Baltic Defence Co-operation

The current diversified and consistent form of Baltic defence co-operation was initially born out of the need to change the defence structure of the three Baltic states to ensure their interoperability with the structure of NATO states.

At the same time, the Baltic defence co-operation did not decline after the objective of joining NATO was met, but vice versa; it has intensified after the accession, largely due to the recognition that small countries with common interests and objectives can achieve much more together than alone. Co-operation now entails defence-related efforts at the level of all services and for the purposes of giving military higher education.

  • Co-operation between the Air Forces of the Baltic states is operable 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The control centre of the Baltic air space in Karmelava, Lithuania, is manned within the framework of the common air surveillance system (BALTNET), which monitors the air space of all the three Baltic states and controls the fighters of the alliance, who conduct NATO air security operations. Manning the common control centre is more efficient and economic when all the three counties contribute; the system will also be simpler for the purposes of the NATO air security mission, as it would be much more difficult for each country to control its own air space only.


  • When the Baltic states started with the co-operation between the armies back in 1994, the objective was to take the defence force members to peace securing operations – an objective, which has been achieved and is continued, as the countries reached a situation where during the first half of 2010 they participated in the 14th rotation of the NRF – NATO Response Force. The Baltic ministers of defence have decided that the co-operation between the armies of the three Baltic states, which has gained a high rating, will also be continued in the future. There are plans to participate in NATO NRF once again with a joint, Estonian lead, battalion in 2016.

  • The Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) in Tartu, which was established in 1999, is a joint third level staff college for training senior staff officers and giving them higher military education. Today, BATLDEFCOL has become an educational institution, rather unique within the whole NATO framework, as the college is practically the only one that offers internationally recognised third level military education in English and within an international environment. In addition to the Baltic states, many other countries are sending faculty members and students to the College. For Instance the current staff comes from The Baltic states, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, The United Kingdom and the United States. Apart from the courses for staff officers, the College also provides a higher command training course for civil servants.

Joint Communiqués of the 3B Ministers of Defence

Baltic Defence College


Last updated: 18 June 2015