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Lennart Meri Lecture 2021

These days it’s thirty years since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regained their independence. It was a dramatic time. In retrospect, it all looks straightforward or even harmonious.

LMC 2021

My Neighbour’s Problem Today – Mine Tomorrow

2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Horace said: “You too are in danger, when your neighbour’s house is on fire” (nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet). Today, when states seem to prefer to retract into their shells like turtles rather than fight global…

LMC 2021
A billboard with Chinese President Xi Jinping looking down over a boulevard in Belgrade next to the words “Thank you brother Xi”, a message paid for and created by a pro-government tabloid in Serbia.

COVID-19 and the Search for European Strategic Autonomy

A virus has redefined power politics. On the big stage, the European Union needs not only to prop up the multilateral order, but also to promote a multipolar order and develop into a power among powers.

U.S. President Joe Biden at the EU-U.S. summit in Brussels in June 2021. Relieving the U.S. of some of the burden of European defense means giving the Biden administration more leeway to protect democracy at home, Constanze Stelzenmüller argues.

America Is Back, but… Europe and Especially Germany Need To Do Much More for European Security

It took President Joe Biden nearly five months before he made his first trip abroad in June, to Europe; he had more important things to do. Arguably, that is still the case today.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden leave a joint news conference in the White House in July 2021.

The Battle Is Not Entirely Lost: Ukraine after the US-German Nord Stream 2 Deal

Nord Stream 2 bypasses Ukraine, reducing the value of Ukraine’s gas transit system to Europe, increasing the probability of military threats from Russia, decreasing the reliability of gas supply to Ukraine and hurting the Ukrainian economy.

LMC 2021

Kersti Kaljulaid: The Impact of the NATO Battlegroup Has Been Enormous

According to President Kersti Kaljulaid, establishing a NATO battlegroup was ingenious. And she often reminds her colleagues that their strategic patience should at least match that of their political ancestors, that is, 50 years.

LMC 2021
Mistral short-range air defence missile system.

Close to the Wind

In my 2015 report, “The Coming Storm” (2015) I highlighted the strategic incoherence of the Baltic Sea region.

LMC 2021
Georgians wearing national costumes dance in front of the British destroyer, HMS Defender, upon its arrival at the port of Batumi in June 2021. “The British naval presence in the Black Sea has grown to uphold freedom of navigation and remind the Kremlin that the annexation of Crimea is not a done deal,” James Rogers writes.

“Global Britain” Is Becoming Reality and It Has a Strong Eastern and Northern European Dimension

Much of the hullabaloo about the future of the United Kingdom’s (UK) international orientation resulting from the Brexit referendum has now subsided.

LMC 2021
Production of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in St. Petersburg. “Russia did little to practically implement the widely propagated idea of vaccine tourism for those citizens and residents of foreign countries who would like to get their Sputnik V jabs in Russia,” Andrey Makarychev finds.

Zigzags in Russia’s Strategic Intentions

Dealing with a Russia of multiple voices is a challenging task since each incident might quite easily become political and cause further damage to bilateral relations. Yet it also creates opportunities.

Being a Target

In a mid-July interview, Roman Dobrokhotov, founder and editor-in-chief of the investigative outlet The Insider wondered why his website wasn’t declared an “undesirable organisation” or a “foreign agent”. Shortly after the interview, as has happened with other Russian independent media outlets critical of the Kremlin,…

LMC 2021