltics’ historical familiarity with German traditions in implementing its policy in these countries. The study suggests that German political and educational foundations are major actors of German soft power. It is shown that the development of a multilevel German language learning system incorporating various courses and scholarship programmes is one of the central strategies of German foundations. This strategy uses ‘High German’ as a means to integrate the Baltic audience into the German information space. The German language serves as a basis for popularisation of the German educational system and educational standards, on the one hand, and partnership institutionalisation, cooperation, and integration on the other. It is concluded that, alongside Sweden and Russia, Germany is a major foreign policy player in the Baltics.

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The Baltic policy of Germany and current international relations

This article analyses the Baltic policy of united Germany from the 1990s until today. The authors set out to identify the significance of German-Baltic relations and the role of the Eastern policy in Russian-German relations. The method of dynamic comparison between the political and economic narrative in intergovernmental relations makes it possible to identify distinctive features of Germany’s Baltic policy in the context of current international relations. In particular, it is noted that Germany was most active in the Baltic region in the 1990s, when the country was establishing political, economic, and cultural ties with the new independent states. In the second half of the 1990s, Germany’s foreign policy became less intense. After the accession of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to the EU and NATO in 2004, certain disagreements started to arise between Germany and the Baltics. It explains the lukewarm relations between them. The Ukraine events brought about a change in Germany’s regional policy. Despite Russia remaining one of the key economic and political counteractors, Germany, being a partner of the Baltics in the EU and NATO, cannot adopt a neutral position in the conflict of interests between the Baltics and Russia.

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International cooperation

Local border traffic as an efficient tool for developing cross-border cooperation

Local border traffic (LBT) is a tool for cooperation between the EU member states and neighbouring countries. It emerged as a measure to mitigate the barrier effect of the EU’s external border. In 2006, the European Parliament authorised the EU member states to conclude bilateral agreements on a simplified border crossing regime in border areas. This article analyses local border traffic as a cross-border cooperation tool. The territory described in the study includes the external borders of the EU (and Norway) with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. The article will be of interest to specialists in international and, particularly, in cross-border cooperation. The authors analyse the mechanism of local border traffic and identify possible trends based on the general socioeconomic situation and foreign policy background in Russia, Belarus, and the EU (Norway). The article employs the cartographic method to enhance the visual component of the study. It is concluded that the LBT mechanism is effective and it has a positive effect on the development of border contacts between countries. There is a need to continue the dialogue between Russia, Belarus and the EU countries on both expanding the geographical scope of the LBT mechanism and ensuring its qualitative development.

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Society

Social conflicts as seen by residents of Saint Petersburg: An empirical study

This article describes the attitudes of Saint Petersburg residents to social conflicts. The author analyses their assessments of danger associated with social tension in the Russian society. This tension becomes particularly pronounced during the time of economic, social, and political turbulence. The research aims to examine the existing threats and identify opportunities for reducing social tension. The article makes a practical contribution to the development of social policy and civil society. The author describes the attitudes of Saint Petersburg residents to various social conflicts. They believe that religious and ethnic conflicts are the most dangerous ones and consider ‘conflicts over property and status’ a minor threat. Residents, associating themselves with the middle class, are more inclined to stress the danger of religious conflicts compared to those who associate themselves with the lower class, which is corroborated by a comparison of real incomes. The intensity of personal anxiety, experienced in the presence of people differing from the respondents, can be described in the following way: the most acute anxiety is caused by people of a different nationality, followed by nationals of other countries and members of other religions, then people with differing political views, and compatriots from other Russian regions. These data make it possible to identify hidden connections and patterns in the socio-demographic structure of these attitudes, which can be instrumental in obtaining a comprehensive picture of threats and emerging social conflicts and, hence, in preventing them.

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Kaliningrad region

Changes in the cultural landscape of the Kaliningrad region’s periphery in the 19th/20th centuries

This article considers the development of cultural landscapes on the agricultural periphery of the Kaliningrad region. These territories are analysed in view of historical, geographical, social, economic, and political factors. Owing to its history, the Kaliningrad region boasts a unique combination of cultural landscape elements. Thus, the genesis and development conditions of the region’s cultural landscape are important aspects for the identification of its components — settlement pattern, settlement hierarchy, land use type, transport system, economic ties, etc. It is well known that the key role in the formation of a cultural landscape is played by the level of socioeconomic relations, which affects the landscape type and composition. Historiography and the study of maps made it possible to identify certain stages of cultural landscape evolution, analyse the course of its historical development, and assess its transformations in different periods. The following types of transformations of cultural landscape elements were identified — settlement planning, changes in the number of settlements, settlement patterns, land use planning and management, amelioration, natural landscape preservation, industrial development, and the development of transport infrastructure.

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Economics

Monotowns: A Quantitative Analysis

The authors propose an empirical analysis of the current situation in monotowns. The study questions the perceived seriousness of the ‘monotown problem’ as well as the actual challenges it presents. The authors use a cluster analysis to divide monotowns into groups for further structural comparison. The structural differences in the available databases limit the possibilities of empirical analysis. Hence, alternative approaches are required. The authors consider possible reasons for the limitations identified. Special attention is paid to the monotowns that were granted the status of advanced development territories. A comparative analysis makes it possible to study their general characteristics and socioeconomic indicators. The authors apply the theory of opportunistic behaviour to describe potential problems caused by the lack of unified criteria for granting monotowns the status of advanced development territories. The article identifies the main stakeholders and the character of their interaction; it desc ribes a conceptual model built on the principal/agent interactions, and identifies the parametric space of mutually beneficial cooperation. The solution to the principal/agent problem suggested in the article contributes to the development of an alternative approach to the current situation and a rational approach to overcoming the ‘monotown problem’.

