The Baltic Region

2016 Issue №4

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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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