The Ukraine crisis has thrown the spotlight on Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – countries that had long been tucked away in a corner of northeastern Europe. Former Soviet Union members and neighbours of Russia, these countries now have to contend with the implications of war just beyond their borders. To this day, they remain deeply concerned that they could be next in line for similar aggression from their powerful neighbour.
Throughout their history, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have faced domination from foreign powers. But following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a sense of optimism pervaded as the Baltic States emerged as newly independent countries. This newfound autonomy was not without its challenges, but it allowed them to build strong democracies and solidify their sovereignty.
That is why Russia’s incursion into Ukraine – a country with whom they share many cultural similarities – came as such a shock to them. Not only does it threaten Ukraine’s fragile post-Soviet transition — it also raises questions about the long-term security of all of Eastern Europe. The fear is that once one nation is targeted by Russian aggression, many more could follow suit.
Although they are taking steps to protect themselves — such as boosting military readiness and increasing economic cooperation with the West — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania will be looking for reassurance from NATO in order to safeguard their security in the region.
To better understand what this situation means for these three countries at this critical juncture in history, viewers should watch ‘The New Iron Curtain’. This documentary delves into how Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are reacting to the Ukrainian conflict and highlights how fragile peace can be when powerful nations are vying for control over neighbouring regions. It paints a vivid picture of life on the frontline between Europe’s divided East and West – an important reminder that all nations should take care when dealing with complex political conflicts abroad.