2-3 March 2023, Tartu, Estonia
From the establishment of the Baltic Defence College and especially from the inception of our conference and publications, we have become a hub of expert knowledge unveiling diverse trends relating to Russian domestic and external connections. These debates become even more salient after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February.
Since 2015, we have convened the annual Conference on Russia, which has brought together the Baltic and allied military communities, international bodies, governments, academia, and the commercial sector to examine the most critical issues shaping Russia, its near abroad, and global concerns.
The 2023 Conference, which took place on March 2-3, 2023, aimed to intensify these debates by focusing on the guiding topic of Russia’s future. To that point, the panels discussed a variety of interconnected topics, including how global powers could deter Russia, NATO’s Russia compass, Russia’s military recovery, the hostile battleground in digital and cyber space, and any prospects for a Russian path to normalcy. We intended to discuss not only the current situation, but also future scenarios that would have an impact on transatlantic security and the Baltic Sea region for decades to come.
We hope you will join us in the discussion!
This panel brings together experts to examine how global powers may work together to stop Russia's aggressive behavior. The emphasis will be the strategies of different and processes for dealing with Russian expansionism and aggression, including the military, economic, and diplomatic measures that would be necessary to contain this threat. The panel will also delve into the effectiveness of these efforts, and the challenges and opportunities for further cooperation. With tensions between Russia and the international community remaining high, this panel provides a timely and important discussion on how the world is working to deter Russian aggression.
This discussion brings together experts to examine NATO's present policy toward Russia and its impact on the Alliance's Strategic Compass. The discussion will center on the challenges posed by Russian activities, as well as how they influence NATO priorities and plans. The discussion will also look at the responses of individual NATO member states and the future members to the war in Ukraine, as well as the prospects and constraints for future collaboration. As Russia remains a key security challenge, this panel provides an important and pertinent review of NATO's current stance.
This student-led panel delves into the topic of power beyond nuclear military might. The emphasis is on the various alternative types of power used by Russia to achieve its objectives, such as conventional military, economic, diplomatic, and soft power. The students will engage in a lively discussion about the potential use of these different types of power in diverse regions, as well as how they might be effectively utilized. This discussion offers an opportunity to hear the thoughts of the future generation of leaders on this crucial issue.
This panel of specialists will evaluate Russia's military revival at its unprecedented losses in Ukraine and its consequences for global and regional security. The emphasis will be on the speed and scope of Russia's military revival, as well as its influence on the international community. The discussion will also dive into how Russia's military comeback might lead it to develop new capabilities, which will also include political and economic considerations. With tensions between Russia and the West still high, this panel offers a timely and critical evaluation of Russia's military capabilities.
This discussion brings together specialists to address the nexus of digital transformation, global impact, and the harmful effect of Russian narratives in the information space. The emphasis will be on how the digital era has created new opportunities for Russia to further their objectives, particularly in the use of propaganda and disinformation. The panel will discuss the impact of these initiatives on the global information landscape, as well as the challenges and potential for resisting them. The discussion will also focus on the consequences of these developments for the future of international relations. With the digital era changing the nature of power and influence, this panel delivers an important discussion of the role of technology in shaping global politics.
This panel brings together experts to explore Russia's path towards a more democratic and less aggressive future. The focus will be on the political, economic, and social reforms that are necessary for Russia to shift towards a more open and inclusive society, and the strategies that can be used pursued to achieve this goal. The discussion will delve into the domestic and international potential for democratization from the Russian opposition, and the implications for Russia's future trajectory. The panel will also examine the role of external factors, including the international community, in shaping Russia's journey towards greater democracy and reduced aggression. With Russia at a critical and dangerous juncture, this panel provides a crucial examination of the country's path towards a more open and peaceful future.
The Baltic Defence College, based in Tartu, Estonia, stands at the intersection of East and West, and is dedicated to exploring the complexities and challenges of our eastern neighbor, Russia. The College’s annual Conference on Russia is a flagship event in its academic program, and serves as a platform for experts from the political, diplomatic, military, and academic spheres to share their insights and perspectives on Russia.
Since 2014, the College has hosted the Conference on Russia, which has grown in both scope and importance over the years. Previous editions of the Conference have explored various aspects of Russian power and projection, Russian revisionism, the centennial of the Russian Revolution, Russian challenges and responses, non-linear challenges, Russia’s self-perception versus geostrategic realities, and the impact of Russia’s embrace of its revisionist past in light of its invasion of Ukraine. The overarching goal of the Conference each year has been to delve deeper into Russia’s view of itself and the world.
The 2023 Conference, “Russia’s Futures,” is poised to continue this tradition of excellence with a focus on the future trajectory of Russia in the new paradigm of the war in Ukraine. The conference will bring together a diverse group of experts to engage in discussions on critical issues, including the role of global powers in deterring further Russian adventurism and aggression, NATO’s internal and external response, alternative approaches to power projection beyond nuclear saber-rattling, the contested informational space, Russia’s military restructuring, and whether Russia has a pathway to becoming a normal member of the international community.
In addition to the dynamic debates and discussions, the 2023 Conference will also feature the third annual publication of the Conference Proceedings. This publication serves as a valuable resource for experts and stakeholders alike, providing cutting-edge insight into the themes and subjects covered during the conference. The proceedings consist of chapters written by some of the leading experts on Russia, exploring subjects such as geopolitics, demography, political systems, cultural identity, and military technology. By serving as a platform for worldwide debate and discussion, the Conference Proceedings play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of Russia and its place in the world.
The Conference on Russia 2023 is a must-attend event for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Russia and its role in the world. The College looks forward to welcoming experts and stakeholders from across the globe to Tartu in March 2023 for this dynamic and thought-provoking event.
This conference is supported by NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, NATO Defense College, Tartu City, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, MILREM Robotics and Embassy of Georgia to the Republic of Estonia.