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Structural Changes in the Economy of the Russian Northwest: Spatial Dimension

This paper identifies and explains the trends in the economic transformations in the Russian Northwest (NWFD). It studies the changes in the structure of the gross regional product (GRP) and economic specialization of the NWFD regions. The authors suggest approaches to managing structural changes in the economies of the NWFD regions. The authors propose a new method for the identification of the regional economic specialization on the basis of the reginal economy sectoral development rate. The article describes a methodology for identifying the development of the regional economic sectors using the ‘gross value added index’ calculated per capita and per sector against the national average. The article presents the analysis of the structural changes in the NWFD gross regional product. The proposed gross value added index helps to identify the upward and downward trends in each sector compared to the national average. Based on this analysis, the authors describe the nature of changes in the NWFD sectoral specialisation, which correlated with the distance to large economic centres — Moscow and St. Petersburg. The authors prove that the economic development of the Northwest macroregion follows the ‘core-periphery’ pattern. The regional economy structure depends on the position of a given region in relation to the core. Concrete approaches to managing structural changes in the economies of periphery regions are proposed.

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International cooperation

EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region: Challenges and Perspectives of International Cooperation

This article describes the main characteristics of international cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) within the framework of the EU macroregional strategy. The analysis of the key directions, structure, and the Strategy implementation mechanisms demonstrates its experimental and innovative nature. At the same time, the authors identify problems and contradictions in the very idea of the Strategy, as well as its actual implementation in intergovernmental relations of the BSR countries. The main factor hampering the Strategy activities is ignoring the key role of Russia the BSR. At the same time, Russia and some non-BSR countries are already members of all significant BSR cooperation instruments. Therefore, there is a need to supplement the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region with the Northern Dimension project. The innovative nature of macroregional cooperation in the Baltic Sea region is manifested in interpreting the region as an indivisible whole rather than an administrative unite serving as a pla tform for various cooperation programmes implemented in its different parts. From this point of view, the Strategy for the Baltic Sea region, apparently inspired by ‘rational functionalism’, can assign a new meaning to the concept of the region.

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Norway’s International Development Assistance Policy in the Current International Environment: Mechanisms of Justification

This article addresses the basic mechanisms of Norway’s current Development Assistance policy. The author analyses the strengthening of the financial policy and principal mechanisms for justifying Norway’s participation in the ODA as well as the country’s foreign policy objectives attained through assistance. The article examines specific features of Norway’s development policy, which are crucial to understand contemporary international aid practices. The country’s development policy implemented bilaterally and multilaterally is an effective mechanism of promoting Norway’s economic and political interests. It is also an important subject for research. The authors analyses the evolution of the ODA objectives, its institutions and their international expertise. Special attention is devoted to the current shift of the ODA policy to the issues of its effectiveness. The recent shift to social cooperation development by involving NGOs and private businesses and investing in the social sphere is also examined. The a rticle analyses Norway’s official position on humanitarian assistance in crises and armed conflicts. The author examines a number of cases of Norway’s International Development Assistance policy.

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Human geography

Russia’s Coastal Zone as a Social and Geographic Phenomenon: Conceptualisation and Delimitation

This article defines coastal zones as a priority subject of studies in social geography and interprets coastalisation of population and economy as a key indicator of the development of a coastal zone. The author stresses the inverted coastalisation in Russia at the macro- and meso-levels and identifies its causes. The article defines the coastal zone as a full-scale, continuum-discrete phenomenon with clear crossborder characteristics and increased potential for cluster formation in the economy. Marine cross-border clusters are identified as independent typological units. Characteristics and conditions for their formation and development are described in view of contemporary geoeconomic trends. The author examines the conditions and prospects for the formation of marine cross-border clusters in the key segments of Russia’s coastal zone.

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Migration Flows in Europe: Space and Time Transformation

One of the key manifestations of globalisation is an increase in the spatial mobility of population involving growing numbers of people into international migration processes. This article is an attempt to assess the density of migration connections between European states based on the 1990—2015 quantitative data. An analysis of migration flows and relevant net migration and net migration and migration localisation at the national and regional levels makes it possible to identify key trends in the spatial and temporal transformation of this phenomenon on the European continent. Calculations suggest that an increase in migration has not narrowed the gap between source and recipient countries but, on the contrary, it has made it more pronounced over the recent decades. The article presents an attempt at classifying European countries by the direction and intensity of migration connections and stresses the impact of international migration on the demographic and sociocultural situation in different European states.

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Russian Northwest: An integral Assessment of the Conditions of Regional Social, Environmental and Economic Systems and Quality of Life

The article describes the results of an integral assessment of the regional social, environmental and economic systems (SEES) and the quality of life (QOL) in the regions of Russia’s Northwestern Federal District (NWFD). This work aims at giving an integrated assessment of SEES in the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions in comparison to the Moscow region. The authors examine the QOL in 10 NWFD regions, including the Baltic ones. The significance of the research work lies in an integrated and comprehensive assessment of the regional SEES and QOL in 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2013 in view of the effect of priorities within and between groups of assessment parameters. Another important result is the identification of ‘stability limits’, when regions retain their QOL whereas their regional environmental characteristics change. The proposed methodology is based on multi-criteria and integrated approaches, the aggregate index method, and the parameter analysis and synthesis. The assessment of SEES and QOL was performed for five classes (from ‘1 — high’ to ‘5 — poor’) based on calculating statistics for 3—6 groups of assessment criteria at two levels of convolution. The analysis of the data obtained shows an upward trend in QOL in the regions. The authors suggest assessing stability of SEES on the basis of critical values of aggregate indices, at which a given SEES maintain its characteristics and regime properties within a certain QOL class.

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Party systems

Supranational party system of the EU

The article confirms the hypothesis that a multiplicity of parties of the European and national levels forms the party system of the European Union (EU). The authors describe the main characteristics of Europarties and political groups comprised of them as key actors in the European Parliament’s (EP) political and legislative processes. The authors adopt the institutional approach and make use of the tools of the comparative, structural, and functional analyses. Special attention is paid to the ‘two-tier’ structure — the connection between national and supranational institutions — as a key feature of the European Union’s party system. The study is based on the European Parliament framework laws, election results, Europarties’ political programmes, as well as on the comparison of the composition of the Europarties and EU bodies. The analysis provides a new perspective on the major processes and contradictions in the functioning of the European Parliament and demonstrates that the transformation of the EU from an intergovernmental association to a (con)federation has not completed yet.

