New Eastern Europe’s ongoing special coverage of the 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit.
Last updated 08 July 10.00
On July 8-9 2016, Warsaw Poland will host the next NATO Summit. This Summit is being held in one of the most challenging times for Euro-Atlantic Security since the end of the Cold War as a result of the EuroMaidan Revolution in Ukraine, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in Ukraine’s East.
As a result of the change in the geopolitical situation, Poland and other eastern members of the Alliance have called for a confirmation of the Alliance’s commitment to the region and requested a permanent placement of NATO troops. These are the key issues to be on the agenda of the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
In anticipation of the Summit, New Eastern Europe is providing special coverage with commentary and analysis from experts in both East and West.
The online commentaries are in parallel with our special print edition which was also dedicated to security issues in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. Learn more about this issue at: https://neweasterneurope.eu/component/content/article/1014-issue/1985-issue-34-2016
By Kamen Kraev
Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, will be heading to Warsaw with the main goal of bolstering its security standing in the Black Sea region (BSR). The Balkans and the BSR have come under security pressure due to the mass migration crisis, the risk of terrorism from the unstable Middle East and Russia’s aggressive moves along the northern shores of the Black Sea.
By Paulina Siegień
After the Second World War, the part of East Prussia fell in the hands of Stalin. After considering several different options, including the incorporation of the territory into Polish People’s Republic or Soviet Lithuania, the leadership of the Soviet Union decided to separate the fragment of East Prussia with Kaliningrad and turn it into a closed military zone. This is how the Kaliningrad Oblast was created, becoming the strategic westernmost bridgehead of the USSR.
Since the beginning of the Russian operation in Crimea in 2014, which led to an illegal and illegitimate annexation of the peninsula, hybrid warfare became a buzzword used in all transatlantic security policy circles. For many in the West, the Crimea operation came as a surprise and the term “hybrid warfare” was meant to intellectually embrace this shock.
Interview with Seth G. Jones, director of the International Center for Security and Defense Policy at RAND
“One of the biggest challenges that NATO faces in Europe today is that there is a vulnerability that has been recognised by most NATO countries; and that is that NATO cannot respond adequately to a possible Russian incursion into the Baltics, or potentially into Poland.”
The Russian military as a challenge continues to be not a static, but a rapidly developing phenomenon. Combined with increased Russian confidence following the success of military intervention in Syria, this presents serious implications for NATO and the West. Russia’s military is not simply re-equipping and rearming, but also internalising and applying lessons learned from its interventions abroad. These lessons have been learned at all levels – tactical, operational and, most significantly, strategic.
David J Kramer
Since 2014 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO increasingly has been focused on the threat posed by Vladimir Putin. In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Donbas region, the Alliance is deploying four new battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
As the Warsaw NATO Summit approaches, the contested notion of Georgia’s membership in NATO does not seem to be receiving much support. However, within the context of current debates on the future of the alliance, it is crucial to discuss how the case of Georgia impacts the alliance, the European integration, as well as the question of who we are and what we represent.
In the East, Russia undermines our European peace, as well as international laws and norms, through its blatantly aggressive annexation of Crimea and “soft” invasion of eastern Ukraine. The West has responded decisively to these actions as the European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against Russia and these sanctions bite. Germany will not recognise the annexation of Crimea by Moscow. Likewise, only through a thorough implementation of the Minsk Agreements can Moscow’s aggression in eastern Ukraine be stopped and peace restored. The Alliance stands firm on this.
Funding for this special coverage is co-sponsored by NATO Public Diplomacy.