Ever hear of the “Nordic-Baltic 8”? Me neither but it’s sort of a chilly G20 for nations around the nations around the Baltic. Don’t bother googling it, there isn’t much there and even the NATO page that references it gives you a 404 error (perhaps that’s a hint?)
The Atlantic Council, however, makes an argument that we should be very interested in the NB-8 and it’s recent meeting in Lithuania for three reasons:
- The rising importance of Germany in European affairs and a shift from an East-West European axis to a North-South one.
- Energy politics and competition with Russia over the exploitation of oil and gas reserves
- The melting of the ice cap which will allow year round transportation of goods and services (as well as more energy exploitation) which will be “nothing less than a revolution in strategic affairs and will turn the world on its head.”
In making their pitch for maintaining (nay, strengthening!) cross Atlantic cooperation, they state:
…the world will not just ‘pivot’ on Asia, it will also ‘pivot’ on the two High Norths of Continental North America and Europe; the new Super-Highways for the ‘Global Commons’.
Lunghu provides some interesting news from Finland.
First, Finland is going to go through some defense cuts and finds itself with an extra 100,000 ‘mint condition’ assault rifles.
Investigators in the northern Russian port of Arkhangelsk have charged in absentia Estonia’s former spy chief, Eerik-Niiles Kross, with organizing the hijacking of the cargo ship Arctic Sea in 2009, a spokesman for the regional Investigative Committee, Yury Shperling said on Friday.
The Social Democrats were the dominate party in Sweden for decades. Over the past few years we’ve seen a spectacular decline and collapse. Just recently the head of the party resigned meaning the party will have four leaders in five years, hardly a sign of stability. After decades of being the party that received the largest share of votes in the country it now is languishing with support of less than a quarter of Swedes.
Finally, while Mrs. TwShiloh is normally the even tempered embodiment of lagom, there was much gnashing of teeth at TwS HQ when it was announced that Ikea would no longer carry many beloved brands of Swedish food. Well, expat Swedes around the world are rising in revolt and demanding blood (well, they’ve got a Facebook page). All I know is that I better be able to get some crayfish for next year’s party…