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From Editorial board

Human geography

Economic and Geographical Structure of the Baltic Sea region

The Baltic Sea region is one of the most developed transnational regions. It comprises the coastal areas of Russia, Germany, and Poland and the entire territories of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. New spatial forms of international economic cooperation develop in the region. The region is not homogeneous in terms of socioeconomic development, thus there are certain differences in the areas and the intensity of international cooperation. The article sets out to identify structural characteristics of the Baltic Sea region. This requires studying practices of transnational and transboundary cooperation and possibilities for their adoption in other regions of the world. An important characteristic of the Baltic Sea region is a considerable difference between its coastal territories, the fact that affects the development of multilateral relations. This article examines the most pronounced socioeconomic differences that should be taken into account when forecasting cooperation trends in t he region, including those between the Baltic territories of Russia and their international partners.

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Framework for the Analysis of Geography of Transnational Corporations Investments Abroad

This article develops a methodology for studying the geography of companies — an area of human geography that remains understudied in Russia. The authors refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) studies to stress the importance of analysing individual transnational corporations. Special attention is paid to FDI statistics, including international statistics provided by IMF, OECD, and UNCTAD, the official data of central banks on FDI destinations, and information on companies’ assets by geographical segments. The article emphasises limitations of classical localisation concepts (e. g. A. Lösch’s theory) and key concepts of transnationalisation (e. g. J. H. Dunning’s ‘eclectic paradigm’, R. Vernon’s ‘product life cycle’, and the ‘flying geese paradigm’ developed by Japanese authors). Dynamic localisation concepts (e. g. the Uppsala model and hierarchical/wave diffusion models) are considered an important contribution to the existing theoretical framework for studying FDI geography. Various patterns of spatial d istribution of FDI are examined taking Russian transboundary investments, including those distorted by the ‘neighbourhood effect’ as an example.

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Land Use Change and Economics of Land Degradation in the Baltic Region

In this paper, we adapt a new conceptual framework for the assessment of the economics of land degradation and sustainable land management to the Baltic region. The findings show that the problem of land degradation in the countries of the region is quite substantial, manifesting itself through reductions in the provision of land ecosystem services. Using a benefit transfer approach, the total economic value of these losses due to land degradation is estimated to be about 9 billion USD annually. On the other hand, we find that every dollar invested into restoring the degraded land ecosystems may return about 3 dollars in social gains after a 6-year period following the re-establishment of the higher value biome, making actions to address land degradation in the region both environmentally valuable and economically attractive.

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Development of Sea Port in Gdynia

Seaports operate on a highly competitive global transport market. To retain its competitive position a port (terminal) must strengthen its competitive advantages in all fields of activity. Ports are to expand and modernize their infrastructure and superstructure, and develop links with the hinterland and the foreland. The article describes how the port of Gdynia manages to meet these challenges. The author analyses the period 2007—2015. Special attention is paid to the port development plan for 2020. The EU Structural Funds has provided a good opportunity to strengthen the competitive position of the port by making investments in the port infrastructure and superstructure. It allowed the port to strengthen its links with the hinterland. The author uses a set of fundamental, analytical and technical research methods to analyse materials provided by the port authority and the port terminal operators. By the end of 2015, the port authority had completed five investment projects, including the modernization of th ree wharfs and a rail terminal, the development of the port infrastructure aimed to provide services to ro-ro ships. Strategically important projects for the coming years include dredging and widening of the port channel, fairways and the internal basin. Cooperation between the port and the city authorities allowed the port administration to improve road access to the port of Gdynia. The key investment project aims to link the port of Gdynia to the TriCity ring road. Apart from it, there are plans to improve access to the railroad network. Railway line 201 to Bydgoszcz is to be modernised to transport cargoes from Gdynia further inland. The current and future strategic investments create conditions for growth in handling both container and other types of cargo in the port of Gdynia and significantly improve competitiveness of the maritime sector.

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Geography of European Migration

In recent decades, the role of international migration has increased dramatically in most European countries. The growth in migration has made some authors proclaim the beginning of a second Migration Period that could transform the social and cultural identity of Europe. The article presents an analysis of international migration geography in Europe in the last twenty-five years. The authors identify the main trends in migration, provide migration profiles of European countries, and propose a classification based on the recent changes in the migrant stock. Changes in the migrant stock (total emigration and immigration) reflect the level of involvement in international and global processes. They can serve as an indicator of a country’s attractiveness for both foreigners and the country’s citizens. The study shows that European countries are increasingly split into ‘immigrant’ and ‘emigrant’ states. The authors describe spatial patterns of migration. The volume and localisation of migration flows in Europe are affected not only by cultural and historical circumstance, such as a colonial past or a common language. The scale of immigrant influx often does not depend on a donor country’s demographic potential or the level of its socio-economic development. The links between the place of origin and destination are often more complex than it might initially seem. The authors stress the importance of a differentiated immigration policy taking into account ethnic and cultural features of host societies.

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Trade Liberalisation and its Impact on Regional Development: Theoretical and Experimental Studies

The existing theoretical and empirical literature focusing on interconnections between international trade, trade liberalisation, and economic development provides ample evidence pertaining to nations and industries. However, another dimension of trade liberalisation — the assessment of the level of national or regional development — needs further research. This article sets out to analyse theoretical and empirical research works focusing on a varied spatial effect of expanding international trade on national economies and identifies factors affecting regional development. Firstly, it is established that expanding international trade is a more important source of growth for the regions of developing countries than for those of developed ones. Secondly, in terms of the regional impact of liberalisation, expanding trade has the most positive effect on border regions and those associated with lower cost of access to international markets. Thirdly, the analysis of regions having different industrial specialisatio n suggests that expanding international trade contributes to higher growth rates in the regions, having globally competitive national industries. The conclusions presented in this article can be used for formulating an industrial policy and a regional development policy for both small export-oriented economies, namely, the Baltic Sea states, and larger economies having uneven distribution of production resources.

