The constant escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine led the Nordic countries to scale up their defence cooperation and preparedness, making Finland and Sweden take the decision to join NATO. On 18 May 2022, both countries handed their official letters of application to join the organization over to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and had their accession protocols signed on 5 July, after the completion of the pertinent accession talks (NATO Parliamentary Assembly, 2022). The protocols must now be ratified by all the Allies in accordance with their national procedures.
During the meeting of the United Nations Council on October 26, a new threat to pro- Ukrainian Western nations was identified. The Russian Senior Foreign Ministry official Konstantin Vorontsov stated that "quasi-civilian space infrastructure can be a legitimate target for retaliation” (Voronstov, 2022). The main targets may include the American companies Space X, Iridium and Maxar, since they provide critical communication services for the Ukrainian people. The first of these supports Ukrainian troops with broadband Internet access; the satellite communication company contributes with a satellite network; and the latter captures images of the war from satellites (Roulette, 2022). However, Vorontsov has not yet mentioned any specific names of satellite companies that might be attacked.
On December 5th, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence (Ministerstvo Oborony Rossii) declared that Russia had deployed mobile coastal defence missile systems – K-300P Bastion Systems – on the northern Kuril Island of Paramushir (Japan Today, Dec 6, 2022). The Russian Bastion missile system is known to be an effective mobile launch platform of the supersonic anti-ship P-800 Oniks (NATO codename SS-N-26 Strobile) that have reportedly been launched in the southern districts of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion (The Eurasian Times, Dec 5, 2022).
On Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 France’s President Emmanuel Macron presented the new “Revue Nationale Stratégique” aboard the amphibious helicopter carrier Dixmude in Toulon, France (Ministère des Armées, 2022). The released document aims to define France’s main national and international security objectives for 2030. The document addresses the role of France as a respected actor in international security and at the core of the European strategic autonomy initiative.
Over the past two decades, the European Union (EU) has intensely recalibrated its strategies to fulfil its mission of promoting peace and security and guaranteeing democracy, rule of law, freedoms, human rights, and equality to its citizens. Given the increase in non-conventional threats in the cyber, hybrid, and “cybrid” domains, the EU has started to strengthen its response to this changing security environment. In this context, technological change has become the main character in a society whose governments, economies, people, and armies are highly dependent on hyper-connectivity and impacted by it. The technological transition has transformed how enemies attack their counterparts, fostering digital rivalries and tighter industry competition. To this end, the Union has recently launched the EU’s Secure Connectivity Programme (2023-2027), which encloses the third EU constellation of strategic space infrastructures called IRIS2. The latter, inter alia, has been designed to foster strategic autonomy in the Union, thereby reducing foreign dependencies. It is fundamental for the Union to enhance its ability to respond and counter cyber challenges with a comprehensive and collaborative approach, as individual and protectionist actions from the Member States obstruct the achievement of a higher degree of strategic autonomy in the technological and defence arenas.