August 8, 2022

ICDS at Paide Opinion Festival on August 12-13

The Opinion Festival in Paide on 12 and 13 August is already the 10th annual domestic debate festival. Researchers from ICDS will also take the stage at the anniversary event.

Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute Dr Kristi Raik moderates a panel on security of the Baltic Sea region, while ICDS Research Fellow Kalev Stoicescu moderates a panel on the war in Ukraine. ICDS Research Fellow Martin Hurt helps to analyse issues related to military logistics and Dr Ivo Juurvee, Head of ICDS ‘s Security & Resilience Programme helps to make sense of what is happening in the information war.


When the Baltic Sea Becomes a NATO Lake

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered major changes in security of the Baltic Sea region. With Finland and Sweden on their way to join NATO, all the Baltic Sea countries apart from Russia are about to become part of the same collective defence arrangement for the first time in history. What are the implications of this change for the Baltic states, the Baltic Sea region and NATO? What kind of NATO members will Finland and Sweden be; what will be their contribution to collective defence? What new opportunities will emerge for Nordic-Baltic defence cooperation?

Moderator: Kristi Raik, Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS

Speakers: Jonatan Vseviov (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary General), Kusti Salm (Ministry of Defence, Permanent Secretary), Ross Allen (Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Estonia), Timo Kantola (Ambassador of the Finland to Estonia), Lt Col Jörgen Westerlund (Swedish Defence Attaché)

Organiser: British Embassy Tallinn

Military Mobility vis-a-vis Transport Network

One of NATO’s weaknesses is its ability to move defence equipment and troops quickly. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, we are debating the role of the transport network, including the railway, in ensuring mobility. We try to find out what NATO’s mobile capabilities are today in the event of a threat of war in this region; will the high-speed rail help to grow it; and what else should countries and the Alliance do to strengthen the connections?

Moderator: Tarmo Maiberg, ERR Journalist and Host of “Välisilm

Speakers: Indrek Sirp (Director of the National Security and Defence Coordination of the Government Office), Anvar Salomets (Chief Technical Officer at Rail Baltic Estonia), Marko Mihkelson (Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of Riigikogu), Merle Maigre (Cybersecurity Expert), Martin Hurt (Research Fellow at the ICDS)

Organiser: Rail Baltic Estonia

Disinformation – Respond, Rebut, Ignore?

Disinformation needs no introduction, with the war in Ukraine having offered fertile ground for it to spread faster and further than ever before. But what do we do with it? Should we always rebut or respond with our own messaging, joining the race for influence and audience share? Should we ignore it, and allow people to make up their own minds about the reliability of a source? Disinformation experts from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the UK will discuss various disinformation narratives in the regional information space, and different approaches to deal with disinformation.

Moderator: Evelyn Kaldoja, Journalist

Speakers: Elīna Lange-Ionatamishvili (NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence), Lukas Andriukaitis (the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab), Ivo Juurvee (Head of Security & Resilience Programme and Research Fellow at the ICDS), Ross Burley (Co-Founder & Executive Director of Centre for Information Resilience)

Organiser: British Embassy in Tallinn

Ukraine. We Won’t Forgive.

What’s happening in Ukraine is horrifying for all of us. It is an indescribable crime against humanity, against the people of Ukraine, and a serious crime against a sovereign state, as well as the value space of Europe as a whole. How are we supporting Ukraine? What has changed in the European security situation? For the Baltic States, memberships of NATO and the EU are clear security guarantees. What would the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO change in the architecture of our security, in the Baltic Sea region and in the EU?

Moderator: Kalev Stoicescu, Research Fellow at the ICDS

Speakers: Leo Kunnas (Conservative People’s Party of Estonia), Marko Mihkelson (Reform Party), Marina Kaljurand (the Social Democratic Party), Neeme Väli (the Centre Party)



More information at the Opinion Festival’s home page:

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