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Politics

Forecasting Actions of Baltic elites: A Scenario Approach

This paper provides an overview of different approaches to forecasting the future of the three Baltic States. The author’s theoretical approach to studying Baltic elites is used to forecast changes in the action models of the Baltic elites. The article stresses the scarcity of internal political processes in the Baltics. However, a significant number of scenarios focusing on military aspects in the Baltics have recently been published. The author distinguishes between inertia, confrontation, and cooperation scenarios and examines their prerequisites and possible consequences. The scenarios are developed based on an analysis of geographic, economic, and political factors. The decisive factor is a state-controlled foreign policy, which is affected by the international situation as well as relations between the state and the external resources exploited by political elites. The paper contributes to the general debate about the factors of political development and the role of political elites in it. The author pr ovides additional material for analysing possible developments in the domestic policies of the Baltic States in view of external factors.

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Tourism

Problems and Prospects of Cross-Border Cooperation in Tourism between Russia and Europe

The relevance of this research is related to the increasing role of tourism in the world in general and in border areas in particular. This article sets out to identify the problems and prospects of the development of cross-border cooperation in tourism between Russia and European countries. The authors focus on the scientific and theoretical aspects of cross-border cooperation and examine the role of tourism, and recreational potential and its effective use. The authors employ the methods of expert judgement and statistical analysis, refer to the surveys of Russian and European consumers showing their preferences, as well as to the authors’ own materials. The analysis makes it possible to have a deeper insight into the issue of cross-border cooperation in tourism between Russia and European countries and to assess the prospects of it. The authors provide an assessment of changes in the socio-economic relations between Russia and European countries and identify key problems in the development of cross-border cooperation in tourism. These problems relate to both macroeconomic and regional/industrial factors. The article is of interest for researchers studying cross-border tourism, the regional and local administrations of border areas of Russia and European countries, and representatives of the tourism business.

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The Role of Tourism in the Development of Russia’s Northwestern Border Regions

This article examines the development of tourism and recreation in the border regions of Russia’s North-West as a new promising area of regional growth. The unique natural, historical, and cultural resources, nature, and a favourable economic and geographical position are basic prerequisites for the development of tourism in the region. Historically, the barriers of state borders hampered the development of tourism; and tourism was seen as an activity bringing no economic benefits to regions since most Soviet citizens travelled as beneficiaries of social programmes. This article aims to research prospects of tourism and recreation development of Russia’s northwestern border regions. The author analyses statistical and analytical data and does the content analysis of regional strategies for tourism and socioeconomic development. A number of statistical methods, namely, the regression and the time series ones are used to give a deeper insight into the problem. The article explores the practices of tourism and recreation development in a historical perspective and examines the effect of barrier and contact functions of state borders on tourism. Particular attention is paid to tourism development in the border regions of Russia’s North-West. The author evaluates the development of tourism and recreation in the border regions of northwestern Russia at the beginning of the 21st century. The article identifies factors hindering tourism development and suggests measures to stimulate tourism as a regional economic activity.

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Geopolitics

Eurasian Future of Russia: Alternating Integration and Disintegration Cycles

Russia needs to fit into the international geopolitical and geo-economic landscape. The formation of this landscape is largely determined by alternating integration and disintegration cycles in the development of the world economy. The second global disintegration cycle that started in 2008 is expected to last 15—20 years. It will be followed by a new integration cycle, largely dependent on China (Pax Sinensis instead of Pax Americana). This change necessitates a number of steps: a significant strengthening of the Eastern vector in the development of Russia, the formation of the Moscow-Beijing-New Delhi triangle (Evgeny Primakov's idea) as well as providing access of energy-intensive and water-intensive goods from East Siberia by railway to the Chinese and Indian markets. Russia has expressed its interest in the construction of a railway from China to India. It will allow Russia to reduce transportation costs and use a potentially heavy transit traffic for the modernization of the Transsibirian railway. These steps could radically change the role of the Baltic exclave of Russia: from being a ‘window to Europe’ the region is to turn into the westernmost point of a infrastructure axis extending from east to west. The creation of such an axis, combined with a sharp fall in transportation costs will facilitate the access of energy-intensive and water-intensive goods from the Urals and Siberia to the Asian and European markets. The Kaliningrad region is increasingly taking on business facilitating functions, which used to be performed by the Soviet Baltic republics in the past. The region can play a more important role in the formation of Eurasia stretching from Shanghai to St. Petersburg (according to Dmitry Trenin), instead of the Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

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Geopolitical and Geo-economic Changes in the Baltic Sea Region at the Turn of the XX—XXI centuries

The article describes the process and results of the geopolitical and geoeconomic changes in the Baltic Sea region at the turn of the XX and XXI centuries. The authors assess the political, economic and military potential of individual countries and groups of countries. Ranking the selected countries and grouping them according to the similarity of their characteristics requires a variety of methods — the economic, statistical, cartographic, graphic-analytical methods, to name just a few. In the late 1980s — early 1990s, there were three socialist countries in the Baltic Sea region. They were signatories of the Warsaw Pact and members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (the Soviet Union, Poland and East Germany). The Baltic Sea region housed four market economies (Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany). Only two of them were members of NATO and the EU (Germany and Denmark). At present, there are eight EU countries in the region; six of them are NATO members (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), and the same two countries, Sweden and Finland, remain outside the bloc. Russia, the legal successor of the USSR, is neither a NATO, nor an EU member. The authors explore similarities and differences between countries of the Baltic Sea region in terms of their territory, population, GDP, foreign trade turnover and the number of regular armed forces. The article stresses the importance of international cooperation in increasing the growth rates of economic development of all countries of the Baltic Sea region.

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Economics and Social Economic Geography

Socially efficient entry barriers?

Stagnation of the Russian economy lends a new urgency to the question of whether reserves of competition incentives can be used to overcome the current negative economic tendencies. The lowering of entry barriers is traditionally considered a universal instrument of promoting competition. However, lower entry barriers can be mistakenly associated with bringing the market closer to the state of the so-called ‘perfect’ competition. The authors aim to show that the absence of entry barriers does not improve competition in certain markets. On the contrary, it may result in a decrease in social welfare. This is particularly true of capital-intensive goods, for instance, large diameter pipes for gas pipelines. Lack of proper competition in such sectors of the market necessitates entry barriers, for they help to achieve a separating equilibrium at the market. Since there are costs associated with creating a separating equilibrium, it is necessary to assess both costs and benefits of the pooling and separating equilibria.

