Book Talk: The Baltic States and Baltic Security in a Historical Context

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the expansion of NATO to include Finland and Sweden has focused new attention on issues of security in the Baltic Sea region. This applies especially to the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, whose relations with Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union have been bedeviled by mutual perceptions of security threat and by the question of the rights and status of the Russian minorities in these countries. There is widespread fear in the West that these states could be the next objects of Russian aggression, while in Russia it is feared that they could be springboards for NATO intervention in Belarus. To discuss these issues, Anatol Lieven, director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute, is joined by the Right Honorable Charles Clarke, editor and co-author of the recently published book of essays, Understanding the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Since 1991 (Hurst May 2023). As Mr. Clarke wrote in his introduction to the book, “the welfare of democratic society requires that public debate is based upon accurate accounts of history”, and this book is an attempt to provide such an account.


Charles Clarke

Charles Rodway Clarke (born 21 September 1950) is a British Labour Party politician who held Cabinet positions under Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2001 to 2006, lastly as Home Secretary from December 2004 to May 2006. Clarke was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Norwich South from 1997 to 2010. Mr Clarke is currently a visiting professor at the universities of East Anglia and Lancaster, and a member of the European Leadership Network.

Anatol Lieven (Moderator)

Anatol Lieven is director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. From 1990 to 1993, he was correspondent for The Times (London) in the Baltic States, and covered their struggle for independence from the Soviet Union. His book The Baltic Revolutions: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence (Yale University Press 1993) won the George Orwell Prize and the Yale University Press Governor’s Award in 1993.