A Dutch helicopter participates in a NATO anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea on May 4. (MARIT HOMMEDAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Several events have coincided to demonstrate the dynamic, if not guarded, relationship between Russia and the Nordic and Baltic states. Ten NATO countries and Sweden launched a two-week planned exercise in the North Sea on May 4 to improve their anti-submarine warfare capabilities. On the same day, Finland — not a NATO member — began mailing letters to about 900,000 reservists informing them of their roles in a potential crisis situation. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Foreign Ministry formally complained to Russian authorities that Russian navy ships were disrupting cable-laying work in waters between Sweden and Lithuania, the latest in a series of formal complaints over Russia’s activity in the area. Concurrently, the Swedish and Lithuanian foreign ministers met with Moldova’s pro-West leaders in Chisinau.
All of these events confirm that the Nordic and Baltic states are working to boost security cooperation in response to Russia’s military activity in the region. Consequently, the security buildup will continue — on both sides. (More …)