Steeped in clichés and “new Cold War” rhetoric, our understanding of the sources of Russian conduct is often limited. Yet, the complexity of the current strategic situation on the European continent and its neighbourhood, coupled with the increasing unpredictability that characterised Russian policy during Putin’s second stint as president, now ably re-elected for a new 7-year term, makes it all the more timely to look back at the on-going evolution of Russian security perceptions, international motives, as well as their sources in recent years.
From Georgia to Ukraine to Syria, Russia has provided its international partners and challengers with plenty of relevant clues and indications about its state of mind and assessment of the international situation by updating the strategic documents that frame its security, defence and foreign policies, hence pointing to its leadership’s perception that the country’s security environment has been radically transformed. If there is not really much new in this, rarely has it all been put together so clearly, and in an official government document, no less: Russia’s strategy is about increasing Russian power, at home and abroad.
Based on recent experience, if military prowess and glory is to be the glue that binds regime and society together, what can be expected next? How will Moscow further adapt the structure of its armed forces and develop its technical capabilities? Crucially, what are the implications for the EU, which seems to be playing a less prominent role than previously in Moscow’s foreign policy agenda and which is not in the best position to address the Russian challenge in its military dimension? Yet, in dealing with Russia, can Europe revert to a purely defensive stance within NATO?
In order to contribute to a better understanding of the sources of Russian conduct at a pivotal moment in East-West relations, we have the pleasure to welcome Dr Isabelle Facon, from the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique in Paris, who will provide a reasoned assessment of Russia’s current security and military policy as well as an analysis of its connections with and impact on the Russia-EU/NATO relationship and mutual perceptions.
This conference will take place on Thursday 21 June 2018 at 17:00 hours in the conference centre of the Campus Renaissance (entrance: rue Hobbema 8, 1000 Brussels). The lecture will be given in French with simultaneous translation into Dutch and English. Parking is available on the Cinquantenaire esplanade in front of the Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Military History. We are looking forward to welcoming you and kindly ask you to confirm your participation by registering online on the RHID website: www.rhid.be.
Pre-registration is mandatory to access the premises and must reach us not later than Monday 18 June 2018
16:30 : Registration
17:00 : Conference and Q & A
18:30-19:30 : Reception