Ambassador (ret.) Pauli Järvenpää, Senior Researcher at ICDS, spoke in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 6 June 2016 at a public conference entitled “Sustaining NATO’s Strength and Deterrence“, arranged by the U.S. Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and the Lithuanian authorities. The conference was the final event of the Atlantic Council’s year-long project with the Government of Lithuania aimed at bolstering collective defense and deterrence on NATO’s eastern flank.
Ambassador Järvenpää was a panelist in the section of the Conference entitled “Bolstering NATO’s Defense and Deterrence“. According to him, NATO’s eastern flank is a key friction zone between NATO and Russia. The Russian actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine as well as Russia’s large-scale exercises, air and sea harassments, and the development of a potent anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capacity have destabilized the eastern flank of NATO. The Alliance’s actions aimed at strengthening the deterrence in the Baltic Sea region have been measured and non-provocative. The Baltic States themselves could greatly raise deterrence by engaging in actions bolstering their deterrence by denial, i.e. by training, equipping and exercising their considerable reserves, as well as by paying more attention to the resilience of their societies under duress.