Collection: Anti-Access/Area Denial in the Baltic Sea Region

Research Articles

The Suwalki Gap, Kaliningrad and Russia’s Baltic Ambitions



Current study is motivated by the special role of the Kaliningrad region for both Russia and the NATO Alliance. The aim of the study is to discuss how likely is the conflict in the Suwalki gap; which factors either hinder or support the escalation of the tensions between Russia and the Alliance in the region; and how far the potential conflict could go should it break out in the future. Both the NATO Alliance and Russia have different advantages and disadvantages with respect to any future escalation in the Suwalki corridor and the Kaliningrad region. The main weakness of NATO is its reliance on public opinion, which limits its ability to counter Russian escalation. Conceptually, at least, the Alliance has much deeper pockets, although it is an entirely different matter whether the superiority of resources could be realized in practice. Russia enjoys a public affairs advantage in that it has few requirements to justify its military actions, which may allow it to outlast NATO in a conventional-force brinkmanship scenario despite having many fewer resources.


  • Year: 2019
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 111–121
  • DOI: 10.31374/sjms.21
  • Submitted on 14 Aug 2018
  • Accepted on 1 Feb 2019
  • Published on 21 Aug 2019
  • Peer Reviewed