After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, many ties remain, both in culture and location, between Russia and the Baltic States: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Namely, the language is still very prevalent in these small countries that remain wary of Russia’s power. Because of Russia’s great influence on border countries such as Estonia, citizens there are aware of the effects that Russian and American relations have upon them. Because it is election year in the United States, Estonians have opinions on the American candidates; ultimately, who we elect affects the entire world.
Social studies students in a high school in Narva, Estonia, a Russian border city, are pro-Trump and anti-Hillary. To them, Trump is looking to create a friendship between the U.S. and Russia, while Hillary is only looking for a war, in which Estonia “would be in the way” for. In a contrasting light, Baltic politicians feel as though Putin is someone to be “resisted, not appeased,” as Trump says he is looking to do.
Overall, the European reaction to Trump’s election is as mixed there as it is in our own country. Many see an imminent change coming that is potentially for the better, especially in the case of Russian relations. Others are worried about Trump’s sometimes rash and blunt comments and characteristics. The biggest overall concern from this social studies class and the teacher is Trump’s unpredictability.