Baltics

  • How the US Can Fight Russian Disinformation for Real

    For the past three years, I have been on the front lines of the information war, most recently in Ukraine, Lithuania, and Georgia. I have worked alongside, interviewed and briefed policymakers throughout the region, and these experiences have presented a grim picture: the United States is abdicating its leadership in countering Russian disinformation.

    Where we ought to be setting the rules of engagement, the tone, and the moral compass in responding to Russia’s information war, the United States has been a tardy, timid, or tertiary player, with much of our public servants’ good work on this issue stymied by domestic politicization. Disinformation is not a political issue; it is a democratic one.

    Beyond that challenge, the United States has not invested sufficient resources to be competitive in the fight against disinformation. Russian information warfare continues to target the United States and our allies, as well as the rules-based international order. However, countering it has not been a budgetary priority.


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  • The US Should Not See Europe as a Competitor, Latvian Prime Minister Argues

    Amidst rising discord between the United States and Europe over trade, financial contributions to NATO, and the threat from Iran, US policy makers should stop viewing Europe as a competitor, but rather as a friend whose prosperity and unity helps the United States, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš said on July 10.

    “The [European Union] is the United States’ most natural ally,” Kariņš said at an Atlantic Council event on July 10 in Washington. “It is a friend that you don’t have to gain…[but] it is a friend that you can lose,” he warned. “Europe without the United States and the United States without Europe are only half [powers]. Combined, [they are] the leading power in the world to protect these three fundamental [principles] that too many people take for granted: freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”


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  • Lithuania Shuns Populism With the Election of a Pro-EU President

    On May 26, Lithuanian voters rebuffed the populist trends sweeping Europe by electing Gitanas Nausėda, a pro-European Union independent centrist, as their new president. There is a lot at stake for Lithuania and Nausėda, an economist and political novice, has little room for error.
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  • Kalensky Quoted in EU Observer on Estonia Warning EU of Russian Security Threat


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  • Lithuania: NATO Should Step Up in Post-INF Reality

    Not all NATO allies are reassured by the pledges coming from Washington and NATO headquarters that there will not be more nuclear weapons stationed in Europe after the expected demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in August.

    Some European governments would like to hear just the opposite: that the West will stop at nothing to combat Russian aggression, including countering Moscow’s INF-busting 9M729 missile system with more nuclear weapons on European territory if necessary. Baltic diplomats have said privately they believe ruling out such a deployment is a strategic mistake.


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  • #StrongerWithAllies: Lithuanian Combat Photographer Started with a Dogged Pursuit

    Sergeant Specialist Ieva Budzeikaite was less than two weeks into her award-winning career as a combat photographer when the Lithuanian Armed Forces gave her a chance to snap pictures of troops taking survival training.

    “How cool is that!” she thought.

    She had no clue that in the forested, swampy training grounds she would be running faster than she had in her life.


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  • #StrongerWithAllies: Lithuanian Sharpshooter Has Security in His Sights

    Saturday mornings for Lithuanian National Guard Private First Class Adomas Bužinskas rarely begin with a steaming mug of coffee in bed. Instead, the highly-skilled sharpshooter is often lying in a deep, cold trench defending Lithuania’s borders.

    Lithuanians born after their country declared its independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990, are often referred to as the “Freedom Generation.” Bužinskas is one of them.


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  • Latvia Struggles to Form a Government

    In the early hours of October 7, it became clear that Latvia had followed in the footsteps of many of its European neighbors. The newly-elected parliament was fragmented, the ruling coalition had lost its majority, and populist parties enjoyed significant gains. Latvian voters demonstrated widespread disillusionment with politicians and politics in general—compared to 2014, turnout in the parliamentary elections on October 6 dropped by nearly five percentage points, a record low since the country regained its independence twenty-seven years ago. Most worryingly, all this happened amidst healthy economic growth.   

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  • The Atlantic Council Stands with Latvia - and Always Will

    At the Atlantic Council, we are proud of the work that we have done with our friends from Latvia over the years. Our core mission is to promote constructive American global leadership and international engagement, built upon the solid foundation of the transatlantic alliance – the United States’ most important international relationship. The Atlantic Council and its staff believe firmly that the United States is stronger with its allies than it is alone. We staunchly defend the value of NATO, promote continued American engagement in Europe, and push American policymakers to remain steadfast in our commitment to defend our allies – every single one of them.

    We are surprised and disappointed to see that record ignored. Recent reports have suggested that the Atlantic Council is allowing itself to be influenced by those who do not have the best interests of Latvia at heart. Such claims are misplaced and impugn the good work of our team.

    Atlantic Council staff are among the most outspoken and most consistent advocates for the Baltic countries. Our publications, events, media appearances, and ground-breaking digital forensics work have sought to inform Washington policy makers of the threats facing the Baltic nations from Moscow and argue for strengthening America’s commitment to defend our friends in the region. The team associated with our institution has probably done more than any other to drive home the nature of the threat posed by a revisionist Kremlin, the breadth of tools used in this hybrid war, and the best means to defend our societies.

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  • Nordenman Quoted in Defense News on NATO's New Baltic Command Structure


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