Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

President of the Republic of Latvia 1999-2007

Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga was the President of the Republic of Latvia from 1999 to 2007, serving two four-year terms. She was named special envoy on the reform of the United Nations in 2005 and was an official candidate of the Baltic States for the position of Secretary-General in 2006. Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga is extensively published and has a background in psychology. She focuses on the political future of the Baltic states. She speaks Latvian, English, and French. 


Friday March, 4

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