Viljar Veebel

Viljar Veebel

Researcher, Baltic Defence College



  • Deterring of the Russian Federation in the Baltic States: NATO’s Possibilities and Dilemmas

    05 December 2018


    RiTo No. 38, 2018

    This analysis discusses the challenges of NATO deterrence from the point of view of the Baltic States.

  • European Union as normative power in Ukrainian-Russian conflict

    07 December 2017


    RiTo No. 36, 2017

    Over the last 20 years, the European Union has been associated with the export of certain universal norms, rules and practices to other countries. In academic circles, this concept is called the „normative power Europe“. Democracy, rule of law, strong commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, and social justice – these principles form the core of the identity of the European Union. Based on shared political, economic and cultural ties among the Member States, the EU has also sought to promote these norms in the neighbouring countries, including Russia. However, the outbreak of a violent conflict between Russia and Ukraine at the end of 2013 clearly demonstrates that the EU has failed in its pursuits in Russia despite the extensive mutual relations and comprehensive financial support provided by the EU. As the EU has generally failed in bringing Russia over to embracing and upholding the European values, this raises the question of the authority of the EU as a normative power. Against this backdrop, the aim of the article is to analyse how consistent the EU has been in defending and promoting European values and norms in the international arena during the Ukrainian conflict. The topic is of particular importance for the EU Member States that are potentially targeted or indirectly influenced by Russia’s actions.

  • Russia’s new imperial patterns in relations with neighbouring states 2008‒2016

    Based on the current experiences – on the examples of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – it can be concluded that Russia has got a systemic approach and long-term programme for drawing “near-abroad” countries into a dependency relationship and then politically realising this dependency relationship. To this is often added the advantage in terms of distance and history over other regional great powers in the realisation of its plans. Taking into account the rise of oil and gas prices in 2016, and Russia’s strategic ambitions, it is fairly rational to expect an improvement and wider use of Russia’s imperial pattern in 2017–2018, while for many target countries the situation is already complicated as it is and offers few ways for exit. Russia’s ambitions in the development of dependent partnership and achievement of political control concern in particular Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, but they have implications also on the Baltic states in so far as these patterns can be applied also to us, should favourable conditions arise.

  • Have sanctions worked in Russian-Ukrainian conflict?

    14 December 2016


    RiTo No. 34, 2016

    Spring 2017 will mark three years since the international community imposed sanctions against Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine, in the hopes of ushering in a solution to the conflict. However, the conflict in Ukraine has persevered against all expectations, and the Cold War-like opposition between the West and Russia has deepened.

  • Purposefulness of European State Aid Rules from the Point of View of Periphery Countries: Case Study of Estonian Air

    14 December 2015


    RiTo No. 32, 2015

    The main purpose of the European Union state aid regulations is to guarantee free and undistorted competition, therefore granting of state aid is usually disapproved. Only a few exceptions are allowed, which should ensure greater common interest and security.

  • Estonian Public Sector is Preparing for the EU Presidency: Ascertaining and Evaluation of the Capability Shortfalls of Officials

    10 June 2015


    RiTo No. 31, 2015

    One of the preconditions for effiient offiials is relevant and objective evaluation of capability (and also capability shortfalls), and ensuring purposeful training and coaching on the basis of this. The forthcoming EU presidency of Estonia in 2018 enhances the need for effiient offiials even more, therefore it is necessary that during the years preceding the EU presidency, the existing capability shortfalls of the offiials connected with the EU are ascertained, and they are provided the training they need. The purpose of the article is to analyse how the evaluation of the EU-related capabilities and knowledge of the Estonian offiials has been conducted since 2002, and what have been the main lessons.

  • How to Implement Successful Austerity Policy without Negative Reactions from Voters: Estonian Experience 2008–2011

    In Europe, austerity policy was considered the ideal model for the stabilisation of states with payment difficulties during the global financial crisis which began in 2008. However, in spite of their economic reasonableness austerity measures were seldom applied in the Member States of the European Union because of the social pressure and political risks that accompany them. The main justified fear of the governments not implementing these measures was not that the austerity measures would not work, but rather the opinion that austerity policy would bring along the displeasure of the voters and that would result in losing the elections.

  • Can European Integration Take Place Simultaneously with Federalisation?

    The article analyses what is the causal relationship between federalisation, integration process, Europeanisation and overcoming the economic crisis; if federalisation is possible considering the positions the Member States have at the moment, and what choices would correspond to Estonia’s interests. Federalisation can be based only on the agreement of all Member States. All Member States and the European Parliament have to support the changing of fundamental agreements.

  • Influence, Interests and Coalition readiness of European Union’s Member States in the Judgment of Estonian officials

    17 December 2009


    RiTo No. 20, 2009

    A study conducted among officials confirms that knowledge of the influence, interests and coalition readiness of European Union Member States is one of the primary success factors for representation of Estonia’s interests in Europe.