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Changes in the Population Distribution and Transport Network of Saint Petersburg

The authors explores the interdependence between demographic changes and transport network centrality, using Saint Petersburg as an example. The article describes the demographic data for the period 2002—2015 and the transportation network data of 2006. The authors employ several methods of demographic research; they identified the centre of gravity of the population, produce the standard deviational ellipsis and use the kernel density estimation. The street network centrality of Saint Petersburg was analyzed using the Multiple Centrality Assessment Model (MCA) and the Urban Network Analysis Tool for ArcGIS. The analysis of the population distribution in Saint Petersburg shows that each area of the city has seen their population grow over the last thirteen years. However, it is the population of suburban areas that increased the most. The core area of the city has the tendency of outward diffusion, and the population gravity centre has been moving northwards. Spatial characteristics of the population growth, changes in the population gravity centre, the standard deviational ellipse and characteristics of the street network centrality show that Saint Petersburg is at the final stage of urbanization and its development pattern is similar to that of other major cities.

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Geography of Electoral Volatility in the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship of Poland

The authors describe the impact of administrative reforms on the electoral volatility in the Warmia and Mazury voivodeship of Poland. The administrative reforms resulted in the formation of a new territorial organization of power. Using three large administrative units of Poland as an example, the authors analyse the experience of the formation of a geographic region by merging several politically diverse territories. The merger took place in a changing political environment. It inevitably affected the strategy and tactics of the development of local self-governance. The formation of the region has been going on in such a manner that differences in the electoral preferences and political behaviour of the urban population (the regional metropolis) and the periphery remain unchanged. Having performed the index analysis and a comparative analysis of the electoral data, the authors conclude that the consistency of administrative decisions on the formation of the region and the electoral performance have been weakening over time. During the initial phase, the electoral volatility was mainly due to the sluggishness and inertia of the previous territorial organization. After the phase of stabilization, the electoral volatility indices in different geographical areas changed due to a combination of social and political factors. The authors show that the ‘looseness’ of the Polish party system affect the electoral volatility in the region more than institutional decisions of the administrative reforms.

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International Cooperation and International Relations

The Policy of Regional Convergence in Russia-Belarus integration: Prospects for Development

In a number of cases, integration of a large international region or an interstate union can only be promoted by political means. The policy of regional economic convergence prevails in many sectors. The single economic market and membership in economic and monetary unions give a new impetus to consolidation. The study aims to identify and explore the problems of political governance, which the Union State of Russia-Belarus faces due to their asymmetric and not completely compatible economies. The author analyzes the process of interstate convergence, considering it as an essential part of integration and explores a number of specific characteristics underlying the Russian-Belarusian economic integration. The author offers a set of criteria of convergence/not convergence of the states, describes the principles of their economic and political rapprochement and offers models of convergence as well as prerequisites for them. The article examines the principles that determine the participation of a country in international integration as well as prospects for the further development of the regional economic and political mechanisms, which are being formed

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Baltic Factor in Russia-France Relations

The article aims to identify the role of the Baltic factor in Russia-France relations. Despite the fact that the Baltic Sea region (BSR) no longer plays an important role in Russia-France bilateral relations, the authors attach significance to analysing the dynamics and changes of the BSR role in European politics in the post- Napoleonic period. The authors compare the Russian and the July Monarchies (1830—1848) in the context of the current Vienna system of international relations. The article describes the role of the 1830—1831 uprising in Poland, which was an event of particular importance. The monarchies of the two countries had to take into account new social phenomena, which were more pronounced in France. After the suppression of the uprising in the Polish part of the Russian Empire, Polish emigrants residing in France became the stumbling block for the development of Russia- France relations. The article explores the role of P. de Barante, Ambassador of France to Russia and describes France and Russia’s trade and economic interests in the Baltic Sea region. The authors conclude that the specificity of Russia-France bilateral relations became more apparent during the First and Second World Wars. However, the Baltic factor has lost its relevance over time.

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Forms of International Cooperation in Environmental Education: the Experience of Saint Petersburg State University

The authors analyse different forms of environmental education projects and programmes implemented in the Baltic Sea region. The first one is “The Baltic University” programme taught in English. The “Baltic University” is a network of more than 200 universities from 14 counties of the Baltic Sea region. This education programme offers an opportunity for students to enroll on bachelor and master degree programmes related to environmental and social problems of the Baltic Sea region. The Polar and Marine Sciences, POMOR master programme, represents the second form of international environmental education. Russian and German researchers from six universities and four research centres have developed the programme. The target group of the programme are Russian and international students, studying together during the whole duration of the programme. It is the first internationally accredited MA programme taught in English. International accreditation proves the compliance of the programme with international education standards. The same cooperation model is used in a new international master programme — Cold Regions Environmental Landscapes Integrated Science (CORELIS). The programme started in 2016. It is implemented jointly by Hamburg university (the lead partner of the project), and university professors from Helsinki (Finland) and Lisbon (Portugal). Researchers from the Austrian National Institute of Polar Research (Austria, and Lund University (Sweden) will join the programme at a later stage. Such an approach will help achieve the synergy of the European and Russian approaches to environmental education. The Russian-Norwegian master programme “Geoecological monitoring and rational use of natural resources in the Northern oil and gas production regions” is a good example of the third form of international environmental education. The programme similar to POMOR and CORELIS. However, it has one distinctive feature — Russian and foreign students study together from the second term only. The authors describe the ways of achieving the learning objectives of these master programmes depending on the students’ language skills and their basic knowledge of ecology and nature management.

