Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

ICDS Junior Research Fellow Helga Kalm Speaks about Baltic Cooperation in the Light of Refugee Crisis

The seminar „Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: cooperation and outlooks in the context of security challenges for the region and the EU” was held on November 23 in Tallinn jointly organized by Institute of Public Affairs (Poland) and the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS). The seminar introduced the results of an opinion poll conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs in Poland and the three Baltic States about opinions in the society on current international and regional affairs. The presentation was be followed by a debate of experts from the four countries focusing the results of the poll as well as the reactions in the society to the refugee crisis and threat of terrorism.

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Foreign Fighters And The Security Risk

The latest yearbook published by the Internal Security Service (ISS), Estonia’s counterintelligence agency, devotes a whole chapter to combating terrorism. The annual report states that while terrorism remains a distant problem for Estonia, the growing risk to other Western countries also hits home here. Individuals who fought in Syria or Iraq are seen increasingly as a risk vector. The report confirms that people have even travelled from Estonia to fight in the Middle East. This knowledge gives pause: what does it mean to Estonian security if people from Estonia have been fighting in foreign conflicts?

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