Northern European foreign ministers to discuss hybrid security threats in Baltic

Photo: NATO
Photo: NATO

The foreign ministers of Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Finland convene in Helsinki today to discuss Russian hybrid threats in the Baltic region.

Hybrid warfare uses both military and non-military means to threaten a country’s national security. In the Baltic region specifically, the Kremlin has been accused of launching cyberattacks, disinformation and propaganda campaigns to spur opposition from minority Russian populations in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Moscow also maintains a strong military presence in Kaliningrad, the exclave situated between Poland and Lithuania from which it performs many military manoeuvres in the Baltic.

Scandinavia’s willingness to recognise Russia as a threat and potentially engage in more military operations is a shift for the usually neutral region, though it will continue to remain outside the NATO bloc.

However, expect Germany, a key NATO member, to tread lightly today. Germany and Russia share a major interest in the Baltic region with the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, an economic boon for both sides. Germany’s cautious stance will likely only aid Russia’s interests in the Baltic at the expense of Scandinavia’s.

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