The `Northern Dimension': north-western Russia in focus
Based on a Finnish initiative, the ‘Northern Dimension’ (ND) was adopted in 1998. The Northern Dimension represents an EU regional approach towards the countries in the Baltic Sea region. It covers the three Nordic EU members, the three Baltic States and Poland, and the northern parts of Germany, as well as the non-EU partner countries, Iceland, Norway and north-western Russia. It has a particular focus on north-western Russia and the soft security challenges that emanate from this part of the region. Together with the Common Strategy on Russia, the Northern Dimension constitutes one of the most important instruments the EU has towards Russia. However, whilst the Common Strategy addresses the Russian Federation as a whole, the Northern Dimension concentrates on a selected part of the Russian Federation.