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"Cool War to Cold: Perspectives of the Ukraine Crisis for Russia and the West"

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A wine reception will follow the lecture

Monday 9 June 2014 5:15 for 5:30pm

Hughes Hall Special Seminar

Peter Richards Room, Hughes Hall, Cambridge, CB1 2EW

The aggravation of the crisis in Ukraine and the possible repercussions that different outcomes may have for the geopolitical stability in Eastern Europe and internationally, will be the theme of this very topical lecture.

The recent incorporation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation has been the smoothest and most popular annexation exercise since Austria’s Anschluß in 1938. Two months later, the situation in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating, with the country on the brink of extensive conflict that would see the fratricidal civil war spectre of the 1990s return to Europe once again. Despite the Kremlin’s attempts to restrain the aspirations of the separatists in eastern Ukraine, the unrest shows no sign of abating, whilst the Kiev administration recognises that it is not in the position to prevent large-scale secessionist movements.

Russia has no interest in absorbing the eastern regions of Ukraine (following the example of the Crimea) for a number of reasons, not least because the country’s rump western part will then become “more pro-western than the West”. The strategy of Russia in the Ukraine can be summed up in two words: ’bosnification’ and ’finlandisation’: i.e. on one hand the transformation of Ukraine into a non-functioning federal country, where both communities have the same rights and will never be able to agree on any significant strategy shift; and on the other, the adoption of more malleable foreign policies for Ukraine, in exchange for the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity (minus Crimea). In contrast, the plan of the pro-Russian separatists in the East is to declare the eastern part of Ukraine autonomous and then accede to the Russian Federation.

  • Will Eastern Ukraine separate?
  • How is the West likely to react if it does?
  • Will there be a renewed Cold War, as some pundits prognosticate?
  • What are the dilemmas facing NATO , the EU & Russia?
  • What is the real geostrategic significance of all this?

Demetrius Floudas revisits the topic, subsequent to a number of commentaries he has already contributed to international media on this matter (Voice of America, The Financial Times etc.). This lecture intends to present a quick overview of the situation so far, and will follow with a deeper scrutiny of its causes, undercurrents and realities. The final aim is to evaluate issues that have been largely misinterpreted by western analysts and to present an unbiased, non-partisan appraisal of what really is at stake in the region.

Demetrius Floudas is an international lawyer and regulatory adviser who has lived and worked in Russia for over a decade, advising the Ministry of Economic Development & Trade and the Federal Antimonopoly Service. He served as Team Leader for the Russian Accession to the World Trade Organisation. He is a Senior Associate of Hughes Hall, Cambridge, Adjunct Professor at the Law Faculty of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad and a Visiting Professor at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO).

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception

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University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB1 2EW


Tel: +44 (0) 1223 768244

This talk is part of the Hughes Hall Graduate Law Society seminar series series.

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