The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 raised security concerns in NATO’s Baltic flank and led to a rethinking of NATO’s relations with Russia. Finland radically shifted its Russia policy and together with Sweden applied for NATO membership, while Britain stepped forward to guarantee their security in the interim. The three Baltic states and Poland intensified their lobbying for increased NATO presence in their countries. Germany, traditionally perhaps the most careful NATO member, is now considering a substantial increase in its military spending. On the front of economy, rising food and energy prices caused the biggest drop in living standards since 1950s. Sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022 was a stark reminder of the variety of security threats that the region might face in the future. This panel brings together the leading experts in the field to discuss the main security challenges faced by the NATO’s Northern flank and to identify its key vulnerabilities.


Laurie Bristow, President of Hughes Hall, Cambridge, and former HMA to Moscow (2016-2020)

Kristina Spohr, Professor of History, London School of Economics and Political Science

Nora Topor-Kalinskij, Senior Political and Regulatory Advisor, EDF Trading

Sally Walker, Former Director of Cyber-Security, UK Ministry of Defence (2015-2019)

Chair: Prof. Brendan Simms, Director, Centre for Geopolitics and Professor of the History of European International Relations