Latvia – NATO: Integration and Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region

Main Article Content


The article uses the methodology of geopolitics analysis to identify the basic characteristics of NATO’s current policy towards Latvia and the rest of the Baltic Sea countries. This region with the collapse of the former Soviet Union seemed to be one of the most stable in terms of military security. However, at present, especially after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine and the subsequent Russian aggression against our country, there is a noticeable increase in general tensions in the Baltics between NATO states and the Russian Federation and its allies. A study on the example of Latvia, devoted to the development of the military-political situation in the region, gives grounds to conclude that the current increase in the military presence in the Baltics is due to the need to strengthen the protection of the Baltic States from the Russian threat. The latter does not rule out the possibility of further NATO expansion not only to the East but also to the North at the expense of Sweden and Finland. Modern events in the Baltic region can be characterized as part of the next stage of the positional game on the world “chessboard”, where today the winning situation for the Anglo-Saxon strategy is obvious. At the same time, Russia’s geopolitical interests in the Baltic area, including Latvia, have remained virtually unchanged. The western vector of the republic’s development only strengthened Moscow’s attention through deeper and timely monitoring and analysis of the situation in its western neighbors in order to prevent the final and irreversible exit of the Baltic countries from the sphere of Russian influence.

The article is intended to help Ukraine to understand and study the unique experience of the transition of a certain post-Soviet country from one political state to another, which is needed not so much for history, but for the purpose of developing modern political and diplomatic methods of cooperation with the leadership of Latvia, as well as the practical application of its experience in its activities on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration. The focus of NATO and, first of all, the United States, on strengthening its presence in the Baltic Sea region is capable of influencing the relations between the Baltic countries that have developed as a result of many years of cooperation. The emphasis on the military component clearly outlines the differences in approaches between NATO member states (Denmark, Poland, Germany, the Baltic countries and Norway), neutral states (Sweden, Finland) and the CSTO allies (Russia and Belarus).


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Kyrychenko, O. (2021) “Latvia – NATO: Integration and Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region”, Problems of World History, (16), pp. 74–101. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2021-16-3.
Author Biography

O. Kyrychenko

Kyrychenko Olexandr – Ph.D. in History, Senior Research Fellow of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop A One-Superpower World (1992). The New York Times. [Online] Available from: [In English].

Dugin, A. (2000). Osnovi geopolitiki [Fundamentals of Geopolitics]. Moskva: Izd-vo “Arkogeja-tsentr”. [In Russian].

Pereslegin, S. (2003). Samouchitel’ igri na mirovoj shahmatnoj doske: osnovnije ponjatija geopolitiki [A self-instruction manual for playing the world chessboard: basic concepts of geopolitics]. Klassika geopolitiki: XX vek [Classics of geopolitics: XX century]. Mosckva: Izd-vo “AST”. [In Russian].

The Rome Declaration. (1991). Rome. 8 November. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Umulis, U. (2003). Restoration of Independence and New Challenges in Foreign Policy. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. “NATO and Latvian Security”. [In Latvian].

The Brussels Summit Declaration. (1994). Brussels. 11 January. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

The Alliance’s Strategic Concept. (1999). App. by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council. Washington, D.C. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Shcherbakov, A. (1998). Vojennije uslishali zvon i ne poverili. Chto ze skazal amerikanskij general? [The military heard the ringing and did not believe it. What did the American general say?]. Biznes i Baltija, 50, (928). [In Russian].

Partnerības Harta starp Latvijas Republiku, Igaunijas Republiku, Lietuvas Republiku un Amerikas Savienotajām Valstīm. Vašingtonā, 1998. gada 16.janvārī. [Online]. Available from: [In Latvian].

Smolenska, A. (1998). Presidenti Baltiji i SSHA podpisivajut Hartiju o partnjerstve [Baltic and US Presidents sign Partnership Charter]. Dijena, Jan. 17. [In Russian].

Nacionālās drošības koncepcija, apstiprināta Saeimā 2005.gada 2.februārī. [Online]. Available from: [In Latvian].

Kolivanskij, V. (2008). Vojenno-ideologicheskij prejskurant [Military-ideological price list]. Rossijskie vesti, 21, (1918). [In Russian].

Mezevich, N. Pribaltika 2.0. Chetvert’ veka “vtorih respublik” [Baltics 2.0. A quarter of a century of “second republics”]. [Online]. Available from: modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7297 [In Russian].

