Baltic Experiences in 

Countering Russian Influence: 
Lessons for the U.S.


On Tuesday, June 11 CEPA hosted a roundtable on the Baltic States' experiences with Russian influence, and the strategies they have developed to combat these tactics. The discussion featured insights from Dr. Solvita Denisa-Liepniece, Assistant Professor at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences and Researcher at Institute of Social, Economic, and Humanities Research in Latvia, Dovilė Šukytė, Policy Analyst at the Eastern Europe Studies Center in Lithuania, and Dmitri Teperik, Chief Executive at the International Center for Defense and Security in Estonia. The conversation was moderated by Brian Whitmore, Senior Fellow and Russian Program Director at CEPA. 


Following the Cold War, the United States lost much of its experience in dealing with Russian malign interference campaigns. With the resurgence of this Kremlin activity, the United States must rapidly rebuild resilience and expertise. Allies such as the Baltic states can provide useful lessons, as they have been combating external disinformation since well before the fall of the Soviet Union. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania each possess unique perspectives on this issue.

 

During this discussion, the three visiting experts from the Baltic capitals highlighted the key vulnerabilities found in each society and how hostile pro-Kremlin entities penetrate these communities. Some of the lessons learned are universal. By understanding the experiences of other countries, Washington can expedite the development of its own strategy in dealing with Russian meddling.

 

The event was organized in cooperation with the Eastern Europe Studies Center, based in Vilnius. It was possible due to the support of the Baltic American Freedom Foundation.

Brian Whitmore

11 June 2019

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