The workshop organized by the GMF Warsaw Office and the Embassy of Sweden in Poland on March 26th 2013 entitled: “Nordic-Baltic Security and the role of Poland as a regional actor,” was a follow up event on two reports issued by the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI): “Polish security today and tomorrow” and “The Security and Defensibility of the Baltic States”.
The Baltic states and Finland have approached the European Commission (EC) with a call for a proper response to the growing flows of immigrants from Eastern neighbors, mainly Russia, whose citizens may be granted visa-free travels in the future.
Recently the situation over the projects of construction of nuclear power plants in Baltic region – Kaliningrad region of Russia, Belarus and Lithuania hasn’t become more clear. Only Lithuania can boast with some successes of its project regarding investments, which in the beginning of April initialed the wording of treaty with Japanese concern Hitachi.
On the New Year eve the Russian media started escalating the issue of Baltic countries’ future and their place in the region. The forecasts concerning future of the three Baltic States are far from promising. Yet most importantly, the efforts are made to withdraw Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from the general European context by suggesting Eastern values to these countries.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the meeting of Presidents of the Baltic States in Estonia. Discussing the goals and new challenges of the Baltic States the Presidents underlined that energy security and the ending of energy isolation of the region was currently a key priority for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Plunging unemployment, rocketing growth, soaring exports and a budget surplus: that is the story of Estonia as it bounces back from a precipitous economic collapse. This burst of good news shows not only the virtues of flexibility and austerity (a sensitive subject, as other euro countries taste the same medicine); it also gives heart to Latvia and Lithuania, the British weekly The Economist writes.
Recently the Arctic Region has appeared increasingly often among Russia’s foreign policy objectives in the Russian foreign policy discourse. Competition for the Arctic Region among the 5 bordering states – USA, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia – grew intensive in the late 2008 –2009, as all the states (hereinafter – A-5) announced or renewed their national strategies on the “absorption” of the Arctic in the short- and mid-term perspective. As the competition of the A-5 states for the Arctic gathers momentum, the growing global demand for oil and natural gas, which could be satisfied by energy resources of this region, as well as other Arctic-related issues make it possible to forecast that in the nearest future the Arctic will become one of the most significant regions that will be in the focus of attention of the international community.
Apart from the President of the European Commission, five Prime Ministers and two deputy Prime Ministers from the Region will be at the BDF Summit in Vilnius.
Construction of Europe's largest-ever energy project, the Nord Stream gas pipeline, has started after years of intensive wrangling. But questions remain. Chief among them: Is the trans-Baltic pipeline really necessary?
During a working visit to Latvia on 23-24 February, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis met with President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers, Speaker of the Saeima (Parliament) of Latvia Gundars Daudze and Latvia’s Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins. Bilateral relations, Eastern Neighbourhood policy, security, energy, transport and other issues were discussed during the meetings.