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Hromadske Goes To The Riga Conference 2017
29 September, 2017
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Hromadske is proud to partner again with the Riga Conference, an annual platform for global decision-makers to discuss and debate the most vital issues in international relations and security. This year, the Riga Conference is being held on September 29 and 30 in the Latvian capital.

During the next two days, Hromadske will be livestreaming several panel discussions from the forum.

On September 29:

15:15 – 16:45: “July 2018, Brussels: NATO Leaders Agree On…” — a panel looking at what the next year holds for the North-Atlantic military alliance.

Featuring: Mr. Raimonds Bergmanis, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Latvia

Hon. Mr. Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defense of Canada

Dr. Claudia Major, Senior Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Mr. Paolo Alli, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Dr. Hans Binnendijk, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relation, John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies

Moderator: Dr. Žaneta Ozoliņa, Vice Chairman of Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, Professor of the Department of Political Science, University of Latvia

On September 30:

09:30 – 11:00: “Quo Vadis Russia?” — a discussion on whether Russia can achieve economic success without engaging with Western economies and political success without improving relations with its neighbors.

Featuring: Mr. Mikhail Mikhailovich Popov, Deputy Secretary of Security Council of the Russian Federation

Dr. Celeste Wallander, former Special Assistant to the President 2013 - 2017 at U.S.

National Security Council, President of the US Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law

Dr. Bobo Lo, Russia Research Fellow, French Institute of International Affairs

Dr. Andrey Kazmin, Former Chairman of Sberbank

Moderator: Mr. Brian Whitmore, Senior Russia analyst for RFE/RL


16:00 – 17:30: “Political and Economic Consequences of Populism in Europe” — a discussion of populism’s consequences, the degree to which populism can be tolerated in Europe, and how the European Union should react to populism’s growth.

Featuring: Prof. Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of the Republic of Latvia

H.E. Mr. Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Estonia

Mr. Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the EU Commission in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights

Dr. James Jay Carafano, The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies

Moderator: Mr. David Eades, Presenter, BBC World News

Concluding remarks: H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia


Also, stay tuned to Hromadske International’s Twitter account for live tweet updates from throughout the conference. And be sure to tag your tweets about the Riga Conference with the hashtag ##RigaConf17.

Finally, for those in attendance at the Riga Conference, please take the chance to see “Wounds 360,” an immersive documentary film and experience created to engage Ukrainians with the monumental difficulties facing Ukrainian soldiers who have been severely wounded during the war. The film is a collaboration between American photographer Joseph Sywenkyj and Hromadske.UA and can be viewed on the sidelines of the conference.

The Wounds 360 project is divided into three chapters and documents the lives of several soldiers and volunteer fighters wounded in the war. The first chapter focuses on Vadym Ushakov and his wife Alona. Vadym is a Ukrainian soldier from the Kyiv region who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being wounded in fighting. He is currently undergoing intensive physical therapy at a private clinic in Brovary called Nodus where he is relearning how to walk and carry out small tasks. Vadym cannot talk, but he comprehends everything.

The project also documents the life of Roman Kubishkin, a volunteer fighter who lost 90% of the left side of his brain as well Serhiy Romanovsky, an officer in the Ukrainian armed forces who had his right leg amputated above his knee and now trains for triathlon competitions.

Riga Conference participants will have the opportunity to view “Wounds 360” through a virtual reality headset that makes viewers feel as if they are present in the scene. Whichever way they turn their head – left, right, up or down, quickly or slowly, they will be viewing the story as it unfolds all around them.