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Report: Clashes of Perceptions: Bridging Perspectives on Security in Europe

There is a clash of perceptions of security in Europe. Bridging these conceptions is therefore necessary for creating a stable and sustainable security architecture in Europe.

Over the past 18 months, BASIC has undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Phase 2 Applying as Systematic Approach to NATO-Russia Risk Reduction that aimed at advancing the understanding of workable options for risk reduction and fostering new relationships between NATO and Russia. This project was conceived and contemplated prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and was initially intended to map and explore risk assessments and risk reduction steps in two strands of Track 1.5 dialogues with experts and officials from NATO’s North-eastern flank countries and Russia.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 altered the project. Since the invasion, BASIC has not engaged with Russian government officials. We do believe, however, that dialogue remains essential and following the invasion we continued our collaboration with Track 2 Russian experts. In response to the invasion, BASIC also expanded the geographical scope of the project and invited participation from the South-eastern flank countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary) and Sweden and Finland as imminent new members of NATO. The aim of the workshop dialogues also transformed to being more attuned to evolving risk and threat assessments, and less concerned with risk reduction. This was an inevitable development given that war is once again in Eastern Europe. BASIC has held a total of 4 workshops online and in-person, a roundtable as well as the final Strategic Dialogue in Helsinki, which brought together participants from the project as well as NATO’s Western flank countries. BASIC has published 6 reports, including this final report. This report presents the main findings of the project and a set of policy recommendations. The views expressed here do not reflect the view of the author.    

Read the report here

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