Security Challenges of the Baltic Small States

Margarita Šešelgytė, Studies Director, Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University

Security Challenges of the Baltic Small StatesBaltic states have walked a long way in ensuring their security since the nineties, after they have regained their independence. They have managed to create democratic and stable institutions from the scratch, reform their economies, become members of the major international and regional institutions. Membership in the EU and NATO had a particular influence on the security of the Baltic states. Despite a relatively high degree of security, Baltic states have a number of security challenges. Part of those challenges arise due to the vulnerabilities of these countries, which a related to their size, geographical position, historical legacies. Another part could be attributed to the hostile policies of their biggest neighbor – Russia, which have gained a particular attention in the face of the Ukrainian crisis. The aim of this seminar is to discuss main security challenges of the Baltic states and try to define the best recipes to address them. 

Reading material:

1) Grigas A. (2012) Legacies, Coercion and Soft Power: Russian Influence in the Baltic states, Russia and Eurasia Program, Chatham House Briefing Paper, REP RSP BP 2012/04.

2) Jurkynas M. (2014) Security Concerns of the Baltic States in the Twenty First Century, in C. Archer, A. J.K. Bailes and A. Wivel eds. Small States and International Security: Europe and Beyond, Routledge, pp. 113-129.

3) Šešelgytė M. (2014) Security in the Baltic Sea Region: “Island of Peace” or a Potential Battle Ground, in A. Spruds and K. Bukovskis eds. Security in the Broader Baltic Sea Region: Afterthoughts from the Riga Seminar, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, pp. 17-22.