During the long-lasting negotiations regarding the withdrawal of the former Soviet military troops from the Baltic states, the Russian side repeatedly linked the military presence to the well-being of ethnic Russians and other ‘compatriots’ in the three states. Essentially, this case has both an ethnic dimension – who are the Russians?, and a geopolitical dimension – where does the expanse of the new Russian state, and its ambitions, end? Along these two dimensions, different interpretations of Russia's policies during the withdrawal have been put forward. Examining the sequence of events, and the actors’ issue emphasis, this article concludes that the Russian ‘diaspora linkage’ is better explained by developments within the military, and on the Russian domestic political scene, than simply by a Russian concern for the diaspora.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (2001) Compatriot games. Explaining the 'diaspora linkage' in Russia's military withdrawal from the Baltic states, Europe-Asia Studies 53 (5): 771–792.