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EN
This article provides an assessment of the defense efforts undertaken by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania since 2014. This analysis is focused on national efforts in the field of military defense and societal resilience. The assessment of defense efforts undertaken by the Baltic states has been based on their pragmatic perception of threats, development of military capabilities, and preparations in the field of civil resilience. The research references publicly available governmental documents of the Baltic states, such as security and defense strategies and concepts, defense plans, and budgets. It discusses recent research and analytical works in the field of and defense of the Baltic states. The research suggests that despite national modalities, all of the Baltic states are implementing core elements of the comprehensive defense. Although there is solid progress in implementing comprehensive defense in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, there are still many challenges ahead.
EN
The article offers a discussion of the origins, current state, and the future of air defence for the Baltic states. It relates developments in the field of air defense to changes in the security environment and the defence policies of the Baltic states. The article starts with a retrospective on the origins and development of air defence in the Baltic states before they joined NATO. Then, it focuses on the early years of integration with NATO Integrated Air Defense System and implications for air defence related to changes in the security of the Euro-Atlantic region stemming from aggressive Russian actions. An assessment of the current posture of air defence in the Baltic states serves as a starting point for a discussion on requirements for future developments and predicting possible outcomes. The research uses unclassified, publicly available documents and analytical reports to provide background information for a discussion on the future of air defense for the Baltic states. The Baltic states are aware of the limitations of their air defense and try to develop this capability within available resources. Changes to security environment after 2014 gave a new impetus to develop the air defense of the Baltic states, both through efforts undertaken by NATO and for national capability development.
EN
The main aim of the article is to analyze the security environment of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The author presents the security dilemmas of the Baltic States before their accession to NATO in 2004 (based on the example of the Republic of Estonia). Subsequently, the author shows the changes that have occurred in the security systems of the Baltic states since the beginning of the hybrid war in Ukraine in 2014. The author also draws attention to key security problems and points to Polish experiences that could be successfully adopted by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
PL
Porty morskie w krajach bałtyckich połączone z siecią kolejową (1 520/1 524 mm) po przekształceniach gospodarek Litwy, Łotwy i Estonii po 1991 r. szybko przystosowały się do funkcjonowania w realiach gospodarki rynkowej, a więzi z Europą zostały wzmocnione po akcesji do Unii Europejskiej w 2004 r. Historycznie kraje te były swoistymi pośrednikami pomiędzy Rosją i Europą w zakresie wymiany handlowej, a obecnie ów trend – z pewnymi modyfikacjami nadal jest utrzymany. Wynika to także ze specyfiki rosyjskiego i częściowo także białoruskiego eksportu bazującego na towarach masowych – węglu kamiennym, produktach naftowych, zbożu, nawozach, słowem ładunkach idealnych do przewozu koleją (towary o znacznej masie, przewożone na duże odległości). Atutem państw bałtyckich jest także fakt położenia geograficznego względem Rosji – na wybrzeżu Bałtyku, co jest wykorzystywane do eksportu ładunków masowych z Rosji, ewentualnie kontenerów z Chin. Obecny stan wydaje się w perspektywie średnioterminowej raczej niezagrożony, niezależnie od panujących napięć pomiędzy UE i Rosją. Nowym bardzo ambitnym projektem jest linia Rail Baltica, czyli planowana normalnotorowa linia zelektryfikowana (25 kV 50 Hz) biegnąca od granicy polsko-litewskiej przez Kowno (z pominięciem Wilna), Rygę i Tallinn, a także do Helsinek przez tunel pod Zatoką Fińską.
EN
Seaports in the Baltic States are connected to the railway network (1 520/1 524 mm), and after transformations of the economies of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and after 1991, have been quickly adapted to functioning in the market economy, and their ties with Europe were strengthened after accession of these countries to the European Union in 2004. Historically, these states were specific intermediaries between Russia and Europe in the field of trade, and now this trend, with some modifications, is still maintained. This is also due to the specificity of Russian and partly Belarusian exports, based on mass goods – coal, petroleum products, grain, fertilizers, in short, ideal loads for rail transport (goods of considerable weight, which are transported over long distances). The asset of the Baltic states is also the fact of geographical location with respect to Russia – on the Baltic coast, which is used to export bulk cargo from Russia, or containers from China. The current state seems unlikely in the medium term, regardless of the political turbulences between the EU and Russia. The new very ambitious project is the Rail Baltica line, a planned standard-gauge electrified line (25 kV 50 Hz) from the Polish-Lithuanian border through Kaunas (excluding Vilnius), Riga and Tallinn, and to Helsinki via the tunnel under the Gulf of Finland.
