On First Day
Panel I: The Rejection of the Soviet Collapse
There have been numerous large transformations, shifts, and potential missed opportunities in the three decades since the Soviet Union's demise. Discourse has shifted from the end of so-called history and the possibility of the emergence of a common European home to impossible security demands and the outright invasion of Ukraine. This panel's discussion will center on how Russia and the West have come to terms with the collapse of the Soviet Union over the last thirty years, and what this means for current and future relations in light of the current war.
Moderator: Prof. Žaneta Ozoliņa, Chairman, Latvian Transatlantic Organization
Power Coffee Break
Conversation between Dr. Algirdas Revaitis from the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania and Brigadier General (ret.) Gianmarco Badialetti, Italian Army
Panel II: Are Russia and China Encroaching on Europe?
A pragmatic economic partner or an adversary? Both labels have been applied to Russia and China, and such debates have strained Euro-Atlantic solidarity. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia and China had been getting closer. What are the defining characteristics of these Sino-Russian relations, and what does this imply for the future of Europe? Is this a marriage of convenience, or are there deeper motives at work? How will the current war in Ukraine change these dynamics? This panel will discuss these topics and more.
Conversation between Dr. Toms Rostoks, Director, Centre for Security and Strategic Research at the National Defence Academy of Latvia, and Dr. Margarita Šešelgytė, Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University
Charity Dinner and Welcoming Remarks by Tartu Deputy Mayor Mr Raimond Tamm
For Conference Guests in Tartu Only
Night Owl Session under the Chatham House Rule: Aggressive at Home and Abroad
For Conference Guests in Tartu Only
With opposition at home and abroad, Russia has taken a hardline line on both. With the Russian opposition's current options of imprisonment, repression, exile – or now even execution – is there a future for those partisans of democracy both inside and outside of Russia? What would such a Russian transition to democracy look like considering the domestic conditions that strongly echo those of seventy years ago? This panel will debate these issues in accordance with Chatham House rules.
Moderator: Col. (ret.) Dr. Zdzislaw Sliwa, Dean of the Baltic Defence College
On Second Day
Panel III: Technological Transformations Affecting Russian Capabilities
This panel will discuss the meeting point of doctrinal proclamations and material capabilities and willpower for the coming decades in a predictive capacity. As a result, the panel will focus on what behaviors can be expected of Russia, what objectives it has set, what tools it can use to accomplish these goals, and how the current war in Ukraine tests both doctrine and capabilities. This panel, which features students-researchers from the Baltic Defence College as speakers, also highlights the intellectual rigor of some of the daily debates that take place at the College.
Moderator: Dr. Illimar Ploom, Estonian Military Academy
Conversation between Dr. Illimar Ploom from the Estonian Military Academy and COL (ret.) Dr. Zdzislaw Sliwa, Dean of the Baltic Defence College
Panel IV: Ghosts from the Past, Phantoms of the Future? Protracted Conflicts in Former Soviet Territories and the Invasion of Ukraine
It started piecemeal. Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Transnistria. Crimea. Luhansk and Donetsk. The preceding are only a few of the disputed territories that splintered away from various polities in the decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now, Russia has declared a war on Ukraine that would relegate the entirety of the country to the same vassalized status. To what extent does the current state of affairs of these regions represent frozen conflicts with no prospect of settlement? Might the war in Ukraine provide an opportunity to settle these conflicts? This panel will go over these topics and more.
Conversation between Elisabeth Bauer, Head of the KAS office for the Baltic States, and Georgian Ambassador to Estonia, H.E. Archil Karaulashvili
Address by Louis Wierenga, Lecturer, Baltic Defence College, Grzegorz Kozłowski, Ambassador of Poland to Estonia and Žilvinas Tomkus, Vice Minister, Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania
Panel V: Putin Looks Into Biden’s Eyes: What Does He See There
President Biden of the United States stated that he once looked into President Putin's eyes and saw no soul behind them. What, on the other hand, did Putin see when he returned Biden's gaze? One year into Biden's presidency, US-Russian relations are possibly at their lowest point since the Cold War's end. How can these mutual perceptions – both personal and international – be used to comprehend the current tensions between the two powers and the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine? How has Russia's assessment of political will and unity in Washington influenced their current geopolitical strategy? This panel will address these issues and more.
Moderator: Dr. Asta Maskaliūnaitė, Director, Department of Political Studies, Baltic Defence College
Conversation between Alena Kudzko, Vice President of GLOBSEC & Director of the GLOBSEC Policy Institute and Prof. Dr. Giray Sadik, Chair, Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Turkey
Panel VI: The Return of History or the End of the World? The Russian Ultimatum to the West
From the so-called ‘Wild Nineties’ to the present, Western pundits have predicted Russian collapse or decline. In some discourses, Russia has been reduced to the status of a second-rate power or a geopolitical annoyance, based on its demographics, economy, or global relevance. Russian political analysts, on the other hand, have described a decline of the West and a continuing shift toward geopolitical multipolarity, wherein Russia would regain its former status as a global power. The invasion of Ukraine brings these two points of view to a cacophonous crescendo, and it seems that only one of these voices will remain in the subsequent quiet. This concluding panel will discuss this key point of contention in light of the current aggression.
Moderator: Dr. Sandis Šrāders, Fellow, Baltic Defence College
Closing Remarks by The Conference on Russia 2022 Director, Dr. Sandis Šrāders, Fellow, Baltic Defence College