Skip navigation
February 12, 2021

Cooperation in Deterrence in the Nordic-Baltic Region

Carl Bildt

Co-Chair, European Council on Foreign Relations; former Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister of Sweden

Jüri Luik

Permanent Representative of Estonia to NATO

As global power shifts, how can we ensure that Allies and partners remain committed to security at the West’s peripheries in the Baltic Sea region, and build effective deterrence against Russia?

In this session of the Lennart Meri Conference Talks, Member of the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament) and former Minister of Defence of Estonia Jüri Luik, and co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt discuss the challenging defence and security environment of the Nordic-Baltic region.

Jüri Luik:

  • Russia has increased its capabilities, particularly in the naval domain, in the Baltic Sea region.
  • The Mediterranean is full of NATO ships, but the Baltic Sea is quite empty.
  • Russians believe that Sweden is in NATO anyway.
  • Should we take action with the Americans in the Far East, near China, to assure them that they are not alone in their concerns there?
  • Africa has become an important part of our policy. Being in Mali has given Estonia a lot of added value, including a deep and close political relationship with France.

Carl Bildt:

  • Having strategic stability—through, for example, strategic stability talks and strategic nuclear agreements—is in our interest.
  • We must continue the current pattern of military exercises. It is expensive sometimes, but very important for security.
  • In Sweden, there has certainly been a shift in attitudes towards NATO.
  • For dominance on the Baltic Sea, submarine and air assets are key.
  • For Moscow, Ukraine has gone from a friendly country to a potentially hostile country. That is a huge strategic shift.
  • Neither Estonia nor Sweden has seen Mali as a number one security issue in the past, but today we see it from a wider European point of view.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the food for thought. Share your thoughts on the talks on Twitter using #LMC_Talks and/or on Facebook. You can find us on Twitter @ICDS_Tallinn and on Facebook @ICDS.Tallinn.

Related articles