The UK’s evolving role in Nordic–Baltic security

This project investigates the objectives, priorities, and constraints of UK defence in the Nordic–Baltic region at a critical juncture for Euro-Atlantic security.

This is a joint project between Chatham House and the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in Tallinn, investigating prospects for the UK’s role in Nordic–Baltic security and UK–Estonia defence cooperation.

As part of this project, in July 2023 Chatham House jointly published a report, ‘British Power in Baltic Weather: UK’s Role in Nordic-Baltic Security and UK-Estonia Defence Cooperation’, analysing the objectives, priorities, and constraints of the UK’s defence involvement and leadership in the Nordic–Baltic region.

Through convening, research and outreach, the project aims to:

  • Assess the prospects for enhanced UK involvement in the Nordic–Baltic area with regards to the priorities of the British government;
  • Discuss the expectations and opportunities for closer UK–Estonia defence cooperation;
  • Develop practical insights and innovative recommendations for British and Estonian policymakers.

This Chatham House–ICDS project is led by Alice Billon-Galland and Tomas Jermalavičius.


The UK’s role in Nordic–Baltic security has grown over the past decade as the region is key to British strategic interest and engagement.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK’s strong stance towards Moscow and the steps taken to assist Ukraine and strengthen deterrence on NATO’s eastern flank have been widely appreciated in the Nordic–Baltic area.

The UK is seen as a credible and reliable partner in the region but for it to continue to deliver, difficult choices must be made with regards to UK defence spending and military capabilities, and London’s more global ambitions.