North Atlantic Treaty Organization


Thomas Galeon
United Kingdom

Cite as

TOPIC A – A strategy for the Baltics

Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 significantly calls into question the whole of NATO’s Baltic strategy. The unpredictable nature of Putin’s diplomacy requires the Alliance to show a united front and reinforce its military units in the area to dissuade Russia from any attack.

Greece has consistently been one of NATO’s members with the highest defence expenditure, much higher than the 2% Allied benchmark agreed on during the 2014 Wales Summit, and is ready to play an integral part in any military action against Russia should Article 5 be invoked. Indeed, the Hellenic Republic, along with Turkey, constitutes the anchor of NATO’s south-eastern flank and is home to the US and NATO base in Souda Bay on the island of Crete, a strategic component of the Alliance should there be any need to approach Russia via the Black Sea.

Russia is constantly scanning the West, its vast military potential ready to exploit any weaknesses. Therefore, NATO’s focus initially needs to be on enhancing its credibility by reinforcing the Alliance’s military presence in the Baltics. Not only would this allow for an effective response to any form of Russian aggression, it would also serve as a deterrent.

Increasing NATO’s presence in the Baltic area, as was decided during the 2016 Warsaw Summit, would considerably reduce the Russian threat and help implement a long-needed deterrence by denial. Indeed, as things stand, the council’s fear of escalation of the conflict could be exploited by ...

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