Baltic Nations Feel Safer After NATO Summit

Russian threat to the Baltics taken seriously

31 August 2023

A change in NATO’s approach to Baltic defence from “deterrence by punishment” to “deterrence by denial” is a huge milestone, slowly but surely followed by increasing troop numbers and greater inter-operability of NATO’s contributing nations.

NATO’s June summit’s venue in Vilnius had more than symbolic value in communicating the alliance’s readiness to defend the three small nations in case of aggression from Russia or its Belarussian proxy. 

With the question of Ukraine’s path to NATO capturing most of the attention, it was easy to miss significant developments and decisions around the time of the summit, which focused on enhancing the security of the Baltic states. 

NATO readies to defend the Baltics rather than react 

At the Madrid Summit in June 2022, several important positions for the Baltic States were taken. The new NATO Strategic Concept identified Russia as “the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area”, legitimising the long-held position of the three countries.

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Sigita Struberga

Sigita Struberga is is a Marcin Król Fellow 2022/2023 at Visegrad Insight. She is a Secretary-General of the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation and researcher and lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Latvia. She is developing her PhD thesis in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia. Her research interests are transatlantic relations and European security, Russia, China’s foreign policy, strategic communication

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