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.
The inaugural speech by the Commandant of the UNDU, Lieutenant General Vasyl Telelym (UKR A), underlined the importance of the institution’s close partnership with NATO in setting the standards for the ongoing reform of the country’s Armed Forces. NDC Dean Dr Daria Daniels Skodnik (SVN C) then underlined the role of dialogue in identifying appropriate solutions to emerging problems in international security.
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.