European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (center) and representatives of the Three Seas Initiative take part in a summit on Sept. 18 in Bucharest, Romania. Three of the 3SI's members, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are increasingly concerned by events on their doorstep.
(DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
2018 is a symbolic year for the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, because it marks the centenary of their independence from the Russian Empire. The last century has been less than easy for the trio of small countries, because independence was quickly followed by occupation, first by the Nazis and then the Soviets. The three republics spent five decades under the USSR, only regaining independence between 1990 and 1991. When I visited the region last month, I couldn't help but think that the past few years have probably been the best in their troubled century as republics, because they have never been so prosperous, so democratic and so open to the world. Nevertheless, the ghosts of the past have not completely vanished, and the Baltic states are once again looking at the world around them with concern....
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