Scientific interests are in landscape ecology, land use planning and soil sciences. Simon Bell (1957), MPhil, is a senior research fellow in the Landscape and Design Research Unit at Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh.
The European Great Powers accorded de jure recognition of Estonia and Latvia on January 26, 1921 and Lithuania on December 20, 1922.
This principle self-determination reflected one of four key principles proclaimed by Lenin and Stalin on November 15, 1917 in the Declaration of the Soviet Government: "The right for Russia's peoples of free self-determination even unto separation and establishment of independent states." With the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on July 6, 1923, the new union had adopted all treaties entered into previously by Soviet Russia and the original peace treaties continued to be a basis for relations between the USSR and the respective Baltic states.
In the subsequent decade, several bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements regulating relations were entered into: This Convention for the Definition of Aggression, an initiative of the Soviet Government, defined in Article 2 various acts as aggression, including naval blockades.
Overall, in spite of internal political changes, Estonia was a legal, internationally recognized state in the years prior to 1940.
This independence was interrupted in June 1940, in the aftermath of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union of August 1939.