On April 23, 2014 a Seattle based troupe of self-producing actors their director and a production manager flew to Tashkent, Uzbekistan to present their production of Chekhov’s The Seagull at the renowned Ilkhom Theatre of Mark Weil. The performances we gave constituted the centerpiece of a two week long “Festival of American Culture: East/West” hosted by Ilkhom and was significantly supported by the US Embassy in Tashkent.As a member of the acting company of The Seagull Project and also a professor in the UW School of Drama having, previously visited and presented master classes at Ilkhom in 2005, 07 and 09, I an eager to share a bit of our experience with the School of Drama and REECAS family.
Agnia Grigas is a risk analyst and energy security expert with a PhD International Relations from the University of Oxford.
“[Energy] matters for economists, it matters from a security perspective, it matters for well-being,” said Agnia Grigas in one of three University of Washington lectures May 6 and 7. Grigas, who served as an adviser to the Lithuanian government, discussed the impact of Russian energy monopolies in Europe during her visit to Seattle.
Grigas, an energy security specialists, focused on the institutional and infrastructural weaknesses of European states when it comes to establishing sustainable and reliable energy sources. The proportion of energy a country imports constitutes its energy dependence; in some cases, high energy dependence can lead to significant security concerns. “[Energy dependence] only threatens the security of a country when there are three factors at play,” Grigas said. That is, when energy sources are not diversified, when countries are dealing with weak institutions and economies, and when the exporting state is seen as a threat.
While the Baltic States import varying levels of their energy, all are 100 percent dependent on gas from Russia, where the gas industry leader, Gazprom, is largely tied up with Kremlin connections. According to Grigas, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania meet the three risk factors of energy dependence and are energy insecure. The Baltic States depend solely on Soviet-era pipelines for their gas. Though now national gas companies own the pipelines, Russian company Gazprom still owns significant shares in these domestic industries. Continue reading →
This article is a summary of Glen Grant’s lectures on European security during his April visit to UW. For a summary of his talk on Ukraine and Crimea, click here.
“Europe is at war.” This is the seriousness with which NATO military specialist Glen Grant described the situation on the European continent in multiple lectures at UW this week. As NATO’s “only guarantor of stability and security,” whether or not the U.S. takes heed of the severity of the situation will be of extreme consequence for future of Europe, he said.
US troops welcomed at Latvian base in Ādaži. | Bnn-News.com
The World Affairs Council Global Classroom; Ellison Center for Russian, East European, & Central Asian Studies; and the Center for Global Studies hosted a special event on April 22, 2014 for educators interested in understanding the current crisis in Ukraine and adapting existing material in the media for use in the classroom.
Our keynote speaker, University of Washington Professor of History and International Studies Glennys Young gave an over of the history of Ukraine with emphasis on their connection to today’s crisis in Ukraine. She discussed not only important developments in Ukraine’s past, but also how Ukraine is economically and strategically important to Russia today. Following Professor Young’s presentation, Christi Anne Hofland helped us “chart the crisis” that began with the emergence of protests against the Yanukovych government in November 2013. Hofland, who is currently a graduate student at the University of Washington’s Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies, worked as an instructor at the Ukrainian Catholic University and, prior to that, received a year-long Fulbright Fellowship to work in Odessa, Ukraine.
The 57-page resource packet includes recent articles & analyses from leading foreign policy experts on various aspects of the Ukraine crisis including understanding the historical connections between Ukraine and Russia, analyzing the commitments of various interested “actors” in the crisis, and interpreting how media, both domestic and abroad, portrays the unfolding events.
This piece is a summary of Glen Grant’s April 22 talk. Grant will be speaking April 23, 7–9 p.m. in Savery Hall, 264, on the military security of the Baltic States and Poland. This event is free and open to the public.
“[Crimea] is a mess now,” said Ret. Lt. Col. Glen Grant in a talk Tuesday on the current military developments in Ukraine. Grant, retired from the British Armed Forces, is a visiting lecturer at Riga Business School, and has a varied background as a diplomat, defense attaché, NATO branch chief and sports trainer. Grant said his extensive and diverse curriculum vitae has given him a unique perspective on the situation in Ukraine, which he discussed at length in his hour-long lecture.
According to Grant, the annexation of Crimea has firmly placed the territory in Russia’s hands – only if Russia itself collapses does Grant envision the peninsula returning to Ukraine. On the ground, the situation in Crimea is worsening; shops are empty, businesses are folding and imports from Russia are too expensive for the local population.
Fig. 1. Up-to-date configuration of the border lines between EEZ of adjacent coastal states to the Black Sea. | Defence24.pl
Fig. 2. Likely shape of the 200-mile EEZ after annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. | Defence24.pl
The consequences of Russia’s annexation of Crimea extend beyond concerns of land sovereignty and far into the waters of the Black Sea basin. Russia has started to re-shape its territorial sea and the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the northern Black Sea, putting Ukraine in an even more vulnerable state economically, militarily and politically.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), “the coastal state has the exclusive right to explore, exploit, protect and manage the living and non-living resources, the sea bottom and the water column as well as to build and use artificial islands, installations and other constructions”. These provisions will certainly be used by Russia to establish new rules of the game in the Black Sea uses once coastal waters and continental shelf are partitioned around the Crimea Peninsula.
If Crimea had a straight coastal line, the determination of the sea border lines would not be complicated. Because it is a peninsula with a very complex coastal shape and is adjacent to a closed sea area (the Azov Sea), the problem is more complex. Reshaping the national territorial sea jurisdiction could have dramatic outcomes. Continue reading →
Signs in Lviv, reading: “Ambivalence is a crime” and “Let’s build a new Ukraine together.” Photo | Jennifer Carroll
“Russians don’t surrender.” These were the words of Ukrainian Navy Captain Maxim Emelianenko, in response to the demands for surrender made by Russian Federation Black Sea Fleet Vice-Admiral Alexander Vitko. Vitko then asked Emelianenko if he is Russian. Emelianenko confirmed that he is, even though his last name sounds typically Ukrainian. He added that many of his crewmembers are also ethnic Russians. Emelianenko explained that he has sworn allegiance to the people of Ukraine, and he has no intention of breaking his oath. Reportedly the Russian vice-admiral told his own crew to take this as an example and “learn — that is how one should serve with honor and conscience.” Continue reading →
Dr. Carol Silverman (professor of anthropology and folklore, University of Oregon) presented the 2014 Ellison Center Treadgold Talk covering the culture and stereotypes of the largest ethnic minority population in Europe, the Roma. Watch a video summary of her talk below.