The annexation of Crimea in 2014 was a clear sign that Moscow is looking to extend its sphere of influence and it forced the Baltic States to take a very close look at their deterrent capabilities. The article introduces the basic concepts of deterrence and discusses the differences between the deterrent capabilities of Ukraine and the Baltic States. Furthermore, the threats that Russia presents, the factors that were responsible for Ukraine’s deterrence failure and the challenges that the Baltic States are facing are analysed. The article concludes that while the Baltic States are significantly better prepared for possible Russian aggression, their deterrent capabilities must continuously evolve to reflect the changes in the nature of modern warfare.
This article addresses a key legal debate that the Baltic NATO members ought to engage in: what constitutes an “armed attack” and what interpretation should be made of this concept in order to deter recent Russian hybrid warfare strategies. These questions are considered in connection with a more general issue regarding the law of self-defence: the question of what constitutes an armed attack in international law. This article will try to present a broad definition and context of Russian hybrid warfare and how it is challenging traditional jus ad bellum paradigms. Too few policy-makers have paid detailed attention to the new Russian “lawfare” in Ukraine, using specific military and non-military tactics in order to blur the lines between “armed attack” and mere political intervention. Meanwhile, legal scholars detach their analysis from actual policy-serving considerations and tend to acquiesce to some very restrictive theories of the use force in self-defence. For some countries, like the Baltic ones, facing strategic exposure – because of both threatening neighbours and low military capacities – the jus ad bellum paradigm should not be construed as another layer of obstacle.
Occasionally, people characterise foreign military interventions as “undeclared wars”. It is not entirely clear what is the meaning and value of such a qualification, but it seems that they want to add an extra weight to their condemnation. Still, does it have legal significance? At times, international law demanded that States issued a declaration of war before the commencement of hostilities but the obligation was mostly ignored for varied reasons. Notably, between two world wars, States avoided
certain legal obligations (e.g. the prohibition to use war, the rules of warfare) by not declaring or otherwise recognising a state of war. After the Second World
War, considering the earlier abuses, States redesigned
the international legal regulations in a way that the declaration of war became practically irrelevant when it comes to the legality or illegality of the use of armed force, or to the application of law.
This article illustrates that justification for EU military integration is sought with imperatives related to the economy, security, EU integration, and demands of citizens of the Member States. However, EU Treaties in terms of the improvement of military capabilities are not considered as a justification, but the European Union appears to be more of a power-enhancing realist actor rather than a normative one. As a counterexample to the European discourses, I discuss the case of the demilitarisation of the Åland Islands,
in which case treaties perfectly justify demilitarization. I conclude that the development of European military integration is justified by political imperatives, but the demilitarization of the Åland Islands is supported with reference to agreements, which illustrate the differences in justifying military force and its absence. It is concluded that while the European Union appears as a realist actor in terms of defence, Finland complies with the image of a normative power as far as the Åland Islands are concerned.