Baltics

  • Updating Government: Estonia’s Mastery of Digital Statecraft

    When asked about her country’s establishment of overseas “data embassies” to back up its data, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid replied: “There’s nothing about the technology that’s interesting.” In a country known for making policy leaps and bounds in the digital realm, progress can easily be mistaken for technical know-how. However, important as technological innovation is, it is not the whole story.

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  • A Blueprint for US Strategy in the Baltics

    Since regaining independence, the Baltic states have transformed themselves into some of Europe’s most dynamic economies with some of the fastest growth rates in Europe. Baltic societies are highly digitized and connected to the outside world. They are also committed to democratic values of openness, human rights, and rule of law.

    Today, these accomplishments face a new test emerging from a Kremlin intent on sowing division and mistrust, undermining our democratic societies, and intimidating our allies. 

    The Baltic nations have transformed from captive nations to frontline allies. I believe that we are entering a historic window of opportunity in which we have the possibility and perhaps the responsibility to consolidate the US-Baltic partnership and the security of our alliance.

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  • Trump Tells Baltic Leaders He is Tough on Russia

    US President Donald J. Trump has assured leaders of the three Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—that no one has been tougher on Russia than him. He also said that he thinks he could have a “very good relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Trump made the comments in a joint press conference with the three Baltic presidents—Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania, and Raimonds Vējonis of Latvia—at the White House in Washington on April 3.

    The Atlantic Council will host all three Baltic leaders for a dinner on April 3. US National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will also attend the event.

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  • Maritime Defense for the Baltic States

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    The maritime domain is increasingly a priority for NATO as the alliance seeks to bolster its defense and deterrence posture in Europe’s north and east. Much work remains to be done in terms of NATO’s maritime posture and the maritime capabilities and capacities of its members. The maritime domain presents a unique challenge for NATO’s Baltic members, as they are frontline states in the new contest between NATO and a revanchist Russia. This issue brief lays out the particular challenges for the Baltic States in the maritime domain in the Baltic Sea region, and how Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuanian can build more effective maritime defense in concert with NATO and the United States.

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  • The Curious Case of Latvia's Banking Scandal

    Two developments have rocked the Latvian banking system in recent days. Last week, the country’s third-largest bank, ABLV Bank, was accused by the United States Treasury Department of systematic money laundering and aiding in the circumvention of the sanctions imposed on North Korea. Separately, Latvian Central Bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics, one of the longest-serving central bank heads in Europe, was held over the weekend by Latvia’s anti-corruption authority after he was accused by officials at Norvik Banka of having demanded a bribe. As of now, the two developments appear unrelated.

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  • Securing Northern Europe – Bridging the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic and the Arctic

    On December 12, 2017 the Atlantic Council’s Northern Europe Office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung hosted a public conference in Stockholm to discuss the need to bridge perspectives and start forming a merged agenda to successfully face the security challenges in Northern Europe following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.

    Keynote addresses were made by H.E. Peter Hultqvist, Defense Minister of Sweden; Minister Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden; and Ms. Tone Skogen, State Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Norway.

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  • NATO Preparing New Doctrine for Cyber Operations

    Merle Maigre, who directs NATO’s cyber center headquartered in Tallin, Estonia, outlined the alliance’s multi-pronged efforts on cybersecurity during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
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  • NATO Chief says Allies Concerned about Russian Phone Jamming

    NATO allies have raised concerns about what they call Russia's use of a kind of electronic warfare during military exercises last month that jammed some phone networks, alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
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  • US and NATO Allies Grapple with Countering Russia’s Cyber Offensive

    NATO’s long-standing tactical advantage on the battlefield could be at risk as cyber adversaries probe for weak points in the U.S.-led security pact’s networks, a top alliance official said.
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  • Time for a Cyber NATO?

    Beyond elections, cyberwarfare has made traditional rules governing armed conflict irrelevant.
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