Experts and officials from across the public sector and international institutions gathered in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 9 and 10, 2016 for a workshop organized by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) Warsaw office. The event was organized in partnership with the Institute of World Policy (Ukraine) and the Foreign Policy Association (Moldova) and made possible by support from the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme.
The conference sought to enhance international dialogue on resolving conflicts and border disputes in southern and eastern Europe. The diverse array of participants’ fields and nationalities alike provided for a unique discussion not only from a multinational perspective, but from a distinctive combination of strategic and military expertise combined with history and policy analysis.
The event was comprised of over 40 participants throughout its duration from across Europe and the United States. This diverse group included guests from think tanks, NGOs, government, and military. As Ukraine served as the host country, the event enjoyed a particularly broad Ukrainian representation that included the Border Guard Service, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, the Verkhovna Rada, and nongovernmental experts.
The workshop on June 10 began with opening remarks by the organizers: Mr. Michal Baranowski, Director of the GMF Warsaw office; Mr. Michael Gaul, Senior Adviser at the Emerging Security Challenges Division of NATO; and Ms. Alyona Getmanchuk, Director of the Institute of World Policy. The first panel then began with an examination of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine as agreed to by the Minsk-II accord. The panelists and discussants then moved to the use of hybrid warfare not only in terms of informational and media manipulation but also increasing cybersecurity challenges.
The second panel began with presentations that detailed the technical aspects of border security and management as it related to local residents as well as guard enforcement. The discussion drew comparisons between the three primary “frozen conflicts” across southeastern Europe and posed the question of whether there is a visible overarching strategy that links them together.
The third panel addressed the possibilities of American and European engagement in these regions of focus, ending with a closing session that touched upon past successes and shortcoming of transatlantic cooperation and prescriptions for an effective future.