Public Discussion: “Understanding Germany: one year after Zeitenwende” February 27 (LIIA, Latvia)

The security of Europe has come again to the fore after Russia’s aggression in Ukraine this year. Military actions and growing ambitious rhetoric made by Russia’s political regime has raised the issue of the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic are. It has also forced Europe to step in, be it politically, economically or military.

Although, the speed of the decision making as well as assistance provided to Ukraine have been unprecedented from European nations in the post-Cold War era, there have been discrepancies of how various stakeholders in Europe perceive the conflict and their role in this geopolitical rivalry.

Germany and its involvement in various ways and means has been one of the most topical issues during the first year of the Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. On both sides of the Transatlantic community there has been mix of feelings when it comes to Germany’s participation – from appreciation to incomprehension and misunderstanding of how Germany perceives and acts on the merits of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

The famous Zeitenwende speech by chancellor of Germany Olaf Sholz on February 27, 2022 was long waited, at least from the Baltic perspective. It was perceived as a turning point of foreign and security policy of Germany as well as for the future security architecture of Europe. The overall sentiment was optimistic.  However, as Russia continued to attack Ukraine in various ways and means, the demand for greater German involvement grew.

Overall, it has highlighted that there are diverse perceptions on various issues:

  1. how European stakeholders should be involved in the Russia’s aggression in Ukraine?
  2. what is the role of EU and NATO to be played?
  3. how to deter Russia and what is the future security architecture of Europe?

The stance of Germany to above-mentioned questions will be one of the main determinants of dynamics and developments in the context of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine as well as the future security of Europe. To better realize the perception of Germany and its future perspectives, Latvian Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, organizes public discussion “Understanding Germany: one year after Zeitenwende”.


14:30 – 15:30 (Riga time)

Venue: Hotel Bergs (Elizabetes iela 83/85)

Opening remarks:

Oliver Morwinsky, Head of office for the Baltic States


  • Jürgen Hardt, German politician of the Christian Democratic Union who has served as a member of the Bundestag (virtually).
  • Benedikt Meng, Strategy Consultant, Oliver Wyman (tbc)


  • Mārtiņš Vargulis, Deputy Director of Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Lecturer at the Riga Stradiņš University

Learn more here.