The regional approach in the policy of the Russian Federation towards the Republic of EstoniaAbstract
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.