The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 № 4

A functional description of the model for the protection of the environmental interests of the Russian Federation in the Baltic Sea region

Abstract

This article identifies the objective conditions of the conflict between the interests of development and those of environmental security. The latter are given added urgency when, within the same ecological unit, one country needs to develop and another to protect its environmental interests. The borders of the countries and regions, the economies of which affect the safety of Russia’s interests in the Baltic, do not coincide with the boundaries of the ecosystems. This calls for a study of the legal protection of Russia’s environmental interests in the Baltic Sea region. There is no legal mechanism for ensuring a balance between the interests of development and those of environmental security of the countries that have shorelines along the Baltic Sea. Thus, it is necessary to give a functional description of the regional model for the legal protection of the environmental interests of the Russian Federation in the Baltic region. To this end, we identify the juridical content of the environmental interests of the Russian Federation. We consider the possibilities of the legal protection of the environmental interests in the national and international jurisdiction. The interests are divided into two groups respectively. We reveal the essence of the environmental interests of the Russian Federation in the Baltic Sea region. We analyse the case of the Russian regions located within the Baltic Sea catchment area to test an approach to identifying the region’s boundaries. This approach may be used in modelling the regional level of the legal protection of Russia’s environmental interests in the Baltic region. We identify the environmental interests of the Russian Federation in the Baltic Sea region, as well as the forms of legal protection of the country’s interests in this territory. We describe the elements of the system of the legal protection of Russia’s interests in the Baltic region and examine the functions of these elements. The result of this study is a functional description of the model of legal protection of the environmental interests of the Russian Federation in the Baltic region. This model may be used to strengthen the links between the elements of the protection of the legitimate interests of the Russian Federation in the Baltic region.

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Legal regime for church property in Russia and the Baltic states

Abstract

In this article, we carry out a comparative analysis of the legal regimes for church property in the Baltic States and in Russia after the demise of the USSR,. We stress the significance of this problem for the newly established relations between the state and the religious organisations, for the conclusion of agreements between these actors, and for the development of the ideas of interdenominational peace and intergovernmental relations. In this study, we aim at identifying the similarities and differences between the legal regulation of the state/denomination relations regarding church property, as well as the economic component of these relations. We analyse the regulatory documents of Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia that enshrine the transfer (return) of the church property, which was seized illegally in the first Soviet years in Russia and during the incorporation of the Baltic republics into the USSR, to the religious organisations. We compare the restitution, which was carried out in the Baltics, with Russia’s moderate approach to the transfer of religious objects to religious organisations. We conclude that the international factor affects the resolution of the church property issue and that the economic benefits of the property transfer are unclear. The transfer of the church property is associated with additional expenditure incurred by the state. In conclusion, we consider the reasons why the complete transfer (return) of the church property seized in the Soviet period is impossible.

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The special economic zone in the Kaliningrad region: towards a more effective legal regime

Abstract

In this article, I aim at identifying the main trends in the development of the laws on the special legal regime of entrepreneurship in the Kaliningrad region. I address the problems of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the Kaliningrad region and provide recommendations for improving its legal regulation. I analyse the 12 years experience of the practical application of the federal law on the regional SEZ and examine the gaps and conflicts in the regulatory legal acts. In this study, I consider the legal requirements for the SEZ residents and their investment projects, as well as benefits provided to the residents. Another focus is the goals of the SEZ. I investigate the effectiveness of the benefits to the investors and of the applicable procedures and analyse the factors reducing the region’s investment attractiveness. I outline the 2017 amendments to the federal law on the SEZ in the Kaliningrad region and provide recommendations for the development of regulation and enforcement. I stress the need for tax harmonisation and the introduction of special procedures for the payment of taxes on profits and properties by the SEZ residents.

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