On March 3, AmCham in cooperation with the Latvian Institute of International Affairs held a discussion with prominent speakers on the current Ukraine-Russia war that will cause far-reaching implications and economic consequences to individuals and companies doing business in the region. Experts touched upon risks, challenges and opportunities in this increasingly complicated geopolitical environment:
- Ambassador Baiba Braze, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, NATO
- Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Europe Center and Brent Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security
- Martins Abolins, Chief Economist at Citadele bank, Member of the Fiscal Council of Latvia
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Karlis Bukovskis, Deputy Director at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs.
About the Speakers:
Ambassador Baiba Braže, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy
Ambassador Baiba Braže was appointed Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy in May 2020. The Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences world-wide and to build support for Alliance operations and policies. Ambassador Braže advises the Secretary General on issues within her remit, oversees the coordination of all Strategic Communications activities across all NATO civilian and military bodies and commands, and also directs all public diplomacy activities (except press and media, which are directed by the NATO Spokesperson on behalf of the Secretary General). Ambassador Braže served most recently as Latvia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom (August 2016-early May 2020), prior to which she was Director General Security Policy and International Organizations (June 2011-January 2016) and Director General of the Communications Directorate (February 2016-July 2016) at the Latvian Foreign Ministry in Riga. Ambassador Braže previously served as Latvia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (July 2003-August 2008), prior to which she was Director of the Europe Department, served as Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister in Riga. She has held numerous other posts since joining the Foreign Ministry in August 1993, both at home (Legal Department, International Organizations Department) and abroad (United Nations, New York).
Ian Brzezinski leads the Brzezinski Group, a strategic advisory services firm. He serves as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center and Brent Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security. He brings over three decades of experience in U.S. national security matters having served in senior policy positions in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Congress. Mr. Brzezinski served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy (2001-05).
Martins Abolins is an economist at Citadele with more than ten years of experience in analysis and forecasting of Latvian and global economic processes. In recent years several times recognized as best overall forecaster for Latvia's economy Focus Economics. Martins previously worked in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia, where he gained extensive international experience representing Latvia in the European Commission and OECD working group. Member of Fiscal Discipline Council. Graduated from the University of Latvia and received a Master's degree in Economics.
Dr. Karlis Bukovskis is a researcher and the Deputy Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA). Bukovskis is also an Assistant Professor at Riga Stradins University, where he teaches International Political Economy and European Union issues. He is the author of numerous articles and the scientific editor of several books. Bukovskis was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in 2021 and an Associate Researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations from 2017-2021. He has studied at the University of Trier, and he acquired master’s degrees from the University of Latvia and the University of Helsinki, as well as a doctoral degree (Dr. sc. pol.) in International Politics from Riga Stradins University. Bukovskis has dealt with future of the EU and issues regarding the EMU at the Latvian ministries of foreign affairs and finance, and he developed the six-month work program of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Bukovskis also produces and co-hosts a program on Latvian Radio 1 in which he analyses the political economy of various world countries.