WASHINGTON, D.C. – The McCain Institute at Arizona State University hosted the fourth conversation of a four-part event series focused on the importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and building awareness of mis, dis, and mal-information (MDM) campaigns that seek to undermine public trust in institutions like NATO.
The discussion examined whether a 21st century Iron Curtain exists in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and featured conversations with Tiina Uudeberg, Undersecretary for Defence and Planning at the Estonian Ministry of Defence and Yordan Bozhilov, Deputy Minister of Defense for the Republic of Bulgaria. The conversations were moderated by McCain Institute Human Rights & Democracy Program Manager Pedro Pizano.
The discourse centered around the future of NATO, specifically with frontline Eastern European states who are counting on support from the rest of the alliance in the face of Vladimir Putin’s reckless expansionist policies. Both panelists noted that this aggression from Putin and the Kremlin is nothing new.
“The war in Ukraine has been going on for three months now,” said Tiina Uudeberg, Undersecretary for Defence and Planning at the Estonian Ministry of Defence, “We all seem to agree that this full-scale invasion has changed Euro-Atlantic security. Well, the past few months have proven something that we here at the eastern flank of NATO have known for years, that Putin’s regime cannot be trusted.”
“The situation in the Black Sea actually started getting worse decades ago, when Russia started occupying parts of Georgia in 2008,” said Yordan Bozhilov, Deputy Minister of Defense for the Republic of Bulgaria. “In 2014, Russia occupied Crimea and began assisting forces in Donetsk and Luhansk. More than that, the Russia has also supported speratists in Transnistria and other parts of the Black Sea region.”
This event was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of State – NATO Mission. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.
Click HERE to watch the full event.
About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
Inspired by Senator John S. McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute for International Leadership is fighting to secure democracy and alliances, defend human rights, protect the vulnerable and advance character-driven leadership, both at home and around the world.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.