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Ecology

Geosituational Modelling of Coastal Marine Systems

The article summarizes years of experience of geosituational modelling of coastal marine systems in the Baltic Sea region and adjacent territories. Kaliningrad universities and academic institutions have done extensive research on the diversity of approaches and models of the regional geosituations as well as on identifying the most promising coastal marine areas. Some of the models presented in the present paper are qualitative, while others are empirical and statistical ones. However, the majority of the models can be referred to as forms of graphic and image mapping. The significance of the regional models lies in their specificity, a more detailed character (compared to the generalist ones) and the possibility of using them to back up managerial decisions in critical and emergency situations in order to minimize the negative effects of natural (storms, floods, earthquakes, etc.) and anthropogenic emergency situations. The authors developed a matrix classification attributable to a particular class of models for the situations leading to uncertain outcomes. The authors suggest using numerical methods combined with the empirical and statistical models for the assessment of the impact of industrial fishing on marine environment, minimizing the consequences of storms, floods and others factors. Special attention is paid to the modelling of climate change and geo-ecological consequences, as well as to atlas mapping and landscape planning. As a result of the geosituational analysis the authors got new insights into the solar-terrestrial links, marine-terrestrial ecosystems, global and regional processes related to climate change, oceanization, the vulnerability of natural systems under the increasing pressure of anthropogenic activities, and continuously increasing risks presented by industrial agriculture and other types of land use.

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Regional Geographic Information Systems of Health and Environmental Monitoring

The article describes a new scientific and methodological approach to designing geographic information systems of health and environmental monitoring for urban areas. Geographic information systems (GIS) are analytical tools of the regional health and environmental monitoring; they are used for an integrated assessment of the environmental status of a large industrial centre or a part of it. The authors analyse the environmental situation in Voronezh, a major industrial city, located in the Central Black Earth Region with a population of more than 1 million people. The proposed research methodology is based on modern approaches to the assessment of health risks caused by adverse environmental conditions. The research work was implemented using a GIS and multicriteria probabilistic and statistical evaluation to identify cause-and-effect links, a combination of action and reaction, in the dichotomy ‘environmental factors — public health’. The analysis of the obtained statistical data confirmed an increase in childhood diseases in some areas of the city. Environmentally induced diseases include congenital malformations, tumors, endocrine and urogenital pathologies. The main factors having an adverse impact on health are emissions of carcinogens into the atmosphere and the negative impact of transport on the environment. The authors identify and characterize environmentally vulnerable parts of the city and developed principles of creating an automated system of health monitoring and control of environmental risks. The article offers a number of measures aimed at the reduction of environmental risks, better protection of public health and a more efficient environmental monitoring.

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Review

Political science

Coalition Within a Coalition: The Baltics in the European Union

This article gives an overview of small power problem focusing on the behav­iour of small power states within coalitions and their proneness to free riding. To pursue an independent agenda and increase their significance within large associa­tions, the authors argue, small powers tend to create ‘coalitions within coalitions’, essentially acting as free riders and transferring costs and political responsibility for decision-making to larger players. Such an asymmetric strategy makes it possi­ble for small powers to advance their interests within alliances and save resources. The authors test this hypothesis on the behaviour of the Baltics in the European Union. It is demonstrated that Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have created a stable small coalition within the EU and actively form ad hoc alliances with the leading states to push union-level decisions, as it was the case with settling the migrant issue. In other areas, these states tend to benefit from the free rider behaviour.

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Security in the Baltic region as a Projection of Global Confrontation between Russia and the USA

This article considers the problem of security in the Baltic region, namely, that of Poland and the Baltics. The authors rely on the works of Karl Deutsch, Emanuel Adler, on Michael Barnett’s theory of security communities and Barry Buzan’s re­gional security complex theory, address Steven Mann’s controlled chaos theory and the concept of Intermarium. Their starting assumption is that the situation in the Baltic depends largely on the politics of external powers — Russia and the United States, — being a projection of their global geopolitical confrontation. The US strategy thus becomes a major part of the equation. The authors believe that since the end of the second Iraq war the American elite has been divided along ideological lines into adherents of the chaos theory and traditionalists thinking in terms of sharing control with the other centres of global power. The US strategy in the Baltic region does not seek an open military conflict with Russia. On the contrary, the US strives to preserve the current level of confrontation between Russia and the EU, convincing the latter of the reality of the Russian threat. Countries that traditionally support confrontation with Russia, Poland and the Bal­tics, serve as a conduit for Washington strategy in Europe and a cordon sanitaire. This function is implemented through the Intermarium project meant to separate Russia from the EU. The four countries are rather active in this area, striving to attain the status of the US principal partners in the region and Europe in general. To retaliate, Moscow does everything within its power to ‘separate’ Brussels from Washington, yet the US influence is still very strong in Europe.

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Poland’s Foreign Policy Mechanisms: Legal Framework and Policy Analysis

This article describes the features of Poland’s foreign policy. Special attention is paid to the foreign policy mandate of the president, government, and minister of foreign affairs and the procedure for devising Poland’s foreign policy strategy. An­other focus is the contribution of local government to Poland’s foreign policy. The author describes the features of Poland’s foreign policy mechanism and emphasises its potential instability associated with a multi-tier decision-making pro­cedure and blurred boundaries between foreign policy mandates conferred by the Constitution upon the government and president. The latter creates a potential for institutional conflict. It is stressed that the efficiency of Poland’s foreign policy mechanism is strongly affected by the relations between the government and the president and requires consensus on all major foreign policy issues. The author em­phasises the effect of the domestic policy situation on Polish foreign policy mecha­nism and, as a result, the Republic’s stance in the international arena.

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Economics

Economic Development of the Baltic and Nordic Countries: Characteristics of Еconomic Models

Economic development models are crucial for understanding historical pro­gress of countries and in forecasting their future economic prospects. The Nordic countries are connected with the Baltics through culture, history, politics, and econ­omy. These states have a common interest of ensuring stability, security, and welfare in the Baltic region. This article strives to answer the question as to why the Nordic model of economic development is acclaimed internationally for the effective use of national and external resources, which is not the case in the Baltics. The Nordic and Baltic national models demonstrate that similar financial and economic performance does not translate into similar economic development re­sults. The article tracks ten years of economic performance of the Nordic and Baltic countries and analyses economic models from the perspective of new institutional­ism. The authors offer a definition of a ‘successful economic development model’.

