The History of the Baltic Sea States since 1945

Made up of eight Eastern European States surrounding the Baltic Sea, the regions of Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as well as the states of Norway, Sweden and Finland were also known between the World Wars as the Limitrophe or Border States. With the defeat of the German army in Eastern Europe, these border states looked upon Russia as a defender of their lands.

This would prove to be dangerous for these Sea States as Russia continued to enlarge its borders by incorporating the States of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia into Soviet Socialist Republic territories. Norway would become an independent state and soon join the NATO alliance while Sweden and Norway would declare themselves to be independent and neutral states.

The Russian occupation of the Eastern European Sea States would result in mass deportations and executions as the citizens found that there so-called defenders were no better than the Germans who had occupied their lands a few years earlier. The Russian occupiers would require them to gather agricultural products grown in the country and send it to Russia as well as confiscating many of the farms outright.

In the following years after 1947, a number of mass uprisings would occur to try and overthrow the Soviet occupation of their lands, all with no success. Even with the defeat by the occupiers, the people of these Sea States kept their independent spirit and remained Anti-Soviet.

In 1980, dock workers in the Polish port cities of Szczecin, Gdynia and Gdansk began strikes due to price increased announced by the Soviet Union on supplies in the occupied States. Led by Polish dock worker Lech Walesa, the uprising began to succeed and the Solidarity movement was able to rid itself of the Soviet occupation.

Due in large part to the uprising of the Polish workers, another uprising had begun in the early 1980's within Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, but this one was a bit different. The movement now included more than 2 million people and the Soviet empire soon understood that they could no longer control the uprising. The Soviet Union began to dissolve their empire, giving the States back their independence and withdrawing the soldiers who were occupying the territories.

The States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia soon reorganized their governments as sovereign nations and began to integrate with the Western European nations. The three States each applied to become a part of the NATO alliance as well as the European Union. With the fight for freedom among the Baltic States against the Soviet occupation, several of the representatives of these States developed working relationships and after the dissolution of the Soviet Empire, they formed what would be known as the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

With the alliance of the Baltic Sea States, a new cooperation began within the nations no only among the politicians, but also in the development of their economies and cultures. The Baltic Sea States continue to grow and develop as independent nations, becoming vital entities within the European Union.

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