International Week in Kyiv
The 16th edition of the annual International Kyiv Week, jointly organized by the NATO Defense College (NDC) and the Ukrainian National Defence University (UNDU), with the support of NATO School Oberammergau (NSO), officially began on Monday 18 April 2016 at the National Ivan Cherniakhivskyi Defence University.
Immediately afterwards, Lithuanian Minister of National Defence H.E. Juozas Olekas took the floor for his keynote address. He set the scene for the entire week most effectively, by examining the relevance of this year’s overall theme: “NATO’s Adaptation to Contemporary and Future Security Challenges”.
The first lecture of the week was by the Head of the NDC Research Division of NDC, Dr Jeffrey A. Larsen (USA C), who spoke about NATO’s current priorities and future evolution. NDC Faculty Adviser Captain Richard Payne (GBR N) then discussed the future NATO operational framework.
Professor Grigory Perepelytsia (UKR C), from the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, opened the second day with a strategic overview of NATO-Ukraine relations, identifying possible future scenarios. In the ensuing Q&A session, Ukraine’s current position regarding possible NATO membership was discussed. The second speaker of the day was Dr Andrew Monaghan from Chatham House (GBR C), who focused on Western views of Russia and how they have developed since the end of the Cold War.
On the third day, Colonel Dr Omer Faruk Cantenar (TUR A) from the NDC Research Division spoke about “NATO’s Role in Counter-Terrorism”, including an analysis of the current threats against NATO’s southern flank. Major Tomas Balkus (LTU A), Operations Support Staff Officer at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, then examined the rationale for a comprehensive strategic communications strategy in today’s security environment.
The 16th International Kyiv Week continued on 21st April 2016 with talks by LtCol Christopher B. Bennett (USA F, NATO School Oberammergau) and LtCol René A. Orellana (USA M). Their topics were “Legal Aspects of Asymmetry and Hybrid Warfare” and the NATO operations planning process, respectively.
In the final lecture on 22nd April, Major Dré Kerstjens (NDL A) discussed NATO operational logistics and the related challenges.
The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel (CZE A), then gave his keynote address.
NDC Commandant MGen Janusz Bojarski (POL F) offered the closing remarks, expressing full confidence in the continuing cooperation between the Alliance and Ukraine as a firm basis for a joint role in safeguarding international security.
The 16th edition of the International Kyiv Week helped all concerned to place their respective views of contemporary challenges and threats in an appropriate conceptual framework. The event further strengthened the ties between the NDC and the UNDU, both strongly committed to close cooperation in the field of strategic-level education.