6th Security and Development Conference: “Ukraine: a shift in international relations?”

6th Security and Development Conference:
09:30 – 13:45
Ellacuria Room. Calle de Ramón Rubial, 1 48009 Bilbao
Date: 19 October 2023, 09:30-13:30 
Venue: Ellacuria Room at the CRAI library on the Bilbao campus of the University of Deusto.

Hosted by the Master’s in International Relations and Business Diplomacy  at the University of Deusto and funded by the Ministry of Defence.

Early in 2022, following heightened tensions that had been simmering since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and began backing separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine. Kyiv sought international support, particularly from the West, which condemned Moscow’s action as the invasion spiralled into an international crisis. Nineteen months after the invasion, Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian cities continue, while the Ukrainian counteroffensive proceeds very slowly and winter lurks.

While the conflict in Ukraine has historically played an important role in the global security order, it has now evolved to represent a renewed great power rivalry that many analysts believe could dominate the next decades of international relations.

The Russian invasion marked a historic turning point for European security, accelerating Ukraine’s urge to join Western political blocs, including the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Beyond the initial discussion of whether the invasion may have been a strategic mistake by President Putin, experts question the chances of a forthcoming diplomatic resolution and suggest the possibility of a dangerous escalation that could include Russia’s use of weapons of mass destruction.

In addition to being a traditional security issue, the war has led to inflationary risk in markets, to sanctions regimes that block Russian goods and commodities, and limit trade agreements. Above all, the war threatens to worsen some of the most devastating consequences both inside and outside Ukraine, as evidenced by the food security crisis.

Conference programme

09:30-09:45   | Welcome and introduction

  • Opening address: Sergio Caballero (University of Deusto)
  • TBC: Authority. University of Deusto.
  • Ricardo Valdés Fernández (Head of the Geopolitical Analysis Area of the Spanish Ministry of Defence)

10:00-11:45  | Roundtable 1: “El impacto de la guerra de Ucrania en las relaciones internacionales: ¿un cambio de ciclo?”

  • Moderator: Iñigo Arbiol Oñate (University of Deusto)
  • José Antonio Sanahuja (Complutense University of Madrid)
  • Alberto Priego (Comillas Pontifical University)
  • Ricardo Valdés Fernández (Head of the Geopolitical Analysis Area of the Spanish Ministry of Defence)
  • Hanna Shelest (Security Studies Program Director of Ukranian PRISM Foreign Policy Council)

11:45-13:30 | Roundtable 2: “Impactos y consecuencias globales de la guerra: ¿a qué nos enfrentamos?

  • Moderator: Sergio Caballero (University of Deusto)
  • Ruth Ferrero (Complutense University of Madrid)
  • Carlota G. Encina (Real Instituto Elcano)
  • Borja Las Heras (Senior Fellow Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA))
  • Iñigo Arbiol (University of Deusto)

13:30-13:45 | Conclusions and closure of the conference

  • Ricardo Valdés Fernández (Head of the Geopolitical Analysis Area of the Spanish Ministry of Defence)
  • Sergio Caballero (professor at the University of Deusto)
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