This article is part of the 'Security in the Baltic Sea Region: Realities and Prospects: The Riga Conference Papers 2017' and can be found on pages 138 to 146.
The Ukraine crisis turned the security of the Baltic states into a top European security priority. Although NATO member states stood squarely behind their Eastern allies at the NATO summit in Wales, this initial display of unity started to show some signs of unravelling in the run-up to the Warsaw summit. Differences between Eastern and Southern allies on how to deal with Russia and where the geographical focus of the Alliance should lie became increasingly visible. The Netherlands found themselves caught in-between this East-South divide. This article analyses how the divide shaped NATO’s approach to the security of the Baltic states and pays particular attention to the role of the Netherlands in trying to bridge the gap between NATO’s two flanks.