On July 7, the NATO Association of Canada hosted “Insights into the 2023 Vilnius Summit: A Moderated Discussion.” The virtual event, co-moderated by Matthew D’Amico and Aly Sayani, both members of the NATO Association of Canada’s team, brought together the highest-ranking members of the Baltic states’ diplomatic community in Canada. This included Margus Rava, Estonia’s Ambassador to Canada; Kaspars Ozoliņš, Latvia’s Ambassador to Canada; and Darius Skusevicius, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Canada.
“Insights into the 2023 Vilnius Summit: A Moderated Discussion,” along with “The Vilnius Summit: Canada and the Alliance,” a complementary virtual event hosted on July 12, represent the NATO Association of Canada’s programming marking the 2023 NATO Summit, which took place from July 11 to July 12 in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city. Summits like Vilnius, which assemble dignitaries from across NATO, occur “on an ad-hoc basis,” only convening at “important junctures in the Alliance’s decision-making process.”
At this year’s summit, events on the Eastern Flank would dominate. As a pre-event post from NATO noted, “NATO Leaders will meet to address the most pressing challenges for the Alliance, further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence and bring Ukraine closer to the Alliance.”
The NATO Association of Canada’s moderated discussion, though, went beyond the 2023 NATO Summit, focusing on broader issues relevant to Baltic countries and Baltic security. In addition to deterrence and the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), the discussants spoke at length about the expansion of NATO, the role of the Tallinn-based Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, the launch of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), recent developments in Russia and Belarus, and more.
The NATO Association of Canada regularly hosts or participates in events and initiatives that raise awareness about security issues, including in the Baltic countries. In March, the NATO Association of Canada facilitated a discussion between Ambassador Ozoliņš and Kevin Rex, former Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. And in June, Robert Baines, president and CEO of the NATO Association of Canada, visited Task Force Latvia.
A recording of “Insights into the 2023 Vilnius Summit” is available through the NATO Association of Canada’s YouTube account. For additional coverage of the 2023 NATO Summit, see “The Vilnius Summit: Canada and the Alliance.”