NATO and Russia in the Baltic Sea Area -konferenssi Helsingissä 5.–6.9.

Rauhantilaa varjeltava aktiivisesti Itämeren alueella – NATO and Russia
in the Baltic Sea Area -konferenssi 5.–6.9.2015 Helsingissä

No to War – No to NATO -verkosto järjestää syyskuussa konferenssin Itämeren alueen rauhanasioista. Järjestäjiä ovat Sadankomitea, Suomen Rauhanpuolustajat, Psykologien Sosiaalinen Vastuu, Suomen Rauhanliitto, Loviisan Rauhanfoorumi, PAND – Taiteilijat Rauhan Puolesta, Rauhankasvatusinstituutti, Lääkärin Sosiaalinen Vastuu, Naisten Kansainvälinen Rauhan ja Vapauden Liitto Suomen osasto, Naiset Rauhan Puolesta Suomen osasto, Naiset Rauhan puolesta Ruotsin osasto.

Konferenssin tarkoituksena on koota Itämeren alueen asukkaita ja asiantuntijoita hakemaan tietoa alueen jännittyneestä tilanteesta, aseistautumisen vaihtoehdoista ja Euroopan turvallisuus- ja yhteistyöjärjestön (Etyj) toiminnasta. Konferenssissa eritellään myös Naton toimintapyrkimyksiä alueella ja sen kielteisiä vaikutuksia.

Aika: 4.–6.9.2015
Paikka: Hotelli Arthur, Vuorikatu 3, 00100 Helsinki
Ilmoittautuminen: info@no-to-nato.org
Osallistumismaksu 20 €, pienituloiset 5 €
Konferenssikieli on englanti.
Lisätietoa www.no-to-nato.org

Introduction

After the fall of the Berlin wall the Warsaw pact came to an end. NATO on the other hand enlarged from 16 to 28 member states from which many belonged to the former Eastern block. When Ukraine considered joining NATO a conflict aroused with Russia. Russia annexed Crimea and a war is going on in East Ukraine.

This situation has led to a much tenser situation in the Baltic Sea where Russia and NATO states border. Military activities in the region have escalated.

Poland and the three Baltic states have been alarmed at the perceived threat from Russia and have been clamoring for a stronger NATO presence in the region.

At the NATO summit in Wales there were no decisions about new headquarters, but it has been discussed on suggestion of Phil Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Finland and Sweden used to be neutral but are since 1994 partners to NATO. At the last summit of NATO in September 2014, a "treaty" (Finnish and Swedish ministers’ talk about an agreement, NATO talks about a Memorandum of Understanding) of "Host Nation Support" which concerns the rights for NATO to use their territories in case of exercises, crises or war on request of the countries.

Aim of the conference

The aim of the project is to gather citizens from the Baltic Sea region and experts to inform each other; analyze the tense situation in the area, and present alternatives to militarization including cooperation, a common house of Europe, OSCE, and Neutralism.

Besides the analysis of the NATO strategy and their geostrategic interests the international conference discusses the negative impacts of these policies to the societies, in particularly to a social and gender-justice society.

PROGRAM

Friday, 4th of September
Arrival of participants and get together party @ Peace Station

5th of September

10:00 Welcome – Kristine Karch (No to War – No to NATO), Markku Kangaspuro (Finnish Peace Committee)

10:15 Part 1: Introductory presentations with discussion

– "NATO expansion strategy and the militarization of Europe" Dave Webb (CND, GB), Elsa Rassbach (Code Pink, USA/Germany)

– "NATO expansion to the Baltic States and Scandinavia" Laura Lodenius (Finnish Peace Union), Maj Britt Theorin (Sweden), Urve Randmaa (Estonia)

Chair: Kristine Karch

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Part 2: Working Groups

NATO Expansion and NATO Strategy – Case Studies with discussion

1. Finland (Tarja Cronberg, Finnish Peace Union)
2. Sweden (Ingela Martensson, Women for Peace, Sweden) 3. Poland (Pasquale Policastro, University of Szezcin, Poland)

15:30 Coffee Break

16:15 Part 3: Plenary presentation with discussion

– Russia and the Baltic region – actors and victims Oleg Bodrov, Green World, Russia

– Russia: controversy in the Western debate, Claudia Haydt (Information Center Militarization / European Left, Germany)

Chair: Ingela Martensson

17:30 Reports from the working groups

Chair: Teemu Matinpuro (Finnish Peace Committee)

18:30 Break

19:00 Panel on Ukraine, Sergei Kirichuk (Borotba, Ukraine), Nina Potarska (EuroMaidan, Ukraine) (tbc), Andrej Hunko (MP Die Linke, Germany), Tord Björk (environmentalist, Sweden), Tarja Cronberg
Chair: Reiner Braun (International Peace Bureau)

20:30 Reception / Get together with Dinner

Sunday, 6th of September

9:30 Part 4: Plenary presentations with discussion

– Political Alternatives to Militarization of the Baltic Sea Area Ingeborg Breines (International Peace Bureau)
Sven Hirdman (Sweden, former Swedish ambassador in Moskva) (tbc)

– Common Security, OSCE, Neutralism Reiner Braun, Maj Britt Theorin (Sweden), Nikita Lomagin (Baltic Center of International Studies, Russia), Kimmo Kiljunen (Special Representative for Mediation of Foreign Minister of Finland)
Chair: Lea Launokari (Women for Peace, Finland)

11:30 Short Break

11:45 Part 5: Final Panel:

– Which lessons do we learn and what are our next steps? Ludo de Brabander, (vrede vzw, Belgium), Ulla Klötzer (Women for Peace, Finland), Johanna Norrbo (Green Women, Sweden), Tobias Pflüger (Die Linke, Germany)
Chair: Kristine Karch

13:45 Final Words, Lucas Wirl (No to War – No to NATO), Ulla Klötzer

14:00 End of Conference

Organizational Details:

Registration: info@no-to-nato.org
Location: Hotel Arthur, Vuorikatu 3, 00100 Helsinki
Accommodation: A limited contingent of rooms is available at Hotel Arthur. For further information please contact: teemu.matinpuro [at] gmail.com
Registration Fee: 20 Euros (regular) / 5 Euros (reduced)
Conference Language: English
Further information: info@no-to-nato.org / www.no-to-nato.org