Browsing by Subject "Belarus"

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  • Knuuttila, Seppo (Finnish Environment Institute, 2015)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 38/2015
    The report describes the results of pilot project aimed at improving the quality of data on transboundary nutrient loads, in particular, in the rivers Daugava and Nemunas. Two sampling rounds (in May and November 2013) were organised and executed by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) in close cooperation with representatives from the participating countries, one laboratory from Latvia, two from Lithuania, three from Belarus and one from Finland. The results from the total nitrogen analyses of the different laboratories were in general comparable, while the total phosphorus results varied between the laboratories. One explanation might be that the analytical methods applied were not fully comparable; for example, the filtration of the samples before analysis of total phosphorus may have affected the results. Highest concentrations were observed at the Belarusian border. Both absolutely and relatively high concentrations of dissolved phosphorus in the rivers give an indication of a clear anthropogenic influence. A key finding of the project was that a reasonably good consensus and comparability has been reached on the phosphorus and nitrogen loads originating in the upstream catchment area and flowing into Latvia and Lithuania – even if the results were produced through separate data sets and by partly different methods. This is a good starting point for the efforts to further estimate the retention in the lower reaches in the Latvian and Lithuanian territories of the two rivers and the percentage of the transboundary nutrient loads which finally enter into the Baltic Sea. An equally important result of the project is the ability to now present – in connection with the data on the total riverine loads measured at the mouth of the rivers Daugava and Nemunas – complete data sets on nutrient loads at the border between Latvia or Lithuania and Belarus. This data also sup-ports the assessment of transboundary nutrient loads originating in the territory of Belarus (and Russia) in the catchment area of these two rivers.
  • Paanukoski, Yegor (2005)
    The thesis analyzes key aspects of Russia's European energy policy. Energy in this thesis is limited to two commodities: oil and natural gas. Russia's European energy policy is not homogenous and varies from country to country, from region to region. Nevertheless, energy remains one of the strongest links between the European Union and Russia. The link is so strong that it allows to speak of interdependency as a distinctive feature of the EU-Russia relationship. Unable to break it, both sides concentrate on the management of the interdependency. The main question of the thesis is the rationalities of Russia's European energy policy before and after the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union. The accession of ten new member states mainly from the Central and Eastern Europe, that once were either satellites or members of the Soviet Union, have created new opportunities and challenges for Russia's European energy policy. Russia's policy is rational and pragmatic as it is aimed at optimising the dialogue with county's most important partners and maximizing profits. On the other hand, new member states from the CEE and Russia often struggle to find a common language, while the legacy of the controversial past and CEE's high dependency on Russian energy imports often hinder the progress towards a rational and pragmatic relationship. It is practically impossible to analyze the EU-Russia relationship without knowing the context of Russian domestic politics, especially in the sphere of energy. There is a clear difference between Yeltsin's and Putin's approaches towards the energy issue. For President Putin the energy plays an important role in strengthening the role of the state as well as increasing Russia's influence in the EU and worldwide. It is equally important to shed some light on Russia's energy policies towards key European transit countries that are not members of the EU - Ukraine and Belarus. These countries also represent a challenge for Russian energy policies and the EU-Russia relationship as both are more easily integrated into the European project than their giant eastern neighbour. Conclusions are presented in the form of three scenarios for the future. All three scenarios are based on the Eurocentric point of view. A short-term scenario to 2010 envisages a situation where both sides are looking for ways to get an upper hand in the management of the interdependency and improving its position vis-à-vis its partner. A long-term negative scenario to 2020 envisages a deterioration of the EU-Russia relationship and Moscow's slow drifting towards more intense interaction with East Asian region, especially surging China. A long-term positive scenario to 2020 envisages a political rapprochement between the EU and Russia where energy cooperation is considered a mutual asset, thus creating a sense of stability, at least in one part of the world. The theoretical background of the thesis is based on the assumptions of Neorealism, a dominating meta-theory in International Relations, and Rational Choice Theory. The assumptions are often used and discussed implicitly. Russia's alleged deviation from classical western interpretations of rationalism is also discussed.
  • Lind, Alina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Due to historical and political reasons, a lot of Belarusians face a challenge regarding the understanding of their national identity. This thesis aims at analysing the ways tourism advertisements contribute to the nation’s representation to Belarusians. The study’s objectives concentrate on the formulation of the most recurring cultural representations of Belarusian nation portrayed in the advertisements and evaluation of their contribution to nation-building processes. In the following thesis, I am answering the research questions regarding the markers of cultural representation (e.g., signs, symbols) seen in tourism advertising contributing to Belarusian identity, their cultural connotations, and the differences in the representation of such symbols in governmental and private Belarusian tourist advertisements. Since the thesis is analysing Belarusian national identity features, I also provide a historical and political background of the republic since the thirteenth century. By doing so, the reader gets a comprehensive picture of the events that influenced the problem of national identity and the topicality of this issue nowadays. The data consist of 44 images and snapshots taken from Belarusian online travel resources. As a rule, these images have a direct connection to traditions, myths, and national heritage of the republic. The materials were classified according to their references to geography, leisure practices, cultural heritage, and social relationships. Such references facilitate the classification of the data and allow to identify the national identity markers in a structured way. In this research, I applied the semiology analysis method that analyses denotative and connotative meanings of an image. This method helps to identify “symbols” depicted in the tourist advertisements regarding Belarusian national identity which involves reading between the lines and understanding the historical and cultural “baggage” of the nation in question. This study demonstrated the most representative markers of cultural representation used in the tourist advertisements of Belarus, the way they “speak” to the citizens, and shape Belarusian national identity in the modern context.