On 12 May 2022, the 3rd CPS international webinar about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, titled, “Russia’s invasion in the Ukraine: The Potential for Diplomacy in times of war” was held. It was jointly organized by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG), North South University (NSU), Bangladesh and the Leibniz Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), Germany.
The distinguished panelists from Germany were Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase, Co-Director of PRIF, and Dr. Caroline Fehl, Project Leader & Senior Researcher of PRIF; and from Bangladesh were Ambassador Shahidul Haque, Professorial Fellow at SIPG, NSU, and Former Foreign Secretary, Government of Bangladesh, and Brig. Gen (Retd.) Dr. M. Sakhawat Hussain, Senior Fellow at SIPG, NSU and Former Election Commissioner of Bangladesh. The moderator of the webinar was Dr. Stefan Kroll, Head of Communications & Senior Researcher, PRIF, Germany.
Dr. Caroline Fehl said that the war has shifted positions in foreign and security policy in the United States, which is related to the administrative transition from Trump to Biden. She also stated that sanctions have been a key tool used by western states to increase pressure on Russia since the war began, and that the revival of transnational solidarity will not last after the war.
Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase stated that the European response to the war has been strong and unified, but a permanent refocus on the security aspects of Europe and the surrounding region is expected to increase due to this war. He also opined that this war will not bring victory to any warring sides; rather, he wished that this war should end through negotiations and the Ukrainians’ voices must be heard.
Dr. M. Sakhawat Hussain said that the support of western states will lead to further escalation of this war. He also said that most of the South Asian countries abstained from voting in the UNGA
due to historical and military ties with Russia. And now Russia is alluring these countries with cheap energy supplies. Moreover, Europe needs to restructure their security strategy rather than depending only on NATO.
Ambassador Shahidul Haque opined that this war has accelerated the transformation of a new world order. It has broken open multiple frontiers in Asia leading to a volatile, complex, and ambiguous political and business environment. Bangladesh is already witnessing the consequences of war, with market volatility and rising commodity prices, particularly in the energy sector.
The webinar started with the welcome address by Dr. Abdul Wohab, Coordinator of CPS and Assistant Professor at the Dept. of PSS, NSU. Academics, researchers, diplomats, journalists, and students were present at the webinar.