The ICDS invited Dr. Tomas Ries, Mr. Andis Kudors and Mr. Lev Shlosberg to discuss possible future political, economic and social developments and scenarios in Russia, as well as that country’s likely foreign and defence policy under President Putin in the foreseeable future.
Dr. Tomas Ries, a lecturer at the Swedish Defence University and an excellent connaisseur of Russia’s defence and foreign policy, especially concerning the Nordic-Baltic region, pointed to Russia’s increasing conventional military capabilities, as well as the modernization of its nuclear arsenal, vis-à-vis a continuously disarming and militarily weakened Europe.
Mr. Andis Kudors, an experienced lecturer at the Rīga Stradiņš University and the University of Latvia, as well as the long time Executive Director of the Centre for East European Policy Studies in Riga, discussed Russia’s distinctive approach soft power and public diplomacy.
Mr. Lev Shlosberg, a member of the Federal Political Committee of the Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko and the Chairman of the party’s regional section in the city of Pskov, commented on the forthcoming elections to the State Duma on 16 September 2016, assessing the possibilities of Russian liberal democratic parties, including Yabloko, to conduct successful election campaigns and become represented in the Russian parliament.
Mr. Jüri Luik, the director of ICDS, concluded that – looking from all angles – the picture concerning Russia’s present and near future is rather gloomy, including likely economic downfall and the possibility of unforeseen internal and external political developments.