For centuries, the Baltic area has constituted an area of special interest to Russia’s leadership, with the Kremlin’s influence at various times challenged by Sweden, Germany and Poland. For the past millennium, Russia has played a vital role in the wealth and security of the region, although for the past century it has created more insecurity than security for its Baltic neighbors, including Finland and Sweden. From 1917, the Soviet leadership became determined to re-exert control over Finland and the three Baltic States, finally achieving domination as a result of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty. Even today, the Russian Government insistently claims that the three Baltic States “voluntarily” joined the Soviet Union in 1940.2 Finland lost a large part of its territory to Russia in the 1939-40 Winter War. Also, through war, deportations and killings, a third of the ethnic population of the three Baltic States was lost. Estonia and Latvia were forced to accept several million Russian “emigrants” between 1950 and 1990. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin considers the region to be vitally important as Russia’s major transportation corridor to Europe. The rail lines, pipelines and ports that carry the bulk of Russia’s exports of raw materials to the Baltic Sea remain indispensable to Russia’s economy. For the West, and the Baltic States themselves, however, it is a region highly vulnerable to the Kremlin’s projection of economic and political power. Russia’s own Baltic region (the Saint Petersburg region) is growing in importance as it sends an increasing share of its oil exports to the West, primarily through the port of Primorsk. The Nord Stream natural gas pipeline now being built underneath the Baltic Sea from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany will make this region ever more important to the Russian economy. Russian tanker traffic and the laying of pipelines pose increased environmental risks to the shore lines of Russia’s neighbors on the Baltic Sea. People living in the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are particularly vulnerable to the Kremlin’s continuing efforts to control the security framework in the Baltic region. The three countries have been consistent targets for Moscow-directed energy coercion, non-transparent investment in strategic assets and intelligence activities.