NB8 agree on closer coordination within EU and NATO in tackling disinformation and instrumentalization of migration

  • 2023-12-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Representatives of the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB8) at a meeting hosted by the Latvian Foreign Ministry on Thursday agreed on the need for closer coordination of the NB8 in the formats of the European Union and NATO, in particular, in the areas of disinformation, instrumentalization of migration and strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry.

The representatives of NB8 countries shared their experience on the hybrid threats posed by Russia, Belarus and China at the national level, as well as on good practices in countering those threats.

Besides strategic communication and cyber-related issues, the instrumentalization of migration at the Finland–Russia and the Latvia–Lithuania–Belarus borders, as well as the threat posed to underwater critical infrastructure in the Baltic Sea, including in the context of the Balticconnector and Nordstream incidents, were discussed in detail.

The NB8 partners were briefed about the implementation of the comprehensive national defense system in Latvia and how the measures contained therein strengthen Latvia’s resilience not only to different types of crises, but also to hybrid attacks. Finland and Sweden, which have a long-standing tradition of comprehensive defense, underlined the important role of civil society and the private sector in strengthening national security and resilience.

The next NB8 meeting on hybrid threats will take place next year in Sweden.

As reported, the Balticconnector gas pipeline connecting Estonia and Finland was damaged  in unclear circumstances on October 8. At the same time, communication cables between Estonia and Finland and Estonia and Sweden were also damaged.

In October, the Finnish Central Criminal Police announced that a six-tonne anchor, which apparently had damaged the Balticconnector pipeline, had been lifted from the seabed. It is thought that the anchor could be from the Hong Kong-registered Newnew Polar Bear vessel, which was passing through the area at the time the pipeline was damaged and was also missing one anchor.