Click HERE or the video above to watch the event
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The McCain Institute at Arizona State University hosted the second 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.
Today’s discussion featured: the Estonian Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Jüri Luik; the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, Dr. Evelyn Farkas; and the Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Edward Lucas. The conversation was moderated by the Managing Director for Global Policy at the George W. Bush Institute, David Kramer.
The discourse centered around the future of NATO in the face of Russian aggression, as we are seeing on Ukraine’s border, and as Vladimir Putin sets his sights elsewhere. The panelists also touched on pushing back against Russian narratives about the aims of the NATO alliance, as well as misleading Russian claims about territories in Eastern Europe.
“I’m pretty sure that we would have defense[s] sent to protect an ally and deter aggression should that become necessary,” said Estonian Permanent Representative to NATO, Amb. Jüri Luik. “When you read the Washington Treaty, there is nothing about invoking Article V, there is just Article V, we have all signed it. That means we have a mutual defense obligation to each other and of course we use the best possible means at our disposal.”
“Vladimir Putin wants to preserve his autocratic and kleptocratic system. In order to do that he believes he needs to exercise his sphere of influence over the former Soviet space,” said former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, Dr. Evelyn Farkas. “He would like to go back to a 19th century sphere of influence system whereby these states do not have the right to exercise their own sovereignty and that Moscow can essentially rule over and dominate them.”
“In this latest 30-year political tussle, Russia has already done very well I’m afraid. We’ve done some good things that I applaud[,] but Russia has shown it can act with impunity,” said Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Edward Lucas. “Demanding not money with menaces but geopolitical concessions with menaces . . . Putin has gotten away with it. He has not suffered immediate, harsh pushback. The kind that might make him think that it was a bad idea.”
“The timing for this discussion is unfortunately relevant to what is happening, Russia has been aggressive for a long time and in particular these days towards Ukraine,” said Managing Director for Global Policy at the George W. Bush Institute David Kramer. “But there are other countries including Estonia where Jüri Luik is from that was the target of a massive cyberattack in 2007, Georgia in 2008, Ukraine in 2014 and ongoing and ongoing aggression towards Ukraine and Georgia that we have seen. This campaign is accompanied by a disinformation campaign and propaganda effort on the part of the Kremlin.”
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.