By Yulia Lamasheva
The journal of the study of modern society and culture, No.33 (2005)
Introduction: From far away, the Baltic region looks perhaps as a rather homogeneous area. The Baltic Sea is situated in Europe, all bordering States are maritime States. However, in each of the ten Baltic countries different languages are spoken. Seven languages belong to the Indo-European family of languages: Danish, German and Swedish are Germanic languages, and Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Russia are Slavic languages, Estonian and Finnish are probably Asian languages. Religious cleavages divide the mainly Protestant Nordic countries and Estonia/Latvia from Greek Orthodox and from the influence of Catholicism in Poland and Lithuania. The different ethnic origin of the Baltic nations explains to some extent countless rivalries and conflicts throughout the recorded history of the region of some thousand years. How did it happen then, that the Baltic nations turned to cooperation?