Russia’s actions in Ukraine have sparked new concerns about the security of neighboring countries in the Baltic region. Despite being often grouped together as the Baltic States, these countries hold unique perspectives and face widely differing challenges vis à vis their neighbor to the East.
What are the top concerns among the younger generation in the Baltic countries and Finland about their relationship with Russia? How did the war in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea affect local attitudes toward Russia, and toward Russian-speaking minorities at home?
On June 16, CGI and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS hosted a panel discussion to address the future of Baltic security through the eyes of young professionals from the region. The panel also considered how young Russians view the current situation and prospects for the future. Amid the current political environment, this panel explored ways to ease tensions around the Baltic Sea for the broader goal of European security.
CGI Program Director Konstantin Avramov gave opening remarks. Donald Jensen, resident fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, moderated the discussion.
About the Panelists:
- Eivile Cipkute is currently based at the World Bank. She has previously served as Member of the Management Board at UAB “Investiciju ir verslo garantijos,” Chairman of the Board at UAB Busto paskolu draudimas, and as Financial Markets Policy Department Director in the Lithuanian Ministry of Finance.
- Tanel Sepp is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Estonian Embassy in Washington, a position he has held since 2012. He has previously served at the Estonian missions in Luxembourg, Brussels and Kabul, and has worked on European integration, security policy and South Asian affairs at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn. Tanel holds an MA in International Relations from the Tallinn University of Technology.
- Jaan Siitonen is a Visiting Fellow from Finland at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. His work focuses on Baltic Sea security, Finnish-Swedish defense cooperation, and NATO enlargement. He is completing his M.Sc. in Political Science at the University of Helsinki.
- Maria Snegovaya is a PhD candidate in Comparative Politics and Statistical Methods at Columbia University, where she studies the sources of support for populist parties in Eastern Europe. Maria writes a biweekly column for Russia’sVedomosti business daily and is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, The New Republic, The American Interest,and Politico Europe. Her writing on Russia’s internal and external affairs, nuances of its political system, Ukraine’s domestic situation, and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has been cited by David Brooks of The New York Times¸ Bloomberg and The Economist, among others.