Vladimir Putin launched a broad Russian military offensive against Ukraine in the early hours of February 24 after broadcasting a speech announcing a “special military operation” to “demilitarize Ukraine.” Ukraine was soon under attack from cruise and ballistic missiles, with Russia appearing to target infrastructure near major cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Dnipro. What is now an invasion of Ukraine has European leaders deeply concerned that the conflict could spread and become the largest war since 1945.
The war in Ukraine has sent ripples throughout Europe, but will also have far-reaching consequences for the Middle East. NATO-member Turkey will be part of the equation, and Turkish President Erdogan may use the conflict to play a mediation role, thereby increasing his country’s visibility, after Turkey was shunned by Europe and the Biden administration. The Russian presence in the Middle East will take on a new meaning in the context of a conflict that reflects Moscow’s desire to have strong influence in its immediate and broader neighborhood. This includes Syria, where Russia has a naval and air base, and Libya, where it also has an air base and has deployed pro-government mercenaries. The war will also have consequences on the energy sector in the Middle East, where, in view of the crisis, the United States could urge its partners Saudi Arabia and Qatar to expand energy supplies to Europe in case Russia decides to cut off what it supplies.
Join us on Thursday, March 17 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Beirut time for a public panel with Emma Beals, Paul Stronski, Sinan Ülgen, Maha Yahya and Jihad Yazigi to discuss these issues and more.
The discussion will be held in English. Viewers may submit their questions for the panelists using the live chat feature on Facebook and YouTube during the event.
For more information, please contact Josiane Matar at firstname.lastname@example.org.