Prominent scholars and democracy pracitioners gathered in Lithuania for the Vilnius Democracy Forum on September 14-15, 2015. The event explored challenges to peace and security, freedom, rule of law, and democracy stemming from the current Kremlin leadership’s violation of international order by its wars against Georgia and Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, blackmail and continued punitive policy against Russia’s neighbors, and its subversion of global financial networks.
A keynote address was given by Karen Dawisha, author of Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?, and the event’s first panel discussion was organized around the theme, “How Non-Democratic Regimes/Kleptocracies Work.”
Forum Executive Director Christopher Walker spoke about the transnational projection of authoritarian influence on the panel, “Renewing the Transatlantic Commitment to Democracy.” He also moderated a dinner discussion hosted by Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, with participants Ana Maria Gomes, András Simonyi, Sally Painter, and John Lough.
The Vilnius Democracy Forum was organized by the Eastern Europe Studies Center with the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University and the Hudson Institute. In addition, the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung cosponsored the event, which was streamed live by Delfi TV. For more information about the Vilnius Democracy Forum, including videos from the panel discussions, visit the EESC website.