„Franco-German efforts to seek a ceasefire in Ukraine have obscured an emerging consensus among NATO’s frontline states — there can be no deal with the Russian aggressor” – writes Prof. Dalia Bankauskaite, CSM expert in Europe’s Edge CEPA’s online journal covering critical topics on the foreign policy docket [08.06.2022]
Unseen and largely unremarked, work is already underway on a new forward-defense bulwark, NATO’s reimagined Eastern Flank extending from new alliance candidates Sweden and Finland in the Arctic to partner nations on the Black Sea, together with insulating the West from Russian expansionism.
Discussions on this new geopolitical reality, created by the understanding of Russian military adventurism, are already underway though not always in public; one such closed-door gathering was organized in Riga last week. Nordic and other Eastern Flank policymakers argued that bringing Russia to justice is not only a matter of morality, but also of strategy: otherwise, the West is exposing itself to existential risk.
One expert vocalized a widespread understanding in the room: “With the war, the geopolitical dynamics changed. The Baltic Sea region has become very visible. This is the moment to deepen Eastern Flank cooperation: to speak one voice, plus take Ukraine on board.” There were multiple discussions about military preparations.