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Demography

Population Ageing as a Sociodemographic Problem in the Baltic Region

Population ageing is a major problem of European development in the 21st cen­tury. Rapid population ageing in most developed countries will continue to drive the dependency ratio up. This research aims to forecast dependency ratio in the Baltic region until the end of the century. A more detailed population analysis and forecast is provided for the case of the Baltic States — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The authors use Bayesian probabilistic predictions based on data from the Pop­ulation Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Principle research methods include multi-factor simulation modelling; some find­ings are presented on schematic maps. The study shows that by the end of the century the highest dependency ratio in the Baltic region will be observed in Poland, while Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden will also face significant challenges. The authors put forward demographic policy recommendations for those Baltic region states that will reach the highest dependency ratio by the second half of the 21st century.

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Current Geodemographic Problems in the European Union and Migration Crisis of the 2010s

This article demonstrates the effect of the 2010s migration crisis has had on the demographic development of the European Union. Employing statistics and map­ping, the study argues that the demographic development of EU states is not affected by either socioeconomic performance or religious, linguistic, and cultural charac­teristics. Migration inflow differs significantly by country and EU region. The au­thors analyse major irregular migration routes and show that their use cannot be always explained by using traditional demographic approaches. There is also a dif­ference in the proportion of migrants by country, although settlement systems are very similar. Even with decades spent in the destination country, the Muslim popula­tion remains poorly integrated into the local community and its effect on the latter is insignificant (Turks in Germany). The demographic mosaic of the European Union is becoming increasingly fragmented, which makes any national level demographic forecasts inconsequential. However, community-level forecasts are possible and necessary. All this creates a need for geodemographic research.

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Economic geography

Tourism in Border Regions: Theoretical Aspects of a Geographical Study

This article considers theoretical aspects of tourism studies and development in border regions. The work aims to identify key areas of geographical studies into tourism in border regions. Its research significance lies in a review of Russian and international literature on border territory and the role of tourism in socioeconomic development. In terms of methodology, it is an analytical work. The authors stress a need for a systemic approach to analysing tourism in border areas and describe the particularities of tourism on such territories. It is stressed that institutional barriers have become a major obstacle to the development of transboundary tourism regions. Borders are classed depending on the border regime and strictness of tourist entry procedures. Special attention is paid to the attractiveness of state border areas. The authors identify external and internal conditions affecting tourism development and functioning in border areas. The practical significance of the study lies in the possi­bility of using its findings in developing tourism development programmes for bor­der territories in contemporary Russia.

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Land Use Policy and Land Management in Estonia

This article studies the effect of land reform on the development of current land policy and land management efficiency. The authors present a review of materials focusing on the new land policy, land management and land use system at a new stage of Estonian development. This policy has led to the adoption of a new reform aimed at the municipalisation, privatisation, and denationalisation of real estate. The article describes mechanisms of the Romano-Germanic land management model, which has replaced the Soviet model in Estonia. It is shown that the model’s introduction has contributed to the development of the Republic’s land market and increased land use efficiency, in particular, in agriculture. There are positive trends towards land market development and an increase in production and investment in land use. Estonian land resources are a reliable strategic investment.

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Attraction of the Sea

The influence of the sea on the economic development and settlement structure in the Baltic Sea region

Earliest studies into the influence of the sea on the economy and settlement structure date back to the mid-19th century. They became common in the 20th century. Researchers have come to a general understanding that a coastal position has a beneficial effect on the development of regions. Such areas have a denser population and develop more rapidly than inland regions. At the same time, the effect of environmental, socioeconomic, demographic, and political factors is often stronger than the influence of the sea. Thus, an inland position can be more beneficial than a coastal one. Both trends are observed in the Baltic Sea macroregion. However, the ‘gravitational force’ of the sea varies from place to place. This article focuses on the most significant differences between territories and countries. These differences reflect the uneven influence of the proximity of the Baltic Sea on the development of population and national economies. Qualitative differences between mesoregions are measured using a combination of theoretical and empirical typologies. An economic, statistical, and cartographic analysis helps to identify a special type of mesoregions — coastal development corridors, which make an important contribution to the economic development and consolidation of the Baltic macroregion. In transnational macroregions, such typological differences must be taken into account in strategic and spatial planning at the intergovernmental level.

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The coastalisation of population in today’s Russia: A sociogeographical explication

The coastalisation of population is considered as a prolonged, universal, although not a ubiquitous — socio-geographical process. This process is a result of the evolving spatial architecture of countries and regions, a lack of balance between the potential of leading cities, economic and settlement projections of global geoecological, geo-economic, and geopolitical processes, the scale and effect of transnational and transboundary contracts, and the changing images of coastal areas. This article analyses the trend towards the ‘drift’ of the demographic potential from the inland territories to the coastal periphery, which has been observed in Russia for centuries. A vast body of empirical data and statistics is used to demonstrate that, during the post-Soviet period, coastalisation has become city-centred and regionally/locally selective with a focus on the agglomerations of the Baltic, Caspian, and partly Azov- Black Sea coasts. The multi-scale phenomena of ‘inverse coastalisation’ and ‘quasicoastalisation’ are analysed and relevant cases are considered. The author identifies numerous factors and explores prospects of the further coastalisation of population in the Kaliningrad and Leningrad regions and Saint Petersburg. The author argues that against the background of increasing socioeconomic risks — particularly due to the change in Russia’s geostrategic priorities — the coastal zones remain crucial to the new configuration of the country’s settlement system.

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National and Regional Competitiveness

Country Competitiveness: an Empirical Study

What makes countries competitive? What economic policies effectively influence country competitiveness? The aim of this research paper is to analyse country competitiveness empirically, in order to explore the factors that make countries competitive. This can allow governments to structure their business environment differently, and to elaborate strategies aimed at improving their countries’ overall competitiveness. Economic size and trading conditions have proven important for economic success throughout history. Individual competitiveness and business competitiveness are commonly talked about. The author analyses the overall economic competitiveness of countries. The author argues that trade is subject to various factors, including entrepreneurship and economic openness. Competitiveness is analysed in this current research, using IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook data for 55 countries in the estimation sample. This unique research applies a Multinomial Logistic procedure, and a Heckman Two-Step procedure in its accountancy for market size, exports, openness, and foreign direct investment. The business environment factors for estimation are highlighted. Also, several macro-economic modifications of the basic model specification are tested, providing further empirical analysis. Results indicate that the ten most competitive countries tend to be driven by foreign direct investment, exports and entrepreneurship.

