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LMC 2023

The Sea, the Sea: New Maritime Security Realities on NATO’s Eastern Flank

Finland’s accession and Sweden’s possible accession to NATO will increase the maritime line of contact between NATO and Russia in the Baltic Sea. While Russia’s war in Ukraine has largely been fought on the land and in the air, it has also highlighted vulnerabilities in the maritime domain that are relevant to the Black and Baltic Seas. Meanwhile, dangerous encounters between NATO and Russian forces have raised the spectre of accidental conflict escalation. Harassment of civilian shipping and attacks on critical infrastructure, such as the Nord Stream pipelines, have illustrated how hybrid means can be used to attack an adversary militarily, but below the threshold of war. Recent Russian activity in the North Sea has once again demonstrated the usefulness of the maritime domain as an environment for hostile intelligence gathering.


James Jay Carafano

Vice President of the Heritage Foundation

Iulian Chifu

State Counsellor of the Romanian Prime Minister

İlter Turan

Emeritus Professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, past President of the International Political Science Association

Anna Wieslander

Director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council and Secretary General of the Swedish Defence Association

Andriy Zagorodnyuk

Chairman of Centre for Defence Strategies and Distinguished Fellow of Atlantic Council


John Allen

USMC General (Ret.), Non-Resident Distinguished Fellow at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

What do NATO, the EU and nations need to do to enhance maritime security on the Black and Baltic Seas? What are the prospects for a new regime of confidence and security building measures to avoid accidental conflict with Russia?

“The Sea, the Sea”

Iris Murdoch (novel title) (1978)