Russia and the West: What is at stake

Inter­na­tional Expert Network Russia

The War in Ukraine and the West’s Future Policy towards Russia

15 May 2024 (Wednesday)
AXICA Congress Center, Pariser Platz 3, 10117 Berlin & Online

This event is held in the framework of the Center for Liberal Modernity’s Expert Network Russia. For more infor­ma­tion about the network, click here!

As Russia’s full-scale aggres­sion against Ukraine enters its third year, the Kremlin seems deter­mined to fight the war through to the end, despite heavy losses of men and material.

The Russian power elite is counting on the West’s fatigue. Every sign of inde­ci­sion and conflict aversion in Wash­ington and Europe encour­ages the Kremlin to continue the campaign against Ukraine with all its might.

At the same time, differ­ences between Western capitals over the endgame of the war and the extent of military support for Ukraine are becoming increas­ingly obvious. In view of the inten­si­fied Russian attacks, a common strategy is urgently needed with regard to the West’s objec­tives and the means required to achieve them.

It remains to be seen how stable the regime in Moscow really is and how broad its popular support is. The fact that the Kremlin let Alexei Navalny die in a prison camp at the Arctic Circle does not speak for the regime’s strength. Who are possible “agents of change” in Russia and how can the West promote change?

Last but not least we want to discuss which conclu­sions Europe, and the US should draw from the failure of their previous Russia policies: What are the guide­lines for a new, realistic policy vis-à-vis Moscow for the West?


9:30 — 10:00  Regis­tra­tion. Welcome coffee.

10:00 — 10:15

Ralf FücksMarieluise Beck, Center for Liberal Modernity


10:15 — 11:45
Session One: Eval­u­a­tion of Russia’s internal situation
How stable is the regime? What are possible crisis factors? How much support does the regime (and the war against Ukraine) have among the popu­la­tion? Who are potential “agents of change” in Russia?


  • Irina Scherbakowa, Historian, co-founder of MEMORIAL
  • Alexandra Prokopenko, Visiting Fellow, Center for Order and Gover­nance in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin
  • Vladimir Milov, Politi­cian, Economist and Energy expert, Vice President for Inter­na­tional Advocacy, Free Russia Foundation
  • Marek Menkiszak, Head of the Russia Depart­ment, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), Warsaw

MODERATION: John Lough, Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

11:45 — 12:00  Coffee Break

Session Two: Key Points of a New European Russia policy

The war in Ukraine forces Europe to make uncom­fort­able decisions: Rapproche­ment or contain­ment and deter­rence vis-à-vis Moscow? Is Putin still a legit­i­mate leader and potential partner for the West? Is Europe ready to meet the new security chal­lenges? How should a solid burden-sharing between the EU and NATO look like? How can we promote the inte­gra­tion of Ukraine and other Eastern Part­ner­ship countries into the West? How can we encourage political change in Russia?


  • Michael Siebert, Managing Director for Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia, regional coop­er­a­tion and OSCE at European External Action Service
  • Marie Dumoulin, Director, European Council of Foreign Relations’ Wider Europe Programme (tbc)
  • Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parlia­ment, former Prime Minister of Lithuania
  • Pavlo Klimkin, co-founder of the Centre for National Resilience and Devel­op­ment and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine


  • Robin S. Quinville, Director, Global Europe Program, Wilson Center


Ralf Fücks, Center for Liberal Modernity


13:30 — 14:30  Lunch break


14:30 — 16:00
Session Three: Tight­ening of the sanctions regime
Russian oil & gas exports and imports of military relevant tech­nolo­gies; reded­i­ca­tion of Russian state bank assets to financial aid and compen­sa­tion payments for Ukraine.


  • David J. Kramer, Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute, Dallas; former US Assistant Secretary of State (online)
  • Maria Shagina, Diamond-Brown Senior Research Fellow for Economic Sanctions, Standards and Strategy, Inter­na­tional Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Berlin
  • Patrick Heinemann, Lawyer and Partner at Bender Harrer Krevet, Freiburg
  • Olena Tregub, Executive Director, Inde­pen­dent Anti-Corrup­tion Committee at Trans­parency Inter­na­tional, former Director at Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development

16:00 — 16:15  Coffee Break

16:15 — 17:00
Closing Discus­sion and Takeaways

19:00 — 21:00
Public discus­sion: „Russia’s war against Ukraine and the future Russia policy of the West“


  • Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (tbc) 
  • Anna Lührmann, Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office, Germany (tbc)  


Panel: European Expec­ta­tions to Berlin 


  • Adam Szłapka, Minister for European Affairs of Poland (tbc)
  • Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parlia­ment, former Prime Minister of Lithuania  
  • Charlotta Rodhe, Acting Deputy Director, Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies 
  • Mikhail Khodor­kovsky, co-Founder of the Russian Anti-War Committee  
  • Marie Dumoulin, Director, Wider Europe Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations (tbc)  



  • Nils Schmid, Member of the Bundestag, SPD parlia­men­tary group’s spokesperson for foreign affairs 
  • Jürgen Hardt, Member of the Bundestag, foreign policy spokesperson of the CDU/​CSU Parlia­men­tarian Group  
  • Amb. Julianne Smith, U.S. Permanent Repre­sen­ta­tive to NATO (tbc)



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