As a political and military reassurance, a recent NATO exercise in the Baltic region makes sense. But Russia’s real levers of influence over the Baltic states are not military, and NATO may not be the appropriate answer.
Recent increases in Russia’s military presence in Syria not only help reinforce a regional ally in opposition to the West, but also ensure Russia’s prominent role in Syria’s political future, with or without Assad.
Concerns over a Russian attempt to destabilise the Baltic States are valid, but should focus more on NATO’s need for deterrence rather than Russia’s strategic goals in Ukraine. Sarah Lain, Research Fellow at RUSI, examines NATO’s dilemma across the region.