Mārtiņš Vargulis is the Deputy Director and researcher at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and lecturer at the Riga Stradins University. He holds an MA in International Relations and currently continues his PhD studies at the Riga Stradins University. In his academic career, he has focused on issues concerning Russia (particularly security, economy and soft power), NATO and EU security related issues, as well as the European Neighbourhood. He is the author of numerous articles and the scientific editor of several books. In his long-standing professional career as a representative at the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, he has been Head of Defence Policy and Strategy Section as well as Diplomat at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to NATO and EU.