On September 7, the Atlantic Council held an all-day conference on Nordic-Baltic security, which examined key strategic challenges for the countries of the Nordic-Baltic region, how to further strengthen regional cooperation, and how the region can play a larger role in transatlantic and global security.The event also featured the release of “Nordic-Baltic Security in the 21st Century: The Regional Agenda and the Global Role,” a compendium of issue briefs on a range of topics related to Nordic-Baltic security, including NATO’s role in the region, energy security, and how the region can play a larger role in the transatlantic community in concert with the United States, NATO, and the EU.

The Nordic-Baltic region has undergone a remarkable transformation since the end of the Cold War and the restoration of the Baltic states’ independence twenty years ago. Today, the region is characterized by economic dynamism, deep Euro-Atlantic integration, and robust stability. As we look to the next twenty years, increasing regional cooperation and integration offers the prospect of the region playing a much larger role in transatlantic and global security.

This conference is the capstone event of the Council’s Transatlantic Initiative on Nordic-Baltic Security, a year-long effort supported by Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Initiative seeks to raise the level of debate on Nordic-Baltic security issues in Washington, as well as to provide actionable and policy relevant advice on how to further strengthen Nordic-Baltic cooperation on security and defense issues in a transatlantic and global context. A compendium of issue briefs on Nordic-Baltic security, covering a wide range of topics, will be released at the conference and several of the compendium authors will serve as conference panelists.


Welcome and Introduction, First Panel: The Regional Security Agenda: US Perspectives | Transcript | Audio (.mp3)

Welcome and Introduction

  • Fred Kempe, Atlantic Council
  • Robert Nurick, Atlantic Council
  • Jonas Hafstrom, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States

The Regional Security Agenda: US Perspectives

  • James Townsend, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Masha Yovanovitch, U.S. Department of State

In Concert or Competition? NATO, the EU, and the Regional Security Agenda | Transcript | Audio (.mp3)


  • AnnSofie Dahl, Adjunct Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Copenhagen)
  • Imants Liegis, Former Latvian Minister of Defense*
  • Kurt Volker, School of Advanced International Studies, Washington
  • Mindaugas Zickus, Advisor to the President of Lithuania


  • Ian Brzezinski, Atlantic Council

Pillars of Security? Economics and Energy in the Nordic-Baltic Region | Transcript | Audio (.mp3)


  • Tomas Malmlof, Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOI)
  • Andris Spruds, Riga University
  • Pekka Sutela, Bank of Finland


  • Fran Burwell, Atlantic Council

Lunch Keynote Speech | Transcript | Audio (.mp3)

  • Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia

The Nordic-Baltic Region Meets the World: Should There Be a Global Agenda? | Transcript | Audio (.mp3)


  • Per Augustsson, School of Advanced International Studies, Washington
  • Steve Flanagan, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington
  • Kadri Liik, International Centre for Defence Studies, Tallinn
  • Damon Wilson, Atlantic Council


  • Robert Nurick, Atlantic Council

Concluding Observations and Farewell | Transcript | Audio (.mp3)