Economic Security

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The Contours of a New Western Russia Strategy

In this Brief, Kristi Raik explores the profound changes in the EU’s and NATO’s Russia strategy following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia is now approached as an adversary and existential threat not just to Ukraine, but to European and international rules-based security order. She highlights two major factors – enhancing Ukraine’s and NATO’s defence vis à vis Russia and isolating the Russian economy from the West – as key elements of an emerging new Western strategy.

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In spring 2020, thawing permafrost caused a fuel storage tank in Norilsk to collapse, releasing 21,000 tons of diesel fuel into a nearby river.

Russia’s Domestic Arctic Agenda

Since the end of President Vladimir Putin’s second term (2004–2008), Moscow has increasingly been looking north. In the West, this has fuelled an alarmist discourse about a ‘race for the Arctic’, but the renewed focus on the Arctic is just as much about domestic development: transforming Moscow’s frozen backyard into a ‘strategic resource base for the 21st century’.

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Italy’s Successful Race to the North

Notwithstanding the geographical distance separating Italy from the Arctic, Italy has gained a relevant position in the Arctic debate, mainly thanks to its scientific efforts and investments in the region. Estonia, on the other end, is very much closer to the region, being surrounded by Arctic states, and is currently seeking to strengthen its involvement in Arctic matters.

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CHINE NOUVELLE / SIPA / Scanpix

Nordic-Baltic Connectivity with Asia via the Arctic: Assessing Opportunities and Risks

The Arctic is occupying an increasingly important position in connectivity between Asia and the Nordic-Baltic countries. This is not least because climate change opens up new economic opportunities to make use of the region’s vast resources and develop the northern transport routes. Along with possibilities, the need to ensure peaceful, norms-based and environmentally sustainable development in the Artic region poses a complex challenge.

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The Closure of Talsinki

In Southern Europe, the EU seems to be getting a lot of attention in the context of the coronavirus crisis. Italy has been decrying the lack of European solidarity and French president Emmanuel Macron has made strong appeals for more of it. Following the debates in the north-eastern corner of Europe, one rather gets the impression that people are forgetting about the EU. In Estonia and Finland—countries that I follow the closest—Brussels is not expected to help countries out of the crisis—national leaders are.

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Going Past Monopoly: Developing a Balanced Baltic Sea Regional Gas Market

In the last half-decade, the three Baltic states have made dramatic progress towards diversifying their energy supplies, especially of natural gas. This progress—brought about thanks to remarkable political will as well as improved regional cooperation—has resulted in considerable economic benefit while decreasing the three countries’ vulnerability to outside pressure. Yet, much remains to be done in order to complete the three countries’ internal markets.

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