This month marks the eightieth anniversary of the occupation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union in June 1940. It was the start of a long nightmare for their inhabitants which only ended with the re-establishment of their independence in 1991. The United Kingdom, long a Baltic power, condemned Stalin's coup at the time, but ultimately acquiesced in it in the context of the Grand Alliance against Hitler and then the post-war European settlement. This history and its consequences for modern Europe is insufficiently understood. At a time when some seek once again to challenge the sovereignty of the Baltic countries, and the UK is delivering a major part of NATO deterrence in the region, the Centre for Geopolitics has assembled a distinguished cast of politicians, diplomats, and historians to explore the history of the time, what the occupation means today, and where the United Kingdom sits within the Baltic, past and present.
Charles Clarke, Former Home Secretary (chair)
Kaja Tael, Former Estonian Ambassador to the European Union, now Estonian Ambassador at Large for Climate and Energy Policy.
Patrick Salmon, Chief historian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and an expert on Britain's relationship with the Baltic.
Kristina Spohr, Professor at London School of Economics. Her many books include Post Wall, Post Square (London, 2019) and Germany and the Baltic problem after the Cold War (London, 2004).
Watch the video here: