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THE SECURITIZATION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES IN THE BALTIC STATES

Aleksandra Kuczyńska-Zonik
Keywords: National minorities, Baltic States, Russia, security, state stability, integration ,

Abstract

The occupation of Crimea and war in Eastern Ukraine brought minority issues to the top of the Baltic security agenda. Although experts estimate that a separatist scenario for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is not probable, the issue of national minorities has already been included into the security concept as a potential source of danger to stability and national identity. While there is need to analyze political risks in the Baltics, the concept of securitization will be applied to the topic of national minorities. This paper addresses the problem of national minorities’ political integration and loyalty to the state. For the empirical analysis, the paper will use secondary data of surveys conducted in 2014-2017, exposing opinions and beliefs of minorities in the Baltic States referring to their domestic and foreign policies, NATO, Ukrainian crisis and relations with Russia. As a result, the concluding suggestion is made that more attention should be paid to political cohesion and minority policy management: 1) to optimize the minority development; 2) to predict potential risks in the region, and 3) to prevent further threats from Russia.