Presentation of the RISK Report in Tromsø, Northern Norway

Benjamin Schaller, Hans-Joachim Schmidt and Philip Remler (OSCE Network)

At the end of November, the RISK study "Reducing the Risks of Conventional Deterrence. Arms Control in the NATO-Russia Contact Zones" was presented on two occasions in Tromsø, Northern Norway.
During a public panel debate on the 20th of November, Hans-Joachim Schmidt (PRIF),  Philip Remler (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and Torgeir E. Fjærtoft, former Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, presented the main findings of the report. They discussed the possible implications of these findings for the current Norwegian-Russian defence relations, and reflected upon how Norwegian-Russian experiences from the Cold War could contribute to more peace and stability in Europe today. The event was co-organized by the Centre for Peace Studies at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, UTSYN – Forum for Utenriks og Sikkerhet, the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) of Norway, and Tromsø Militære Samfunn.

From 21-22 November, the authors of the report also presented its findings in the context of a workshop at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, discussing interconnected security issues in the Barents, Baltic and Black Sea regions. The workshop was attended by around 25 researchers from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The starting point of the RISK Study is the realization that the dominant military risks in Europe are no longer large-scale offensive action on a continental scale, but the “eventuality of cross-border offensive operations in sensitive areas where Russian and NATO armed forces may directly engage with each other. This is particularly acute in the Baltic and Black Sea areas.” The report addresses the most dangerous aspects of using arms control elements for containing the risks of potentially escalating crises in Europe.
Wolfgang Zellner et al. 2018, Reducing the Risk of Conventional Deterrence in Europe. Arms Control in the NATO-Russia Contact Zones, Hamburg (OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions).