Northern Europe is geopolitically relevant due to its shared border with Russia and its dominant position in the Baltic, Norwegian and North seas. The region’s prominence in the Geopolitical Futures model varies depending on how Russia’s and the West’s competing interests intersect over Northern Europe’s strategic position. Although the region has played a minor role in Russian affairs for the last 25 years, recent military posturing along the shared border and in the Arctic has set the stage to make Northern Europe a more active region in our model.
Northern Europe’s high latitude and surrounding seas create a fundamentally different dynamic with Russia than it has with other countries on the European Plain.
Because of Northern Europe’s proximity to St. Petersburg and the maritime choke point that Northern Europe creates in the North Sea for Russian vessels, Russia remains vulnerable.
Given increased tensions and increasingly navigable waterways i