Based on representative primary sources as well as authoritative academic and think tank analyses, this article aims to evaluate the role that Asia’s emerging superpower came to play in the Baltic trio’s security, with particular emphasis on its harder aspects and most recent developments, which marked a certain shift in the respective bilateral relationships. Structured according to the conventional levels of international relations analysis and rough chronological order, the qualitative study tracks the more or less direct impact of China for the comprehensive security of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania ranging from the systemic (global) to purely bilateral domains. The results show that China has indeed become a security factor to be reckoned with there, particularly since roughly 2017–2019 and primarily due to its deepening strategic partnership with Russia. Some of its security effects, however, are even older, more nuanced, yet still significant. Since roughly 2019, however, China’s security factor has increasingly acquired challenging and even threatening characteristics as is most clearly demonstrated by its relationship dynamics with Lithuania.
The current study discusses differences between Russia and the Baltic States in terms of their strategic narratives, as well as how they interpret key terms and concepts in the field of security. To frame the scope of the study, the strategic narrative of Russia for the Baltic countries and the Baltic strategic narrative(s) for Russia are compared and analysed. Both sides are also locked within the bigger framework of European Union’s economic sanctions against Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance’s deterrence concept. On the other hand, the Baltic States and Russia have a lot to gain from possible improvements in economic relations and reduction of regional security tensions.
Should the U.S. respond with military means to a limited Russian incursion in the Baltics? This paper explores Western attitudes towards such a hypothetical grey zone crisis. Using survey experiments and crisis simulations we find considerable reluctance to use military tools in order to support a Baltic ally, and surprisingly little variation across the audiences. The underlying reluctance to get the U.S. involved in an armed conflict with Russia in the hopes that such acquiescence may help preserve global stability indicates that the conflict in Ukraine only had a fundamentally limited impact on Western strategic thought on deterring Russia.
This paper aims to discuss the implications of Ukraine crisis to the U.S. foreign policy towards the Baltic
States. This paper consists of several parts. To begin with, political discourse of Obama‘s and Trump‘s administrations‘ is analysed. The second part presents an analysis of practical level of U.S. relations with Baltic States during and after Ukraine crisis, focusing on three dimensions: political/diplomatic, military and economic. In the third part of this paper, implications of the Ukrainian crisis on U.S. relations with Baltic States are assessed, comparing trends in official political discourse and practical foreign policy of Baltic States prior to and after the Ukraine crisis.
The article proposes the analytical review on what
and how to think about the security of the Baltic States from 2014 till 2016 by evaluating and reflecting the main changes in their security policy and perceptions. These three years demonstrated that the perceptions about security itself have not changed much while comparing with the previous five years. The changes were mostly in the security measures. The security discourse intensified a lot also, which was significant not only for the internal civic mobilisation, but even more importantly, but even more importantly for the mobilisation of the attention of the partners and their increased commitment. I explain my argument in two steps: first, by using traditional – rationalists – questions to analyse security policy, and second, by discussing security perceptions and discourses and asking these questions: security “for whom”, security “from what”, and security “how”.