February Member-to-Member Lunch: Security in the Baltics
February 17th, 2016
The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are growing wary of Russian adventurism in Central and Eastern Europe. In observing Moscow's seizure of Crimea, continued support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and military maneuvers along Russia's western borders, the Baltics are increasingly focused on security in their region. The Obama administration's recent proposal to quadruple military spending to $3.4 billion in Central and Eastern Europe helps quell these concerns among NATO's three Baltic members, but the security situation in the region will continue to be a priority in each Baltic state.
On February 17, join the World Affairs Council for a Member-to-Member Lunch focused on security in the Baltics. Our panel is comprised of Baltic state participants in a U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange focusing on U.S. foreign policy challenges.
This event is part of the 2015-2016 Community Programs Russia and the Surrounding Region Series.
Please note that this Member-to-Member Lunch is not at the World Trade Center where our Member-to-Member Lunches normally are held. The event will be held at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Our panelists include:
Ms. Evelyn Kaldoja (Estonia) - Head, Foreign News Desk, Postimees (daily); Editor, Riigikaitse.ee (Postimees defense supplement)
Ms. Evelyn Kaldoja reports on foreign news, including U.S. events, for Postimees, Estonia’s leading daily. She is a specialist in defense matters, including NATO, and covers U.S. politics and senior U.S. officials’ visits to Estonia. Her foreign reporting includes coverage of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, the EUFOR-RCA mission in the Central African Republic, and the EUFOR-Atalanta counter-piracy mission near Djibouti.
Ms. Aari Lemmik (Estonia) - Director, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Defense
Ms. Aari Lemmik oversees Estonia’s defense relationships with other countries, including the United States, Western European allies, Russia, China, and Japan. Since assuming her current position last year, she has played a key role in the MOD’s high-tempo outreach to allies and partners in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, organizing over 25 ministerial-level visits in Estonia and abroad.
Mr. Andrejs Elksnins (Latvia) - Member of Parliament (Concord Party)
Mr. Andrejs Elksnins is a Member of the Saeima (Parliament) of Latvia, representing the opposition Concord Parliamentary Group since his election in 2011. He serves on the Legal Affairs Committee (Judicial Policy and Criminal Law Policy) and the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee. An ethnic Latvian hailing from the primarily Russian-speaking region of Daugavpils, Mr. Elksnins has devoted his attention to policies that promote economic and social development.
Ms. Neringa Vaisbrode (Lithuania) - Communications Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Neringa Vaisbrode is a senior advisor to Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding communications and information policy. She advises the minister about strategic communication matters, especially concerning Eastern Partnership and NATO affairs, and updates the minister on latest developments, providing additional research and analysis on salient issues. Ms. Vaisbrode builds and strengthens the ministry’s strategic communication capacity and generates policy options at the national and international level.