Independent Thinking: Securing NATO’s northern flank

Episode 31 of our weekly podcast explores the UK’s role in the defence of the Nordic region.

Audio Updated 16 October 2023 Published 23 June 2023 20 minute listen

Since the annexation of Crimea, the UK has taken a keen interest in the Nordic and Baltic regions, with the formation of the Joint Expeditionary Force.

With Kyiv’s counter-offensive now underway, the panel discusses how Europe’s security is being reshaped by events in Ukraine, what London and the JEF states are looking to achieve by operating more closely in the north, and the balance of forces between NATO and Russia in the Baltic now Finland is a NATO member.

Also, this week, we look ahead to the NATO summit in Vilnius next month. With Finland now an alliance member, but Sweden still outside, are alliance politics (with Turkey and Hungary) leaving NATO’s northern flank vulnerable?

What role are key alliance members like France and the UK playing ahead of Vilnius, and in the face of intense fighting in the east, what kind of plan might the alliance offer Ukraine?

Joining Roxanne Escobales on the show this week are Olivia O’Sullivan, Director of the UK in the World programme, Alice Billon-Galland, a Research Fellow with Chatham House’s Europe programme, and from Helsinki Matti Pesu, a researcher with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

About Independent Thinking

Independent Thinking is a weekly international affairs podcast hosted by our director Bronwen Maddox, in conversation with leading policymakers, journalists, and Chatham House experts providing insight on the latest international issues.

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