The report shows that energy and defence in the Nordic-Baltic region are closely interrelated. During the Cold War, the energy cooperation of Western European countries with the USSR was seen as an element of strengthening the status quo and reducing the risk of conflict. In the new strategic situation, when Russia is interested in regaining the status of regional and global power, there is a real threat that Kremlin will use Europe’s dependence on Russian gas to divide NATO and the EU. The Russian military advantage in the region, the ability to block access to Alliance forces and the ability to influence its members through energy blackmail may encourage Russia to test NATO’s credibility, increasing the risk of conflict in the region. NATO’s ability to deter Russia creates a natural platform of cooperation for Norway and Poland. Both states should also be interested in reducing the Alliance’s dependence on Russian energy resources.
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