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The role of International trade in improving the competitiveness of Saint Petersburg

This article aims to explore the prospects for the development of international trade and the impact of trade on increasing competitiveness of Saint Petersburg. To this end, the authors study the theoretical aspects of regional competitiveness as such, analyse the ten years’ data on the city’s international trade, and explore the significance of image, reputation, and information support for the region’s international trade provided by business information centres abroad. The authors employ the methods of expert opinion and statistical analysis as well as the authors’ own data to consider the problems of international trade development in Saint Petersburg and the ways to improve the city’s competitiveness. The authors estimate the international trade performance of Saint Petersburg and outline the key areas for increasing the city’s competitive ability. This article has theoretical and practical significance for experts studying regional competitiveness, for regional authorities, and the business community.

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Social Geography

Territorial differences in the attitudes to the migration crisis in Germany: The political aspect

The European migration crisis has divided the population of Germany along the lines of the country’s migration policy and the attitude to immigrants. The antiimmigrant sentiment, supported by the rhetoric of the extreme right-wing parties and the criticism of current policies, have been growing in the society. This article reviews theoretical approaches to the study of public attitude to migrants proceeding from the effect that immigration has on the socioeconomic development of the host society. The authors propose a mechanism for analysing the political life of a society to develop viable approaches to managing the migration shock and mitigating its effect. The article considers the attitudes of the German population to immigration and immigrants in terms of the transformation of electoral preferences under the influence of the migration crisis. Recent data on the electoral standing of the Alternative for Germany party are used to develop a typology of states, based on the level of support for this party from the local population and on other measures of the migration situation and socioeconomic development. The authors identify northeastern regions with a high probability of popular support for the extreme right views on the migration crisis and northern and southwestern states that are most and least susceptible to the extreme right influence.

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Russia’s North-West Borders: Tourism Resource Potential

Being an area of development of Russia’s northwest border regions, tourism requires the extending of border regions’ appeal. A unique resource of the northwestern border regions are the current and historical state borders and border facilities. Successful international experience of creating and developing tourist attractions and destinations using the unique geographical position of sites and territories may help to unlock the potential of Russia’s north-western border regions. This article interprets the tourism resource of borders — which often remains overlooked and unfulfilled — as an opportunity for tourism and recreation development in the border regions of Russia’s North-West. The author summarises international practices of using the potential of state borders as a resource and analyses the creation of tourist attractions and destinations in the Nordic countries. The article explores the degree the state border potential is developed as a tourism resource in Russia’s North-West. The author analyses opportunities and gives recommendations for a better use of this potential by the tourist industry to increase the contribution of tourism to regional economies.

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Countries of the Baltic Region in the Global Culinary Space

Globalisation is creating a global culinary space where culinary traditions of different countries interact and compete. The author sets out to explore characteristic features of the culinary space of nine Baltic States as part of the global culinary space. The author uses empirical data on the number of restaurants serving different national cuisines in the main cities of the region. The Baltic culinary space incorporates the world’s leading cuisines (Italian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.) as well as the local cuisines of the BSR countries. The world’s leading cuisines prove to be more influential in the region than the local ones. Some countries of the Baltic Sea region (Russia, Poland, Sweden, Latvia, and Denmark) have culinary sovereignty, since their residents prefer national cuisines. In some other countries of the region (Finland, Estonia, and Lithuania), the public favours the world’s leading cuisines — Italian, Japanese and American — over the local ones. The non-capital Baltic cities of Poland and Germany, as well as St. Petersburg, display a greater sense of culinary patriotism than Warsaw, Berlin, and Moscow respectively. This article attempts to explore the features of the Baltic culinary space. The author considers the environmental and socio- historical factors key determinants of the countries’ cuisines.

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International cooperation: history

Modern Hanseatic Trends in the Baltic Region

A critical analysis of Hanseatic traditions may produce consequential methodological material for the study of the 21st century Baltic regionalisation. Current trends in the development of the Baltic region, whose academic analysis is impossible without considering earlier cases of successful interactions between the peoples of the Baltic Sea region, necessitate political, economic, and historical research on the strengths and weaknesses of the Hanseatic League. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, the Baltic region turned into a stage for geopolitical controversies. This took a toll on the efficiency of cooperation between the cities of Russia’s North-West and their Baltic counterparts. Therefore, it is important to seize the opportunities provided by the information society and focus on the innovative areas of regional cooperation. An interesting example is the partnership between Baltic universities, which is aimed to draw up an international agenda for sustainable regional development. Baltic cities are involved in various forms of cross-border cooperation, providing opportunities for interstate relations and contributes to laying down crossborder cooperation roadmaps and developing civil society networks. It can be concluded, that the history of the Hanseatic League and its current incarnation — the New Hanse — testify to the fact that productive economic, cultural, and other relations can be established between states but also between cities and universities, thus contributing to closer economic, political and cultural ties between the peoples of the Baltic region.

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The history of the integration between Russia’s Kaliningrad region and Poland’s northeastern voivodeships: A programme approach

This article considers the development of integration between Russia’s Kaliningrad region and Poland’s northeastern voivodeships in 1946—2016. The authors set out to identify the main results of Russian-Polish cross-border cooperation in the context of the changing historical and political paradigms in the Baltic region. The authors conduct a brief historical analysis of this sphere of international relations. The genesis of integration at the regional level is explored by identifying the major areas and tools for collaboration. The authors address research works of Russian (Soviet) and Polish researchers, intergovernmental agreements, EU-Russia crossborder cooperation programmes, expert interviews, and relevant analytical reports. Special attention is paid to programme-based interregional and cross-border cooperation as the most efficient form of collaboration for accelerating integration and socio-economic development in border areas. Based on their evaluation of the major achievements, the authors conclude that Russian-Polish cross-border cooperation has been successful. Yet, there is a need for developing a long-term empirical model of Russian-Polish relations in view of the many-years’ collaboration between the Kaliningrad region and the Polish voivodeships.

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