[Originally published by Royal Danish Defence College]

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent war in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 has ignited a fierce international debate on how to view Russia’s foreign policy. Much of the discussion has focused on Russia’s alleged “revisionist position” towards the present international system, which Russia considers too Western dominated, and Russia’s supposed “assertiveness” or “aggressiveness”. Some scholars point out that what we are experiencing is a new Cold War between Russia and the West and that the annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine is a “game changer”, arguing that the West must re-assess its threat perception and change its policy vis-à-vis Russia in a more firm direction. Other scholars argue that Russia’s behaviour is what we should expect of a normal great power and a direct result of successive NATO and EU enlargements toward Russian territory and warn that a one-sided balancing of Russia will only lead us towards more trouble.

To cover these subjects, and others, we have invited a number of distinguished international Russia experts. 


09.00 – 09.10 Welcome
Admiral Niels Wang
Commandant, Royal Danish Defence College

09.10 – 09.20 Today’s programme
Niels Bo Poulsen
Director, Institute for Military History and War Studies, Royal    Danish Defence College

09.20-09.50  Key note: Reading Russia Right
Magda B. Leichtová
Ph.D, Department member, University of West Bohemia, Department of   Political Science and International Relations

09.50-10.00  Break

Panel 1: Reading Russia right

10.00 – 10.20 The Putin regime: as seen from Riga
Ieva Berzina
Ph.D, Senior Research Fellow, National Defence Academy of Latvia
10.20 – 10.40 Russia’s military capability in a 10 year perspective
Gudrun Persson
Ph.D, Deputy Research director, Swedish Defence Research Agency

10.40 – 11.00 Russia’s military modernization as seen from NATO
Carl Scott
Air Commodore (Rtd), former UK Defence Attaché in Moscow

11.00 – 11.15 Break

11.15 – 12.00 Q&A
Chair: Jørgen Staun, RDDC

12.00 – 12.45 Lunch
(Host: speakers only)

Panel II: Treating Russia right

12.45 – 13.15 Key note: Treating Russia right
How should NATO respond to Russia’s enhanced assertiveness?
Knud Bartels
General (ret.), Adjunct Professor, Royal Danish Defence College, Former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, former Danish Defence Chief.

13.15-13.35  When diplomacy works
Thomas Winkler
Ambassador, The Danish Embassy in Moscow

13.35 – 13.55 When diplomacy fails
Tor Bukkvoll
PhD., Senior Research Fellow
Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)

13.55 – 14.15 Break 

14.15 – 15.00 Q&A
Chair: Niels Bo Poulsen, RDDC

For participation, please contact Morten Pindstrup, at: mokr@fak.dk.

Please note: Chatham House Rules applies to the conference.

The conference is part of the syllabus of the RDDC master students and cadets, but is open to the general public.