Kaliningrad and Baltic security
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Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast (Region) has a history of being terra incognita. In defiance of geographic and historical realities, the Allied leaders of World War II carved the oblast from the northern third of East Prussia and awarded it to Stalin's Soviet Union. As the Soviet empire disintegrated around it, Kaliningrad became lost in the shuffle of a new world order. Its very existence as a Russian exclave within an increasingly interdependent Europe brings the Oblast to the forefront of the Baltic region's future. Kaliningrad plays an important part in the wider pan-European context of regional security and regional stability. Using a traditional state-centric paradigm of definitive interstate borders makes the Kaliningrad riddle impossible to solve. By shifting the paradigm toward regional development and regional cooperation to address common problems, the future security relationship of the Baltic littoral becomes more optimistic.
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