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Eitvydas Bajarūnas

Abstract

The strengthening of relations with the Nordic countries has already for some time been among the priorities of Lithuania‘s foreign policy. As opinion polls suggest, the people of Lithuania believe that Lithuania should be associated with the region of Northern Europe. But the Baltic States are members of the EU, NATO as well as other global organizations and belong to all conceivable regional organizations - the CBSS, the Northern Dimension, etc. Why then is some other regional format at all necessary? When a discussion of the cooperation in the security and defense area gets started, still more fundamental questions arise. Will it not be a substitute for NATO? What has changed that after more than two decades since the end of the Cold War, and after nearly eight years since the membership of the Baltic States in the EU and NATO, the Nordic and Baltic countries have actively entered into the discussion on the cooperation of eight countries in the area of security and defense? What are the changes that can lead to the Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the area of security and defense (that just a short time ago was nearly verging on taboo)? Why would the Nordic countries choose the Baltic States as partners and not, for instance, Germany or Poland? This article, primarily focusing on the presentation, analysis and generalization of the current processes (but not on the theoretical discourse), explores the transformation of the Nordic-Baltic region, security and defense challenges and threats. This study, largely through the prism of Lithuania’s interests, attempts to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of regional cooperation formats. The arguments here supply a basis for stating that the time is ripe for starting to speak in earnest about the Nordic-Baltic “security community”, the establishment of which requires not only practical efforts but also further serious academic study.

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Eitvydas Bajarūnas and Vytautas Keršanskas

Abstract

The study analyses, in both theoretical and practical aspects, the topic of hybrid warfare and threats that have become particularly relevant after Russia’s war in Ukraine. First, the authors examine the theoretical debates, concerning the definition of hybrid threats by singling out its main elements and estimating, on their basis, the definitions used by the European Union and NATO. Second, on the grounds of examples of the Baltic states and specifically of Lithuania, the article presents practical challenges related to hybrid threats and posed by Russia. Finally, the study surveys the decisions taken during recent years at the level of Lithuania, the European Union, and NATO with the exception of essential measures in fighting against hybrid threats.