The Baltic States and the EU Strategic Autonomy

39
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-8-26-36
EDN: ZMONAU
N. Arbatova, arbatova@imemo.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 30.04.2023. Revised 05.05.2023. Accepted 26.05.2023.

Abstract. Nowadays, three Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – form the most solid core in the camp of European Atlanticists with a strong emphasis on the U.S. as the main security guarantee. Due to their geographical location, they have always been particularly acutely aware of the tension between East and West. With the beginning of Russia’s special military operation on the territory of Ukraine, the topic of a potential Russian threat has become predominant in their foreign policy discourse. The article is devoted to the analysis of the evolution of the Baltic countries’ approaches to national and regional security and the main factors influencing the formation of these approaches, in particular, the relationship between Atlanticism and Europeanism. Particular attention is paid to the existing dichotomy of the Baltic countries in the field of European security, the catalyst of which was the European Union’s course on strategic autonomy. From the very beginning, the idea of strategic autonomy of the European Union did not arouse much enthusiasm in these countries because of the fear of breaking the strategic link between Europe and the United States. The course of the EU leadership towards strategic autonomy has violated the established picture of the world in the Baltic States: NATO, under the strong leadership of the United States, should provide collective defense against a potential Russian threat, and the EU – economic well-being and prosperity. The European Union was assigned a subsidiary and far from the main role in the field of security. However, being part of the EU, the Baltic States could no longer completely ignore the integration projects of Brussels in the field of European defense. If until February 24, 2022, the security policy of the Baltic countries was distinguished by balancing between the United States/NATO and the European Union, then the Ukrainian conflict has once again tipped the scales in favor of the Atlantic choice as the main guarantor of security.

Keywords: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Baltic region, European Union, European security, NATO, strategic autonomy, Ukrainian conflict, special military operation of Russia


REFERENCES

1. Merkel P.H. The Distracted Eagle: The Rift between America and Old Europe. London & New York, Routeledge, 2005. 221 p.

2. Landsbergis G. The end of naivete: How NATO must boost Baltic defenses. Politio Europe, 11.05.2022. Available at: https://www.politico.eu/article/nato-baltic-defence-ukraine-russia-war/ (accessed 05.04.2023).

3. Swistek G., Paul M. Geopolitics in the Baltic Sea Region. SWP Comment, no. 9, February 2023. Avaialble at: https://www.swp-berlin.org/10.18449/2023C09/ (accessed 10.04.2023).

4. Nikers O., Tabuns O. Bureaucratic policy and defence cooperation in the Baltic States. Security and Defence Quarterly, 2022, no. 37 (1), pp. 41-54. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/358877060_Bureaucratic_policy_and_defense_cooperation_among_the_Baltic_states (accessed 05.04.2023).

5. Lucas E., Hodges B., Schmiedl C. Close to the Wind: Too Many Cooks, Not Enough Broth. Center of European Policy Analysis, 09.09.2021. Available at: https://cepa.org/comprehensive-reports/close-to-the-wind-too-many-cooks-not-enough-broth/ (accessed 05.04.2023).

6. Bicer A. Poland, Baltic states agree further cooperation on security amid war. Anadolu Agency, 31.01.2023. Available at: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/poland-baltic-states-agree-further-cooperation-on-security-amid-war/2802761 (accessed 05.04.2023).

7. Šešelgytė M. Baltic Concerns and Moderate Engagement. L’Europe en Formation, 2019/2, no. 389, pp. 177-193. Available at: https://www.cairn.info/revue-l-europe-en-formation-2019-2-page-177.htm?ref=doi (accessed 05.04.2023).

8. Veebel V. Estonia on the Road to a European army. Bartels Hans-Peter, Kellner Anna Maria, Optenhogel Uwe, eds. Strategic Autonomy and European Defense: On the road to a European army? Verlag J.H.W., Dietz, 2017. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317037966_Estonia_on_the_Road_to_a_European_Army (accessed 05.04.2023).

9. Palavenis D. The Baltic States and the European Defence Fund: results for the first call available. The European Sting, 09.08.2022. Available at: https://europeansting.com/2022/08/09/the-baltic-states-and-the-european-defence-fund-results-for-the-first-call-available/ (accessed 21.04.2023).

