Monday, March 28, 2022

European Ambassadors Discuss Russia in Ukraine in Canberra

 Chancellor Bishop opening the
Greetings from "Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: A Colloquium", at the Moot Court of the Australian National University in Canberra. Chancellor Bishop is opening the colloquium. With a row of distinguished European ambassadors, flags, and a judges bench behind, it is perhaps a foretaste of the war crimes tribunals to come. But those are likely years away.  

The colloquium is an example of one of the uses of a research university. Whatever the topic,  you can likely find an expert on it at a major university. This event has the ambassadors today, and the the ANU's strategic experts give their views Wednesday. 

One ambassador, mentioned the effect of cyber attacks on European countries, another the unexpected unity, but this will be tested as sanctions harm European economies, as well as Russia. Unexpected unity was mentioned again. The claim was made the war was "unprecedented", which seems at odds with Europe's bloody history. The prospect of chemical, biological and "other" (ie: Nuclear) weapons were mentioned, with the suggestion European countries needed to be ready with a response. Option may be limited as US doctrine call for a response in kind, if a weapon of mass destruction is used against it. So what happens if a stray chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon which causes mass causalities of US personnel deployed to a European ally? Also it was chilling to hear ambassador's saying their countries were preparing for war, and that under the NATO alliance, an attack on one country is an attack on all. In particular the representatives of the smaller European countries on the western edge of the EU think of themselves as already at war, by proxy. 

In his response Mr Kyle Wilson, Visiting Fellow,  ANU Centre for European Studies, suggested that the conflict started with a cyber attack on Estonia in 2007.

"Day 1: A diplomatic perspective from Europe

Panel 1: Collective responses to shared challenges

  • H.E. Dr Michael Pulch, Ambassador of the European Union
  • H.E. Mr Michał Kołodziejski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland
  • H.E. Ms Satu Mattila-Budich, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland
  • H.E. Ms Kersti Eesmaa, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia

Panel 2: The future of Europe’s security architecture

  • H.E. Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador of the French Republic
  • H.E. Ms Pernille Dahler Kardel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark
  • H.E. Dr Thomas Fitschen, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • H.E. Ms Betty Bernardica Pavelich, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia

Day 2: Liberal democracies and threats to the rules-based international order

Date and time: 30 March, 9.30am-4.30pm

Australia’s leading authorities on Eastern Europe will examine Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from political, strategic, historical and cultural angles, and will reflect on the possible threat the conflict poses to the rules-based international order.

The speakers include Dr Robert Horvath (La Trobe University), Prof Paul Dibb (ANU), A/Prof William Partlett (The University of Melbourne), Dr Stephen Fortescue (UNSW), Mr Petr Kuzmin (President of Svoboda Alliance VIC), Mr Bertil Wenger (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung), Dr Matthew Sussex (Australian Defence College), Dr Sonia Mycak (ANU), Dr Elena Govor (ANU).

See the program and speakers here."

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