The EuroMaidan in 2013-2014 showed Russia’s unwillingness to recognise the existence of a sovereign Ukraine still perceived by Moscow as within its natural sphere of influence. The subsequent military intervention triggered tensions between Russia and its neighbours and with the West. However, evidence suggests that Ukraine might not be the only trouble hotspot and that the Baltic Sea region (BSR) remains a strategic goal in Moscow’s ambitions.
This chapter aims to explore and discuss the main threats and challenges to the BSR that flow from Russia’s aggressive attitude to the region as a whole, as well as to individual countries. Kaliningrad Oblast – the westernmost Russian enclave on the Baltic – plays a pivotal role and mission in the Kremlin’s strategy and goals.