“Bridging the EU and Russia”: BEAR Network 2021 Policy Conference, 4-18 May 2021 (online)

Event 1 (4 May 2021): Eastern Partnership Panel and Keynote Speech

00:00-7:37 – Introduction to the BEAR network
Juliet Johnson, McGill University, Magdalena Dembinska, University of Montreal, and to the policy conference by Maria Koinova, University of Warwick.

7:38 – 1:02:40 – Eastern Partnership Panel
Juliet Johnson, McGill University: “Financial Nationalism in the EU’s East”
Tom Casier, Brussels School of International Studies: “The Ukraine Crisis: Further from a Solution and Closer to Escalation?”
Yulia Nikitina, Moscow State University of International Relations: “Dialogue between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union”
Commentator (policy perspective): Vassilis Maragos, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG NEAR.

1:02:41 – 1:45:57 – Keynote Speech
Prof. Timothy Colton, Harvard University: “Russia and the EU in Light of Recent Thinking about International Regions”

Event 2 (11 May 2021): Conflict Management in the EU Neighborhood and EU, Russia and Regional Dynamics Panels

00:00 – 38:42 – Conflict Management in the EU Neighborhood Panel
Joan DeBardeleben, Carleton University: “EU’s Russia Policy: Are Crisis Management and ‘Small Steps’ Adequate?”
Eiki Berg, University of Tartu: “Can European Brakes Slow Down Russia’s Drive in Secessionist Conflicts?”
Richard Youngs, University of Warwick/Carnegie Europe: “Democracy, Conflict and Mediation: the Eastern Partnership’s Uneasy Triangle”
Commentator (policy perspective): Lawrence Meredith, Director, DG NEAR, Neighbourhood East, European Commission

38:43 – 1:18:33 – EU, Russia and Regional Dynamics Panel
Dimitar Bechev, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna: “Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe”
Anna Ohanyan, Stonehill College: “Between Liberal Peacebuilding and Militarization in “Post-Soviet” Conflicts in Eurasia: the Case of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict”
Commentator (policy perspective): Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary-General for Policy Affairs, European Union External Action Service

Event 3 (18 May 2021): Migration and Citizenship Politics and EU, Russia and Minority Politics Panel

00:00 – 49:30 – Migration and Citizenship Politics Panel
Maria Koinova, University of Warwick: “Diaspora Politics and Conflict Processes in the European Neighborhood”
Oxana Shevel, Tufts University: “The Politics of Dual Citizenship in the Post-Soviet States”
Myra Waterbury, Ohio University: “The Policy Implications of Divided Nationhood in the European Neighborhood: Lessons from the Case of Hungary”
Commentator: Tom Snels, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Home Affairs, European Commission

49:31 – 1:41:52 – EU, Russia and Minority Politics Panel
Zsuzsa Csergo, Queen’s University: “The Problem of Alienated Russophone Minorities Caught between the EU and Russia”
Jennie Schulze, Duquesne University: “Russia’s Soft Power Agenda and Public Diplomacy: Lessons from the Baltic States”
Kristina Kallas, University of Tartu: “Is Russian Minority a State Security Risk in the Baltic States?”
Commentator: Marina Kaljurand, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

1:41:53 – 1:49:32 – Closing Remarks
Maria Koinova, conference organizer, University of Warwick; Juliet Johnson, McGill University; and Magdalena Dembinska, University of Montreal

Russia’s Attack on Ukraine: An Expert Roundtable, March 9, 2022 (Zoom)

About this event


The view from Kyiv: Tymofii Brik, Kyiv School of Economics

On Ukraine and Europe: Maria PopovaMcGill University

On Donbas and 2014: Magdalena Dembinska, University of Montreal

On Russian disinformation: Aaron ErlichMcGill University

On economic sanctions: Kristy IronsideMcGill University

On the Cold War background: Lorenz LuthiMcGill University


Juliet Johnson, McGill University

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University, and the Jean Monnet Network “Between the EU and Russia” (BEAR).

Roundtable: The War in Ukraine, March 14, 2022 (Zoom)

The roundtable shed light on the current political developments in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in February 2022 and will draw on the expertise of scholars with extensive research in the region, including on issues of foreign and security policy, EU-Russia relations, secessionism and interventionism, and international migration.


