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NEWSLETTER MARCH
News
Letter from Barack Obama in Support of the Prague Agenda
We are pleased to introduce the full text of the letter from Barack Obama, the former President of the United States, in support of the Prague Agenda 2016, which was presented by Jessica Cox, the Director for Arms Control of the National Security Council. Barack Obama expressed pride over the achievements of the Prague Agenda in the last six years. He admitted that when taking office, he expected greater successes in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, but estimated that the world community advanced significantly towards a safer world, in part thanks to the Prague Agenda.
Siloviki's Current Role in Russia
Dr. Mark Galeotti, an IIR Senior Researcher, spoke at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales about the current political situation in Russia. He explained what the siloviki forces in present day Russia are, and what it means in terms of domestic and foreign policy:  what does Russia expect from the West? What will the US-Russia relations under Trump be like? The entire interview is available in the form of a video.
The Report from Prague Agenda 2016 is out!
Did you miss Prague Agenda 2016? Don't worry! The report from Prague Agenda 2016 is out and available for download now! Inside you can find summaries of all panels from both days of the conference as well as summaries of the discussions which have taken place after the panels.
Publications
The New Book by Mark Galeotti: "The Modern Russian Army 1992-2016"
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's army has undergone a turbulent transformation, from the scattered left-overs of the old Soviet military, through a period of shocking decay and demoralization, to the disciplined force and sophisticated 'hybrid war' doctrine that enabled Vladimir Putin to seize Crimea virtually overnight in 2014. Using rare photographs and full colour images of the army in action and profiles of army leaders and defence ministers, as well as orders of battle and details of the army's equipment and dress, the new publication by Mark Galeotti brings vivid account of the army's troubled history and of its current character, capabilities and status.
 

 
A New Policy Paper: "European Strategic Autonomy: Distant but Irresistible"
Michal Šimečka discusses in his new paper the EU's security and its future after the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President as well as the position the Czech Republic should adopt in it. 
 
The New International Law Reflexion on ICC is out!
The Hague-based International Criminal Court, the world’s first temporary judicial forum, which was created in 1998 by the adoption of the Rome Statute, has been living through difficult times during the past months. What is the possible future of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? Tamás Lattmann, a Senior Researcher, brings material for reflexion in the new International Law Reflexion.
IIR in the Media
Interested in Russia's Foreign Relations ?
 
The engines of war rumble once more in Europe but now radio waves and the Internet join the fray. "War has changed in the 21st century and combat is not always kinetic. Russia’s battlefields are the internet, financial markets and television airwaves...this is hybrid warfare, or gibridnaya voina." This is a quote from an in-depth examination of Russia's new aggression by the IIR Center for European Security Expert Mark Galeotti in an appearance on the podcast War College by Reuters. Furthermore, political stakes for the continuation of the EU rise as the ruling United Russia party signed agreements with Italy's Northern League this week and Austria's Freedom Party in December. Galeotti also comments on this situation on a Power Vertical Podcast of the RFE/RL. And in the Balkans, the powder keg is stoked again by an interventionist Russia. Listen in on the Power Vertical Podcast of the RFE/RL "Moscow's Balkan Mischief", which also features Mark Galeotti.
Visions from Europe
 
Visegrad on Trump: Anxious but optimistic. Depending on which country you ask, in Central Europe, the new US government is either a source of unease in matters concerning Moscow or, in the case of Hungary, newfound confidence. “In my view, Trump´s position and stance is based on the idea that the European Union is more a competitor than a partner”, says Jan Kovář who was among the experts to provide their opinion by EurActiv in Brussels.
 
Zeman: not so much Moscow’s 'Trojan horse' as a symptom of the Western malaise. “Zeman, in his cavalier disregard for the niceties of consensus-building, his open doubts about the European project, his scare-mongering about a mythical migrant threat, is a symptom of a wider malaise in both the Czech Republic and the West as a whole. Addressing that on a fundamental level will naturally undermine the Zemans of this world," writes Mark Galeotti in his article for bne IntelliNews regarding Zeman's confirmation that he will compete in the 2018 presidential elections. 

