Hybrid and cyber warfare strategies are the most pressing risk facing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Baltic foreign and security affairs experts and policy-makers asses according to a recent study conducted by Piret Kuusik (Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at ICDS, Tallinn) together with Justinas Mickus (Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis).
Hybrid and cyber warfare strategies was followed by global and regional economic risks to the region and further spread of populist agendas. Setting these risks into context and the authors argue that they can turn into threats to the government integrity, increase the fragmentation of politics and undermine the legitimacy of Baltic governments.
The trend most shaping the future of the Baltic region according to the professionals in three countries is the changing dynamics of Euro-Atlantic integration and cooperation. This shows that the region is concerned with the geopolitical challenges to the West.
The survey results show the most pertinent risks to the Baltic region in the five years and their connection to the underlying long-terms trends on the global level. It paints a picture of complicated years ahead for the governments in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. On the one hand, internal pressures and changes ask for creative economic and social policy solutions and steady institutions. On the other hand, external pressures and global developments force the Baltic governments to take a more active role in defending their interests in familiar policy areas, while at the same time, staying relevant requires to venture out to new policy areas such as the climate policy.