10. Hartwell L., Rakštytė A., Ryng J., Selga Ē. K. Winter is Coming: The Baltics and The Russia-Ukraine War. Implications and Policy Recommendations. LSE, December 2022. Available at: https://www.lse.ac.uk/ideas/publications/reports/Baltics (accessed 25.04.2023).

11. Raik K. EU defence facing Russia: Eastern European security after the invasion of Ukraine. European Council on Foreign Relations, 02.03.2022. Available at: https://ecfr.eu/article/democratic-defence-eastern-european-security-after-the-invasion-of-ukraine/ (accessed 25.04.2023).


SOURCES

1. Kallas at a meeting with Colonna: we will continue to support Ukraine to win the war. 25.10.2022. Available at: https://www.valitsus.ee/en/news/kallas-meeting-colonna-we-will-continue-support-ukraine-win-war (accessed 05.04.2023).

2. EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. Eurobarometer, May 2022. Available at: https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2772 (accessed 13.04.2023).

3. The Baltics fear European “strategic autonomy”. Economist, 04.10.2018. Available at: https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/10/04/the-baltics-fear-european-strategic-autonomy (accessed 02.03.2023).

4. The United States Intends to Deter Threats Against the Baltic States and Protect their Sovereignty. TASS, 16.02.2023. (In Russ.) Available at: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/17068545 (accessed 13.04.2023).

5. WSJ: Biden Put Pressure on the Baltic States because of Excessive anti-Russian Rhetoric. TASS, 05.03.2023. (In Russ.) Available at: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/17200179 (accessed 13.04.2023).

6. Lietuvos Respublikos, Karine strategija – Patvirtinta Lietuvos Krašto apsaugos ministro įsakymu. Nr. V‑252. Vilnius, 2016.

Military Strategy of the Republic of Lithuania – Approved by Order of the Minister of National Defence of Lithuania. No. V‑252, Vilnius, 2016. (In Lith.) Available at: https://lrv.lt/uploads/main/documents/files/lr%20karinė%20strategija%202016.pdf (accessed 12.04.2023).

7. Standard Eurobarometer, “Europeans upbeat about the state of European Union – best results in 5 years”. EC Press Release, Brussels, 05.08.2019. Available at: https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-4969_en.htm (accessed 13.04.2023).

8. European Commission, Designing Europe’s Future: Security and Defence, Special Eurobarometer Report 461, European Commission, April 2017. Available at: https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2173 (accessed 12.04.2023).

9. Statement to the North Atlantic Council, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. Brussels, Belgium, 08.12.1998. As released by the Office of the Spokesman U.S. Department of State. Available at: https://1997-2001.state.gov/statements/1998/981208.html (accessed 21.04.2023).

10. French Diplomacy. European Cooperation in the Field of Defense. Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. (In Russ.) Available at: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/ru/politique-etrangere/securite-desarmement-et-non-proliferation/l-europe-de-la-defense/ (accessed 21.04.2023).

11. EU-NATO cooperation and the Strategic Compass. Report of Slovenian Ministry of Defence and the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) on 14.10.2021. Avaialble at: https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/SI-EUISS%20-%20EU-NATO%20and%20Compass%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf (accessed 25.04. 2023).

12. The Lithuanian Seimas Adopted a Record Military Budget. EurAsia Daily, 23.11.2022. (In Russ.) Available at: https://eadaily.com/ru/news/2022/11/23/seym-litvy-prinyal-rekordnyy-voennyy-byudzhet (accessed 25.04.2023).


For citation:
Arbatova N. The Baltic States and the EU Strategic Autonomy. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 8, pp. 26-36. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-8-26-36 EDN: ZMONAU



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies

 

Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 2

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  • Fiscal Policy of Advanced Economies: Playing by the Rules?  
  • Iranian Development Model: State and Society Concept, Crises and Problems
  • Afghan-Pakistan Relations: Problems and Challenges in XXI Century
  • Climate Issues under Changing Geopolitical Conditions
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.