PL
(1 520/1 524 mm) po przekształceniach gospodarek Litwy, Łotwy i Estonii po 1991 r. szybko przystosowały się do funkcjonowania w realiach gospodarki rynkowej, a więzi z Europą zostały wzmocnione po akcesji do Unii Europejskiej w 2004 r. Historycznie kraje te były swoistymi pośrednikami pomiędzy Rosją i Europą w zakresie wymiany handlowej, a obecnie ów trend – z pewnymi modyfikacjami – nadal jest utrzymany. Wynika to także ze specyfiki rosyjskiego i częściowo także białoruskiego eksportu bazującego na towarach masowych – węglu kamiennym, produktach naftowych, zbożu, nawozach, słowem ładunkach idealnych do przewozu koleją (towary o znacznej masie, przewożone na duże odległości). Atutem państw bałtyckich jest także fakt położenia geograficznego względem Rosji – na wybrzeżu Bałtyku, co jest wykorzystywane do eksportu ładunków masowych z Rosji, ewentualnie kontenerów z Chin. Obecny stan wydaje się w perspektywie średnioterminowej raczej niezagrożony, niezależnie od panujących napięć pomiędzy UE i Rosją. Nowym bardzo ambitnym projektem jest linia Rail Baltica, czyli planowana normalnotorowa linia zelektryfikowana (25 kV 50 Hz) biegnąca od granicy polsko-litewskiej przez Kowno (z pominięciem Wilna), Rygę i Tallinn, a także do Helsinek przez tunel pod Zatoką Fińską.
EN
Seaports in the Baltic States are connected to the railway network (1 520/1 524 mm), and after transformations of the economies of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after 1991, have been quickly adapted to functioning in the market economy, and their ties with Europe were strengthened after accession of these countries to the European Union in 2004. Historically, these states were specific intermediaries between Russia and Europe in the field of trade, and now this trend, with some modifications, is still maintained. This is also due to the specificity of Russian and partly Belarusian exports, based on mass goods – coal, petroleum products, grain, fertilizers, in short, ideal loads for rail transport (goods of considerable weight, which are transported over long distances). The asset of the Baltic states is also the fact of geographical location with respect to Russia – on the Baltic coast, which is used to export bulk cargo from Russia, or containers from China. The current state seems unlikely in the medium term, regardless of the political turbulences between the EU and Russia. The new very ambitious project is the Rail Baltica line, a planned standard-gauge electrified line (25 kV 50 Hz) from the Polish-Lithuanian border through Kaunas (excluding Vilnius), Riga and Tallinn, and to Helsinki via the tunnel under the Gulf of Finland.
EN
In the Middle Gauja Lowland, northeast Latvia, dunes are distributed over a vast glaciolacustrine plain that formed during the retreat of the Fennoscandian ice sheet. Such a direct contact between aeolian and glaciolacustrine sediments can be used to infer depositional settings and decipher to what extent these sediments bear an aeolian component. Our proxies, although preliminary, reveal a limited range of variation in grain-size parameters, a significant presence of quartz grains with silica precipitation and matt-surface grains of various rounding degrees and massive structure combined with horizontal lamination. These are indicative of periglacial-aeolian depositional conditions in the foreland of the Linkuva ice-marginal zone. Sedimentary characteristics do not match a single luminescence date of 9.2±0.6 ka, which significantly postdates the minimum age of the Linkuva ice-marginal zone with 10Be ages between 15.4 and 12.0 ka. Whether deposition started directly after drainage of the Middle Gauja ice-dammed lake or if there is a gap of 2.8–6.2 ka is a matter of debate; only future studies at higher OSL resolution could resolve this.
