Latvia has consistently supported Ukraine since Russia’s unprovoked invasion. Importantly, Latvia took considerable risks and provided military support to Ukraine even before Russia invaded despite the strong possibility that Russia might win quickly. These concerns subsided when it became clear that Russia’s plan to take Kyiv and achieve decisive victory against Ukraine failed. In retrospect, Latvia’s support for Ukraine was both morally right and politically prudent. This article, however, looks at the potential long-term implications of Latvia’s foreign and domestic policy responses to Russia’s war against Ukraine. The article looks at such key foreign policy aims as support for economic sanctions against Russia, holding Russia responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, and ensuring stronger NATO military presence in Latvia. On the domestic front, the article examines the potential consequences of removal of Soviet-era monuments in Latvia, limiting access to Russian media, and reducing the role of the Russian language in public communication. The article concludes that although these foreign and domestic policy measures are entirely appropriate, they may still backfire in the long run if Russia is not defeated in Ukraine and if domestic responses to the war further alienate Latvia’s Russian-speakers.
The paper analyses implications and challenges of Germany’s upcoming military deployment in Lithuania. A permanent stationing of brigade-sized military unit on NATO’s Eastern frontier represents a major change in its force posture and a significant shift in Germany’s defence policy. Despite the official German position that the implementation of its military commitments is contingent on Lithuania’s timely improvement of its host nation support infrastructure, the paper suggests that the speed, quantity, and structure of Germany’s deployment also depends on the progress made in rearming the Bundeswehr and its defence policy priorities.
Russia’s persistent aggression towards its neighbours has long been predicted. However, the 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine proved to be a startling development. Even if Ukraine does not belong to NATO or the EU, the Kremlin, either through miscalculation or deliberate intent, ventured into unchartered territory. Similarly, Russia may decide to test NATO’s cohesion. This shift has significantly altered the security landscape for the Baltic states. This article investigates Estonian ideas, plans, and actions aimed at mitigating the escalating risks. In the realm of collective defence, an anticipated transition from deterrence by punishment to deterrence by denial is underway. This transition coincides with a disillusionment with the European common defence policy. While the EU is envisioned to play a pivotal role in non-military domains, Estonia places its exclusive trust in NATO for military defence. Nonetheless, this collective defence approach is not without challenges. Most importantly, deterrence by denial may not be immediately applicable. Consequently, in terms of individual defence, it appears that alongside integrated defence, a total defence strategy is imperative.
The article examines the debates surrounding the status and role of Russian Émigrés. The full-scale invasion launched by Russia against Ukraine on 24 February 2022 came as a shock to many, including many segments of the Russian population, but the outflux of individuals opposing Putin has been present from the 2014. That said, the invasion transformed this trickle into an outright deluge whereby estimated 700,000 up to 1,200,000 people left Russia. The article gives the historical context, describing the policies towards diaspora communities of the countries in conflict during and after WWII. Then will engage with the dilemmas surrounding the decision either to admit Russian émigrés or close the doors on them. Current and future policies towards Russian émigrés are considered with recommendation to continue giving preference to individual approach in assessing each case.