Prof. Richard Youngs (PAIS/Warwick and Carnegie Europe)

Author of Europe’s Eastern Crisis: The Geopolitics of Asymmetry, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Prof. Oxana Shevel (Tufts University, USA and Associate at Harvard’s Davis Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Ukrainian Research Institute)

Author of Migration, Refugee Policy and State Building in Postcommunist Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Prof. Maria Popova (McGill University and EU Jean Monnet Chair)

Author of Politicized Justice in Emerging Democracies: A Study Of Courts In Russia and Ukraine, Cambridge University Press, 2014.


Prof. Maria Koinova (PAIS/Warwick)

Author of Diaspora Entrepreneurs and Contested States, Oxford University Press, 2021.

BEAR-PONARS Eurasia Conference:
“Between the EU and Russia: Domains of Diversity and Contestation”

Friday, April 29, 2022

9:15 am-10:45 am   Panel 1: Ukrainian Society and Russia’s Full-scale Invasion
Mikhail AlexseevSan Diego State University
“The Crucible of Freedom: War and Democracy Support in Ukraine”
Theodore Gerber, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Childbearing, Marriage, and Daily Life in the NGCA: Insights from Focus Groups”
Uliana Movchan (virtual), Karazin Kharkiv National University
“Decentralization Reform in Ukraine and Its Consequences on Civil Response in the Face of War”
Olena NikolayenkoFordham University
“Gender Outcomes of the Revolution of Dignity and Russia’s War on Ukraine”

Chair: David SzakonyiThe George Washington University
Discussant: Juliet JohnsonMcGill University

11:00 am-12:00 pm A Conversation with Sviatlana TsikhanouskayaBelarusian Politician

12:30 pm-2:00 pm   Lunch with Guest Speaker Jill Dougherty, CNN, in Conversation with Maria Lipman

2:00 pm-3:30 pm   Panel 2: Russian Society and the Invasion of Ukraine
Location: Lindner Commons, Room 602
Marat ShterinKing’s College London
“Religion and the Invasion of Ukraine from the Postcolonial Perspective”
Irina Busygina (virtual)Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg
“Russian Universities’ Position(s) on the War”
Henry HaleThe George Washington University
“Russian Public Opinion and Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine”

Chair: Magdalena Dembińska,Université de Montréal
Discussant: Samuel GreeneKing’s College London

3:30 pm-3:45 pm Coffee Break

3:45 pm-5:15 pm   Panel 3: Challenges Facing Europe
Location: Lindner Commons, Room 602
Milada Anna Vachudova, UNC Chapel Hill
“Russia’s War against Ukraine and Ukraine’s Challenge to Europe”
Maria Koinova, Warwick University
“Russia’s Invasion in Ukraine and Polarization in Eastern Europe and the Balkans”
Jean-François RatelleUniversity of Ottawa
“Interpol, Russia, and the Russian-speaking Migrants in the European Union”
Mark Kramer, Harvard University
“The Persecution of Gays in Chechnya and the Implications for the EU”

Chair: Magdalena DembińskaUniversité de Montréal
Discussant: Viacheslav Morozov, University of Tartu

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

9:00 am-10:30 am   Panel 4: The Baltics and Moldova: Between the EU, Russia, and War
Location: Lindner Commons, Room 602
Zsuzsa CsergőQueen’s University and Kristina Kallas, University of Tartu
“The Impact of Russia’s War on Ukraine on Russophone Minorities in the Baltics”
Joan DeBardeleben (virtual)Carleton University
“Russian Media Depictions of EU-Russia Cross-Border Initiatives in the Baltics”
Magdalena Dembińska,Université de Montréal
“Eurasian De Facto States and the War in Ukraine”

Chair: Juliet JohnsonMcGill University
Discussant: Henry HaleThe George Washington University

10:30 am-10:45 am   Coffee Break

10:45 am-12:15 pm   Panel 5: Between the EU and Russia
Location: Lindner Commons, Room 602
Luca Anceschi (virtual), University of Glasgow
“Recent Developments in Kazakhstani Multi-Vectorism”
Anar Valiyev, ADA University
“EU Soft and Russian Hard Powers in Azerbaijan: The Struggle Has Begun”
Viacheslav Morozov, University of Tartu
“Europe’s Normative Appeal, De-Stalinization and Russian Peripheral Capitalism: Towards a Renewed Research Agenda?”

Chair: Juliet JohnsonMcGill University
Discussant: Marlene LaruelleThe George Washington University