Baltic security and NATO expansion

Matthew Christopher Kolasa

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Baltic Sea security has gained renewed interest as tensions between NATO and Russia have increased. Possible NATO expansion to include Sweden and Finland may increase the bloc's resources as well as risk of direct confrontation between its member states and Russia. This paper analyzes the naval and air security environment on and around the Baltic Sea, with an emphasis on security for NATO candidates Finland and Sweden as well as the 'Baltic States' of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. While policy discussion has focused on land defense of the three current NATO members, with emphasis on the Suwałki Gap connecting Poland with Lithuania, the naval dimension of this region requires consideration for strategists and policy planners in Russia, Sweden, Finland, and NATO member states. Geography, transport, and communication affect the security of these countries and the ability of NATO respond to threats. This matters not only for the individual countries involved but for NATO's efficacy and credibility as a collective security institution. This paper analyzes the policy options and risks involved for actors seeking to enhance naval and air defense coordination while centering the Baltic Sea as a geostrategic region.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023
EventInternational Studies Association 2023 Annual Convention - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 15 Mar 202318 Mar 2023


ConferenceInternational Studies Association 2023 Annual Convention
Abbreviated titleISA 2023
Internet address


  • Baltic Sea
  • International Security
  • NATO
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Alliances
  • Foreign Policy
  • Foreign Policy Analysis


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