On 3 September 2020, the Marshall Center conducted its first Virtual Online Seminar (VOS) on security in the High North. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated global public life in 2020, but there has been relatively little discussion of its specific impact on the security of NATO’s northern flank. The High North has traditionally been characterized as an area of low tension. However, military activity by the Russian Federation and NATO states in both the Arctic and Baltic region and most recently the upheaval in Belarus are posing potential security challenges at a time when efforts to combat the pandemic dominate national policy-makers’ concerns in the region and elsewhere.
The aims of the VOS were to examine recent security developments in the region, share ideas, generate insights, and engage with selected alumni from the Center’s European Security Studies-North (ESS-N) program. The VOS focused on three main topics:
The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on security issues in the region.
The impact of increased military activity in recent months in both the Arctic and the Baltic Sea.
The potential for existing and future institutions and mechanisms to reduce growing tension in the High North.
The VOS was moderated by Marshall Center Professor James K. Wither, who was also joined by a panel of three regional specialists for the event.
A full seminar report can be found at the link below. Also available on the link is a thirty-five-minute audio recording of the panel discussion. It’s well worth checking out!