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Taagepera, Rein

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Eesti Päevaleht - Estonia | 13/09/2008

Rein Taagepera on Estonia's Russian policy

Political Scientist Rein Taagepera reflects in Eesti Päevaleht on the policy Estonia should adopt towards Russia after the war in Georgia: "Many people in Estonia want the Western states to take swift and forceful action to curtail Russia's influence. In face of these expectations, everything that is in fact done seems like a symbol for the decline of the Western world. But it is not necessarily so. The Western states have other geographic and temporal dimensions. Estonia must accept this, instead of despairing that the West has no idea what Moscow is really like. ... Who knows Moscow better - those who were once under its influence, or those who avoided that fate? ... Estonia's experience shows that we too are threatened once the Russian tanks start to roll. The Western (and Northern) experience is that tanks come to a halt at their borders, provided you speak quietly and adopt a strong and menacing stance. ... Estonia needs a Russian-language television channel. Citizens whose mother tongue is Russian or some other language should be actively enlisted in the Estonian public service. ... Estonia must understand why and how the interests of Western Europe vary from their own. Once we know this, it will be simpler to settle on common ground."

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