SMALL STATES IN A GEOPOLITICAL WORLD A study of the relations between the Baltic states and Russia through an analysis of the countries’ statements in the United Nations the last ten years
The Baltic States and Russia share a historical relationship. These countries, sharing borders with one another, have linkages that have found their basis in economic, political and cultural relations in which they have been involved throughout the years. However, there is a substantial difference among the Baltic states and Russia: the former countries have been for most of their existence small states (apart for some limited historical period of expansion), while the latter has always played a dominant role in the Baltic region, being a powerful country. Therefore, these countries, due to the power asymmetry, have had troubled relations throughout their history. This research analyses the relations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with Russia. In particular, the thesis focuses on analysing the United Nations General Assembly statements of the Baltic states and Russia over a period of 10 years, from 2009 to 2018. The research aims is to discover the ways (positively, negatively, neutrally) in which these countries refer to each other and to determine the main themes mentioned in their General Assembly statements. The methodology chosen to conduct the research is a qualitative content analysis of documents, focusing on an analysis of the mentioned statements. In this way, the thesis gives a picture of the relations among the considered countries within the United Nations institutional framework. Finally, the results showed that the countries present features associated with the geopolitical theory and small states theory that are the theories driving the research.