On February 9, the Valdai Club hosted an expert discussion, titled “The Baltic Region: What Will the Unprecedented Militarisation Lead to?”
The Baltic Sea region remains one of the most vulnerable in terms of security and the risk of escalation in relations between Russia and NATO. Against the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine, an unprecedented militarisation was launched. Finland and Sweden head towards NATO membership. The defence spending of other regional players which are NATO members has increased significantly. The militarisation of Poland and Germany is especially noticeable. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland are at the forefront of the anti-Russian political line in both NATO and the EU. The risks of a transport blockade of the Kaliningrad region and a threat to Russian shipping are growing, including Estonia’s recent statements about the contiguous zone. Military deterrence and sanctions are the common denominator of the region’s policy towards Russia. At the same time, the accumulated economic ties with Russia, as well as formats of multilateral dialogue, are being eroded. Russia, for its part, is building the capacity needed to maintain resilience in the event of further escalation.