EN
The article discusses the issues of employee financial participation in Baltic states which differs and depends on political, legal and economic preconditions. The aim of the research is to analyse employee financial participation as an instrument for collaboration in companies and a new social cooperation model in the Baltic states. The qualitative research was conducted by telephone and e-mail in 2016. The interviews were carried out with the experts (academics, civil servants, lawyers and human resource consultants working in a relevant field) as well some trade union and company representatives. In general, the new policy for supporting employee financial participation has been renewed in Latvia and Lithuania. It started recently with the revision of the legislative framework that was initially established during the privatisation period. The revision of the Law of Companies was driven by the business interest (to have a new effective human resource management tool or to transfer employee share plans from parent companies in Western countries to subsidiaries in the Baltic states) to introduce (or revise, in the case of Lithuania) new employee share ownership (ESO) plans. The research has also proven that there are common similarities in the use of employee financial participation plans despite the existing differences which are based on national features, such as tax and legal regimes, historical development patterns, or economic and structural factors.
8
Content available The Suwalki Gap : NATO's fragile hot spot
EN
The so called Suwalki Gap has been lately among important regional security related topics and it has been linked with its geostrategic location and geographical complexity of the terrain for conducting military operations. The threat toward Baltic states cause it to be discussed widely by civilian and military authorities, especially in the context of destabilising Ukraine and annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and possible assertive actions. The paper proposes an approach to the Suwalki Gap issue based on its geostrategic location and operational importance. It includes also its geographical characteristic connected with conducting military operations in that specific terrain. It furthers the discussion of tactical aspects of defensive and offensive operations there. The outcome of the NATO Warsaw Summit is also discussed in the context of Suwalki Gap as a land bridge linking Baltic states with the NATO allies.
PL
Działania z marca 2014 r. i przyłączenie Krymu do Rosji stworzyły szczególną sytuację dla państw bałtyckich. W przypadku społeczeństwa estońskiego znamienne jest, że to najmniejsze z państw bałtyckich składa się w 25% z mniejszości rosyjskiej. Duża mniejszość rosyjska jest niewątpliwie czynnikiem, który zwiększa zagrożenie ze strony Rosji. Tworzy również problemy integracyjne spowodowane podziałami etnicznymi. Artykuł analizuje sytuację mniejszości rosyjskiej w Estonii, podkreślając obszary problematyczne, które mogą być przyczyną interwencji rosyjskiej w tym regionie. Rząd estoński rozpoczął i konsekwentnie wprowadza kilka programów integracyjnych, których głównym celem jest stworzenie spójnego i możliwie jak najbardziej jednolitego społeczeństwa. Pomimo że zauważyć można zwiększone użycie języka estońskiego przez mniejszości narodowe, wciąż widać poważne braki językowe uniemożliwiające skuteczne porozumienie się po estońsku. Taka sytuacja ogranicza szanse na rynku pracy i obniża status społeczny. Pośród wielu antagonizmów i nierówności społecznych zarówno Estończycy, jak i Rosjanie muszą budować koegzystencję w niezależnej Estonii. Natomiast celem Rosji jest ochrona wszystkich mniejszości rosyjskich mieszkających za granicą, a to wydaje się być potencjalnym zagrożeniem dla bezpieczeństwa, w tym wypadku właśnie Estonii.
EN
March 2014 and annexation of the Crimea to Russia created a special situation for Baltic States. It is significant that the Estonian society, the smallest from the Baltic States, consists of 25% of minorities of Russian background. The Large Russian minority is undoubtedly a factor that enhances the threat from Russia. It also creates integration problems caused by ethnic division. The articles analyzes the position of Russian minority in Estonia underlining the problematic areas that can be a cause of Russian intervention in this region. The Estonian government has consistently launched and introduced some integration programmes that the primary goal was to create a coherent and possibly the most homogeneous society. Although the level of Estonian language among the representatives of national minorities has been improving, there are still many people who cannot communicate effectively because their language skills are not sufficient. Such a situation limits their chances on the labour market and lowers their social status. Despite the many antagonisms and social inequalities for both the Estonians and Russians, they must build a common national existence in an independent Estonia. Russia’s goal, nonetheless, is to protect all Russian minorities living abroad so it seems to be a potential threat to the security of the state.
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