Presentation of the Project Findings:
"Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defence-Energy Nexus"
On 9 March 2018 the second in a series of meetings promoting the joint research project between the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) titled Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defence-Energy Nexus was held in Lublin. The event was organised in cooperation with the Centre of Eastern Europe from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS) and the UMCS Political Science Faculty.
During the conference, PISM and NUPI experts presented the main conclusions from the project’s final report, which focuses on interconnections between defence and energy dimensions of security in the Nordic-Baltic region and provides recommendations for closer cooperation between Poland and Norway. The event was also an occasion for broader discussion about the main challenges for regional and European security. It also advanced the project’s goal of creating a platform for Polish and Norwegian government officials, scholars, and experts to exchange knowledge, experience and ideas.
The first panel, moderated by Dr. Marcin Terlikowski (PISM), was devoted to the political-military dimension of security in the Nordic-Baltic region. Wojciech Lorenz (PISM) discussed the evolution of Russia’s strategy towards the West. Prof. Dr. hab. Walenty Buk and Dr. Kuba Olchowski from UMCS pointed out that the European security system is under threat from an actor which contests the status quo and is trying to redefine its position as a superpower in this region. Dr. hab. Agnieszka Legucka summarised the myths about Russia, including the myth about the interdependence between the EU and Russia, which hasn’t always succeeded in preventing Russia from aggressive actions.
The next panel, moderated by Dr. Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk (PISM), focused on energy policy in the Baltic region. The Polish perspective was presented by Dr. Justyna Misiągiewicz and the Norwegian by the representative from NUPI, Prof. Jakub Godzimirski. In his opinion, Norway sees energy policy from a commercial perspective, however, since 2014 it has started to consider Russia as a security game-changer. All of the panellists agreed that Germany plays a significant role in the European energy system. Dr. Mariusz Ruszel pointed out that Germany is aiming to become a European energy hub providing cheaper gas from Russia and electricity (in the future) from Norway. At the end of the panel, Bartosz Bieliszczuk completed the analysis of Russian energy strategy, by discussing the attitudes of the elites supporting Vladimir Putin.