On 27 September, ICDS research fellows Tony Lawrence and Tomas Jermalavičius participated in the Baltic Sea Security Forum 2018.
Organised this year by the Copenhagen-based Centre for Military Studies (CMS), the event was devoted to discussing security challenges, maritime strategies and cooperative solutions in the Baltic Sea area. The event brought together maritime security and defence experts, policymakers, capability planners and naval commanders from the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland, Germany, France, the United States as well as from NATO structures. The keynote speech was delivered by Rear Admiral John E. Gumbleton, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Resources, and Plans at the U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet. Tomas Jermalavičius spoke, as a panellist, in the session on maritime cooperation. In his remarks, he concentrated on naval cooperation between the Baltic states and highlighted the significance and positive impact of the BALTRON project. He also pointed out various structural and cultural impediments—such as the excessive focus of the Baltic states on the land domain and a lack of vision for the development of their navies—that stand in the way of strengthening Baltic naval capabilities in the framework of NATO‘s collective defence and deterrence. There is hope, however, that the Baltic states will be able to agree on applying the Belgo-Dutch, or BeNeSam, naval cooperation model in order to develop their naval capabilities beyond 2030-2035.