By beefing up its military presence in the exclave of Kaliningrad, flying provocative air patrols and by building next legs of the Nord Stream energy pipeline, Russia undermines the security of other countries in the Baltic region. Also, Moscow could take advantage of the pipeline’s energy infrastructure to take subversive actions in the Baltic.
- NATO’s three Baltic members – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – are most vulnerable to Russian military aggression. They all have a resource base in Finland and Sweden, albeit on the other side of the sea. How these non-NATO countries will respond may emerge the key to success for either party’s victory in a possible war between Russia and the military bloc in the Baltic Sea.
- Though neither Finland nor Sweden is likely to join NATO in the ensuing years, these two are trying their utmost to bolster their military position in the face of a Russian threat. This will in turn strengthen the combat capabilities of both the Baltic States and Poland, not to mention NATO’s status in the Baltic Sea.
- An armed conflict between Russia and Sweden can only break out if Moscow goes to war with NATO member states in the region. Russia would aim to occupy strategically located points in the Baltic Sea and to intimidate mainland Sweden, a scenario taken into account by the Swedish military that focuses on developing its air defense as well as air and naval capabilities.
- Sweden is bolstering defense capabilities by expanding its own armed forces and bringing back some of its Cold War-era military solutions, enhancing partnership with neighboring Finland, nurturing military ties with the United States, taking actions to provide regional defense and –– last but certainly not least –– by boosting its collaboration with the North Atlantic Alliance.
Photo source: KREMLIN.RU
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