Discussing Baltic Challenges with Latvian Minister of Defense

On October 29, the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted an off-the-record strategy session with the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Latvia, H.E. Artis Pabriks, to discuss current and future security challenges to the Baltic region.

In light of increased military exercise activity near the Nordic-Baltic borders and US “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region, the Baltic nations are raising concerns that the NATO Alliance might not be able to live up to its collective defense commitments. Similarly, reductions in European defense spending have contributed to the rising sentiment that Europe is becoming increasingly insular. To overcome this trend, European and North American counterparts must work in tandem to foster a closer NATO-EU relationship and strengthen regional cooperation, using Nordic-Baltic security cooperation as a model. Latvia is uniquely positioned to take leadership in addressing these issues for the transatlantic community as it prepares for renewed efforts on the EU’s Eastern Partnership Policy, the 2014 NATO Summit, and its 2015 EU presidency.

This event is part of NATO Forum, a series of major public speeches and roundtable strategy sessions with ministers of defense and foreign affairs and top military commanders aimed at shaping the agenda for the NATO 2014 summit and defining the future strategic role of the Alliance.