Discussion “Russia’s Relations with the West”

On May 30, 2019, EESC organized a discussion “Russia’s Relations with the West”, which featured Brian Whitmore, Head of Russia Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC, James Sherr, Senior Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security, Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme of Chatham House and Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute of Statecraft, and a Visiting Fellow of the Razumkov Centre (Kyiv), and Konstantin von Eggert, a Russian journalist and political commentator currently affiliated with Russian television station Dozhd and German Deutsche Welle, also a member of the Chatham House. Discussion was moderated by EESC Policy Analyst Dovilė Šukytė.

The event was possible by funding from the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation.

During discussion Western approaches and policies towards Russia were analysed. A great attention was given to looking into a perspective of next 5 years and guessing President Putin’s decision whether to remain in power or not. If yes, will he become a head of the common Russia-Belarus state, so called the Union of Sovereign Slavic Republics (USSR)? The role of Belarus is very important and how to approach it remains unanswered question for the West.

Since Russian Government’s survival highly relies on instabilities and conflicts outside Russia, which distract Russian people from internal problems, an importance for the West to devise a plan on how to protect Western institutions was expressed, as well as the need to put policy in place to make sanctions against Russia permanent.

The event was attended by Lithuanian decision makers and representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defence, Vilnius-residing diplomats, representatives of Vilnius-based international institutions, political analysts and media.