Militarization Of Kaliningrad Oblast 2009 - 2016 and Its Implications For The Baltic Sea Security
The breakup in relations between Russia and the West that attained particularly acute forms after 2013 has illuminated profound level of alienation and the lack of understanding between parties concerned. In addition to previously existing areas of confrontation it is the Baltic Sea region that has appeared as a new theater of tensions between Moscow and its counterparts. Moreover, it would not be an exaggeration to state that it is Kaliningrad Oblast – a tiny “Russian island” situated in the centre of Europe and physically separated from the mainland by EU and NATO member-states – that has emerged as a living embodiment of a dispute painfully resembling the “Cold War” period and its status of the “Soviet bastion on the Baltic” (Sukhankin 2015, 2016).
This seminar aims to tackle a number of aspects. First, discuss main stages, pace, circumstances and distinctive features related to the accretion of Russian military might in Kaliningrad Oblast within 2009 – 2016. Secondly, illuminate the effect of militarization on the Baltic Sea region and simultaneously to give a way to a broader discussion pertaining to the transatlantic dimension. Thirdly, underscore continuity and tradition in Russian strategic interests related to the Baltic Sea region as well as both place and role of newly militarizing Kaliningrad Oblast therein. Fourthly, explain the essence of the “Iskander diplomacy” (Sukhankin 2016) and its implications for regional security.
Sergey Sukhankin is an Associate Expert at the International Centre for Policy Studies (Kiev) and a PhD candidate at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) at the faculty of Contemporary Political and Social History. He is visiting research fellow at IBEI. His realm of scientific interests includes political and economic developments as well as security-related issues in countries of the former Soviet Union with particular emphasis on the Baltic Sea region. Scientific articles, commentaries and expert opinions of Sergey have frequently appeared in such high profile European think-tanks as CIDOB (Barcelona), European Council on Foreign Relations (London), ICPS (Ukraine) and New Eastern Europe (Poland). He is also a contributor to the Jamestown Foundation (Washington DC).
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