Estonia and its Baltic neighbors constitute NATO’s frontlines. Their small size, proximity to Russia, and physical distance from Western allies make their defense against Russian aggression a planning challenge for NATO policymakers. Yet, the credibility of NATO’s security guarantee depends on the resolve and ability of these policymakers to develop credible mechanisms for defense against a Russian attack.
Throughout its resurgence under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has built up significant military assets near its western frontier, annexed Ukrainian territory, destabilized significant parts of the Middle East, and interfered in the political systems of Western nations — including the United States — to sow division and undermine liberal values. At this juncture, Western leaders are faced with a daunting challenge: how to demonstrate unity in the face of Russian aggression.
On March 2, the Brookings Institution hosted Jüri Luik, Estonia’s minister of defense, for a conversation on Russia, the security environment in Europe, and the challenges facing NATO in light of renewed great power competition.
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