Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 took place during the summer Olympics in Beijing. The Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 took place during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Because of this pattern, many analysts have pointed to an increased risk of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. At this year’s Olympic opening, China’s President Xi and Russia’s President Putin are due to meet for the first time in two years in person and to extensively discuss Ukraine and Russia’s demands from the United States to withdraw from Eastern Europe. This panel discussion will focus on Russia’s intentions vis-à-vis Ukraine and the West and what role strategic competition between the West, Russia, China plays in Eastern Europe. It will also look at the complex role of regional powers in the conflict, such as Turkey.
What is the role of strategic competition in the Black Sea region? What are the effects of Russian aggression and demands on Ukraine? How can regional powers navigate strategic competition and maintain security and dialogue?
Gen. (ret.) Phillip Breedlove
Distinguished Chair, Frontier Europe Initiative, MEI
Co-founder, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; coordinator of external relations, Friends of Ukraine Network
Director of Turkey Program and senior fellow, Frontier Europe Initiative, MEI
Iulia Joja, moderator
Director, Frontier Europe Initiative, MEI
Photo: Armed Forces of Ukraine/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images