Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline project running mostly parallel to the current Nord Stream pipeline from Vyborg to Greifswald, Germany. This second line would allow for additional gas flows directly from Russia to Western Europe up to a potential 110 billion cubic meters annually. At face value, this expansion is an economic opportunity that makes sense for Germany and other potential Western European customers. In a perfect world, it would be just that.
Maritime operations have once again been a major theme of recent headlines in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Following the NATO BALTOPS exercises this summer, repeated violations of the Baltic States’ airspace by Russia, and observing current combat diving operations in Tallinn Bay, maritime security issues are particularly relevant. Unfortunately, given the long-standing emphasis on land-based deterrence, the maritime domain has largely been neglected. BALTOPS 2019 revealed a key weakness for naval operations: the shallow and largely unmarked coastline hampered amphibious landing operations in Lithuania.
BSF President Mr. Olevs Nikers and BSF Director Mr. Otto Tabuns took part in the panel “Addressing Security Challenges in the Baltic Region through Multilateral Cooperation” of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) 13th General Conference September 5, 2019 in Wrocław, Poland. During his presentation “Sub-Regional Defense Synchronization – Theory Perspectives and Security Expectations for the Baltics,” Mr. Nikers outlined and discussed the origin and sustainability of the modern security alliance between small countries.
The three Baltic States are key members of the NATO defensive alliance. Since regaining independence after the illegal Soviet occupation, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have all become deeply integrated into Western institutions, such as NATO and the EU. These small countries, understanding the potential peril of reoccupation by a resurgent Russia after the annexation of Crimea, have been extremely vocal in sounding the alarm that Russia remains a security threat. They understand that the West must get serious about security lest its more vulnerable members once more get trampled.