Nosovich, A. Sbrosit’ ballast: president Tramp otkazetsa ot Pribaltiki [Dump ballast: President Trump will ditch the Baltics]. [Online]. Available from: [In Russian].

Nosovich, A. NATO otkazal Pribaltike v “rossijskoj ugroze” [NATO denied the Baltic states the “Russian threat”]. [Online]. Available from: [In Russian].

Richards, J. Denial-of-Service: The Estonian Cyberwar and Its Implications for U.S. National Security. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Hanska, J. (2015). The Role of the Baltic Region for the United States. An analysis of U.S. presidential rhetoric from the Reagan years to today. FIIA Working Paper, 86. [In English].

Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013. Scope, Aim, Components, Conduct, Locations. [Online]. Available from: -Factsheet.pdf [In English].

Dahl, A.-S. (eds) (2016). Baltic Sea Security. How can allies and partners meet the new challenges in the region? Copenhagen. [In English].

Kramer, F., Nordenman, M. The Case for a More Robust NATO Presence in the Baltic Sea. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Stoicescu, K., Praks, H. (2016). Strengthening the Strategic Balance in the Baltic Sea Area. Report. International Centre for Defense and Security. Tallinn. [In English].

NATO Enlargement and the Baltic States: What Can the Great Powers Do? (2015). Washington. U.S. Department of Defense. [In English].

Baltic COIN: Using a Counterinsurgency Model to Counter Russian Hybrid Warfare in the Baltics – NATO Response to Putin’s Aggression, Protection for Eastern Europe, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. (2017). Washington. U.S. Government, U.S. Military, Department of Defense (DoD). [In English].

Geopolitics and Planning for a High-End Fight: NATO and the Baltic Region, Airpower and Geopolitical Angst, The New Russian Threat, Considering a High-End Fight with Russia, Putin (2017). Washington. U.S. Government, U.S. Military, Department of Defense (DoD). [In English].

Vershbow, A. NATO and Russia: Why Transparency is Essential. [Online]. Available from: http:// www. [In English].

Biresselioğlu, M., Demir, M.H., Dönmez, S. (2014). Danish straits versus Turkish straits: the potential impact of prospective Russian oil exports. Revista Română de Studii Baltice i Nordice, Vol. 6, iss. 2, pp. 223-239. [In English].

Coffey, L., Kochis, D. The Role of Sweden and Finland in NATO’s Defense of the Baltic States. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Glavi Minoboroni SSHA i Finljandii obsudili “rossijskuju agressiju”. (2017). [The heads of the US and Finnish Defense Ministries discussed the “Russian aggression”]. [Online]. Available from: [In Russian].

Gibridnaja vojna Putina – nikto ne znaet kak otvetit’. (2014). [Putin’s Hybrid War – No One Knows How To Answer] [Online]. Available from: [In Russian].

Trump, D. Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies against Attack. [Online]. Available from: pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 [In English].

Latvia I Litva uvelichat rashodi na oboronu k 2018 godu. (2016). [Latvia and Lithuania will increase defense spending by 2018]. [Online]. Available from: [In Russian].

Mattis, Finnish Defense Minister Meet at Pentagon Ahead of Counter-ISIS Talks U.S. Department of Defense. [Online]. Available from: Article/1125921/ mattis-finnish-defense-minister-meet-at-pentagon-ahead-of-counter-isis-talks [In English].

Milne, R. (2016). Swedes ponder joining Nato as Trump presidency focuses minds. The Financial Times, 21 November. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Naylor, A. (2017). Trump, Russia and the new geopolitics of the Baltics. The New Eastern Europe, 30 January. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Ridgwell, H. (2017). US Signs Defense Pacts With Baltic States, but NATO Allies Wary of Trump Era. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Batchelor, T. (2017). The map that shows how many NATO troops are deployed along Russia’s border. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Eisenhower, D. (1961). Farewell Address delivered. [Online]. Available from: http://www. [In English].

NATO chief: No military threat to Baltics (2017). The Baltic Times, 18 March. [Online]. Available from: [In English].

Lexington: Donald Trump seems to see allies as a burden. NATO leaders make a pitch to the president (2017). The Economist, 4 February. [Online]. Available from: [In English].