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Many environmental problems cross national boundaries and can be addressed only through international cooperation. In this book Robert Darst examines transnational efforts to promote environmental protection in the USSR and in five of its successor states - Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - from the late 1960s to the present. The core of the book is a comparative study of three key issues: nuclear power safety, transboundary air pollution and Baltic Sea pollution. Although expectations were high that the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union would lead to increased East-West environmental cooperation, the opposite has been true. Russia and other successor states have generally agreed to address such problems only when paid to do so. Darst finds that post-Cold War environmental cooperation has been most successful when there is an overlap between the environmental and economic interests of the successor states and those of their Western neighbours, and when the foundation for cooperation was laid during the Cold War period. The book is based on extensive original field research, including interviews with diplomats, government officials, scientists and environmental activists in the successor states and Western Europe. Its findings underscore the importance of the domestic and international political context in which international environmental policy making occurs. It also deepens our understanding of the opportunities and dangers of positive inducement as a tool of international environmental policy.
A significant contribution to the literature on environmental aid and to the study of East-West environmental cooperation. --Olav Schram Stokke, Research Director, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway