Karl Altau, JBANC
The backdrop was a snowy couple of days in early March in Tartu, on the eve of Estonia’s parliamentary election. The venue was the V Spa Hotel and Conference Center. The topic was Russia and its continuing full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
On March 2-3, 2023, the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) held its ninth annual Conference on Russia since 2015, bringing together an impressive complement of high-level military and civilian experts and policymakers to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine, how global powers can deter Russia on a variety of fronts, and prospects for a Russian path to normalcy, if it is even conceivable. Regardless of the outcome of the war, the impact on transatlantic security and the Baltic Sea region will last for a long time to come.
The conference kicked off with opening remarks by the BALTDEFCOL Commandant Brigadier General Ilmar Tamm, who set the stage for the conference theme – Russia’s Futures. While Russia’s war against Ukraine has caused immense pain and suffering in Ukraine and stress for the region, he also praised Ukrainians’ resiliency and their dedication to democracy under duress. He concluded by saying that as we consider the challenges posed by Russia’s war, we should not forget the importance of unity and cooperation.