Kristine Berzina is the Washington, DC-based managing director of GMF Geostrategy North, responsible for leading programming on Baltic, Nordic, Arctic, and US security and territorial defense issues. She also heads the security and defense portfolio, including analysis on NATO, US foreign policy toward Europe, and US-EU geostrategic ties. She is a frequent commentator oninternational media, including the BBC, CNN, France 24, NPR, Deutsche Welle, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. She is also a co-host of “Drošinātājs”, a Ukraine-focused podcast and program on Latvijas Radio.


Berzina previously worked on countering autocratic influence as head of GMF’s Alliance for Securing Democracy’s geopolitics team, and on transatlantic security and energy issues while based in Brussels and Berlin. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Yale University.

Media Mentions

[Northern Europe] has not received much consideration in the past, especially from a land forces domain.
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GMF's Kristine Berzina Joins BBC News to Comment on the Russian UN Ambassador's Remarks
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But those plans, and the dollars, euros and political will to fulfill them, remain in doubt. And nowhere are those doubts deeper than in the Baltic states, where Russia’s threat is existential.

“If you want to prove that the alliance is real and credible, this is the place,” said Kristine Berzina of the German Marshall Fund, which organized a research trip to Latvia for several transatlantic security experts and me this month.
"The winner of the Summit is the Eastern wing of NATO", emphasizes the managing director of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) North
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While Washington, as well as Sweden and Finland, had initially sought to have both countries join NATO together, 'there’s also a desire to keep this moving.'
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It will be very hard to make 2% a real floor. But I think some kind of commitment not to forever fail as badly — as many countries did — would be possible.
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China has sought entry into all the relevant international organizations and has strategically undermined them from within
Ukraine is really showing the U.S. why democracy matters. Why open communication matters, why having press and having citizens on the ground, being able to show each other what's going on matters.
Russia has its hand all across the energy sector in Europe. Trying to get away from Russian coal or from Russian gas or from Russian anything means shifting to a different fuel, but Russia's going to have a share in that, too.
Germans thought that, because the Wall came down peacefully, that Ostpolitik was right. Their lived experience was that those relations led to the right outcome, and that meant that making sure that the gas keeps flowing was paramount not only for the German economy but that it was the right strategic decision.
As other forms of income are being reduced through sanctions, to have a steady stream of income through energy gives Russia something to rely on to keep making bullets, to keep making armour, and to do all the other things needed to sustain and potentially accelerate this war effort.
The European Union is about to push hard to get Europe off of Russian fossil fuels. [As long as European nations are still buying oil and gas from Russia, they are] funding the war machine.
The fact there is a lot of military resolve, that there is an understanding of the possibility for territorial conflict, if that had been more explicit, perhaps Russia would have felt it didn’t need to test that.