Wilders security scare escalates the Dutch election campaign. The Dutch far-right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders has gone underground ahead of the country's general election, after a police agent reportedly leaked information about him to a Moroccan gang. Authorities have insisted that Wilders is safe, however. Benjamin Tallis was interviewed regarding Wilders by the radio station RFI.
Russia's Shady Inner Workings
 
Treason Through the FSB Looking Glass. The subject of this article is "Why 'espionage' arrests at the heart of Russia’s security services are not all that they seem” Mark Galeotti, in his newest piece in The Moscow Times, tries to explain what is behind the leak of news about the arrests of a number of Russian computer security specialists.

Corruption: Russia's Greatest Ally. “All the ways in which democracy becomes distorted by money, serve as a force multiplier for predatory authoritarian kleptocracies.” The Head of our Centre for European Security Mark Galeotti deliberates in an article for International Policy Digest on how corruption in Western society helps Russia gain power.
 
The Tao Of Lavrov. After nearly 13 years as Russia's top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov appears to be getting fed up. He also appears to have been marginalized in and excluded from the decision-making process in Moscow. The story of the incredible shrinking foreign minister isn't just about Lavrov. It's about the downgrading of the Foreign Ministry as a whole, as well as the foreign policy professionals in the Putin regime. The ongoing changes in governing of Russian foreign policy were the topic of an RFE/RL Power Vertical Podcast, with Mark Galeotti as one of its guests.
More About the Prague Agenda

The Prague Agenda in a Post-Truth WorldThis guest contribution from Heather Wokusch, a writer, educator, and activist based in Vienna, Austria, recounts the discussion at the 6th Prague Agenda Conference in early December 2016, and the somber mood of the event. Wokush also quotes Benjamin Tallis, one of the conference organizers from the Institute of International Relations Prague.
Invitations
EU Security in An Unpredictable World
The Institute of International Relations would like to cordially invite you to another interesting debate concerning the "EU Security in an Unpredictable World," featuring Dr. Hylke Dijkstra of Maastricht University and Michal Šimečka, a senior researcher at the IIR. The debate will be chaired by Michael Parízek of Charles University. The discussion will cover recent EU policies towards a variety of security issues including the conflict in Ukraine, the destabilization following the Arab Spring, and the presence of the self-declared Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The debate will be held on April 11, 2017 beginning at 17:00 at the Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1. You can find more information here.
The Disappearance of the Battlefield in the Age of Global Targeting
You are cordially invited to the seminar "The Disappearance of the Battlefield in the Age of Global Targeting," featuring Antoine Bousquet from the University of London and Mark Galeotti, a senior researcher at the IIR. The debate will be chaired by Benjamin Tallis, a senior researcher at the Center for European Security at the IIR. The seminar will analyze the fragmentation and dispersal of the modern battlefield and the effects of this on our institutions and society. The seminar will take place on April 21, 2017 from 10:30 at the Institute of International Relations, Nerudova 3, Prague 1. You can find more information here
 
The ESIL Prague - Nottingham Symposium: Non-UN Sanctions and International Law
The Institute of International Relations would like to cordially invite you to an international symposium taking place in Prague on 5 May 2017 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The idea is to consider various aspects of sanctions adopted outside the UN context, by individual states, groups of states, regional organizations or other actors. The symposium will begin at 9:00, consists of four consecutive panels, and will conclude at 18:00. Please find here the provisional programme of the conference and the registration form. 
 
Past Events
Experiencing Afghanistan: Perspectives on Security and Implications for Foreign Assistance and Migration
The Institute of International Relations Prague in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung hosted the presentation “Experiencing Afghanistan: Perspectives on Security and Implications for Foreign Assistance and Migration."
                                   
Library
Some New Additions in our Library
 

 
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