On Friday 6 February, the ELN, in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Munich Security Conference, hosted an invitation-only roundtable discussion on ‘Russia-West Security Relations’. This event brought together emerging and established leaders from across the Euro-Atlantic area to discuss the risk of unwanted escalation, crisis management and avenues to a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine. ELN members and staff also attended a working lunch organised by NTI on Saturday 7 February, alongside heads of state, military leaders and senior government officials, exchanging views on how to stabilise the Euro-Atlantic area.
Our activities in Munich formed part of our commitment to track two diplomacy, and our belief that the current crisis between Russia and the West carries with it the risk of unwanted escalation, as outlined in our research paper “Dangerous Brinkmanship: Close Military Encounters Between Russia and the West in 2014”. Along with the RIAC, the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and Turkey’s International Strategic Research Organisation (USAK), the ELN has convened a Task Force on Cooperation in Greater Europe. The Task Force, which comprises former ministers and officials from Russia, Poland, Turkey, Finland, Germany, France, Spain and the UK, has met on several occasions and published reports on the critical need for more communication between Russia and the West. You can read the latest Task Force paper and its recommendations here.