UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Baltic Symposium 2023

27 March 2023, 9:30 am–4:30 pm

Baltics Flags

Baltic Symposium 2023: How the Baltics are shaping Europe

Event Information

Open to







Ground Floor Lecture Theatre G6
UCL Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square
United Kingdom

Draft Programme is available on the dedicated website and also below.

09.00-09.30     Registration

09.30-09.40    Welcome and Introduction

  • Professor Diane P. Koenker, Director, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)         

09.40-10.30     Keynote                   

  • Jovita Neliupšienė, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania

Chair: Eitvydas Bajarūnas, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Kingdom                               

10.30-12.00     The Changing Architecture of Security in Europe

In the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, panelists will discuss the role of NATO and its enlargement; threats to energy security; and the Northern European security environment.

  • Prof Margarita Šešelgytė, Director of Vilnius University Institute of International Relations
  • Tony Lawrence, the Head of the Defence Policy and Strategy Programme at the International Centre for Defence and Security in Estonia
  • Dr Toms Rostoks, Director at the Centre for Security and Strategic Research, National Defence Academy of Latvia

Chair: Edward Lucas, journalist

12.00-13.00     Light lunch (for all attendees) in Masaryk Senior Common Room, 4th floor, UCL SSEES

13.00-14.30     Communication and Media in Wartime

Panellists will discuss the strategic practice of disinformation and propaganda, domestic and international media, and soft power

  • Dr Mantas Martišius, Associate Professor, Vilnius University Faculty of Communication
  • Siim Kumpas, Policy Officer at the European External Action Service (EEAS)
  • Viktors Makarovs, Special Envoy on Digital Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic   of Latvia

Chair: Kristina Potapova, PhD Candidate at SSEES

14.30-15.00     Coffee Break    (for all attendees)

15.00-16.30     The Humanitarian Response to the War

Panellists will explore the social effects of wartime disruption, including population movements,  the reception of refugees and migrants in the Baltic countries, and humanitarian projects supporting Ukraine.

  • Jonas Ohman, Head, and Žemyna Bliumenzonaitė, Head of War Logistics and Distribution, Blue/Yellow
  • Eero Janson, Director of the Estonian Refugee Council
  • Linda Jākobsone-Gavala, NGO “Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem” (I Want to Help Refugees)

Chair: Freya Proudman, SSEES Postgraduate Student and SSEES Student President 2021-22

16.30-18.30     Reception (for all attendees) in the Masaryk Senior Common Room, 4th floor, UCL SSEES