Year 2010

Tennis Tournament Memorial of Nikolajs Neilands 2010

On December 18, 2010 Jelgava Tennis Center held the annual tennis tournament "Nikolajs Neilands Memorial". This year Nikolajs Neilands would celebrate his 80th anniversary and the Baltic Forum organized a tournament in memory its former President Nikolajs Neilands for the sixth consecutive year. The tournament was attended by politicians, business people, public figures, as well as those who had been destined to play tennis with Nikolajs Neilands (1930-2003). Traditionally, the statute of the tournament envisaged the game between two player teams. The team of Andris Detlavs and Svetlana Gribačova won the tournament, Valery Verovskis and Jevgenija Verovskaja were second and Alexander Neilands and Dainis Liepiņš were third. The next tennis tournament will take place on December 10, 2011.  



European and Asian Media Forum

Long-term "Baltic Forum" partner, the International information agency of Russia "RIA Novosti" organized the European and Asian Media Forum 2010, held in the Ukrainian capital Kiev from December 8 to 10. A delegation of leading media managers of Latvia, which also included the chairman of the Journalists' Union of Latvia Juris Paiders, the Chairman of the Board of ‘BNS-Latvia' Sigita Kirilka, the general director of the Latvian television Edgars Kots, editor in chief of "Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze" Anita Daukste and others participated in the European and Asian Media Forum already for the second year.

The main theme of the forum this year was the role of media in promoting equal partnership and fair competition in the processes of establishing the journalistic community, as the journalists have to meet the challenges in the area of modern information exchange.

More information in Russian here.


The Baltic Forum's 15th International Conference

Global Politics, Economy and Security after the Crisis: New Challenges and Aims

28-29 May 2010, Baltic Beach Hotel, Jurmala

Address by Foreign Minister Aivis Ronis  

On 28 May, Foreign Minister Aivis Ronis addressed the participants of the 15th Conference of the Baltic Forum. This year the event is titled Global Politics, Economy and Security after the Crisis: New Challenges and Aims. 

In his address, Foreign Minister Ronis urged to shape the Baltic Forum conference into a genuine dialogue between Latvia and Russia with the participation of the full spectrum of political powers, and the presence of allies and partners. "Pull down the wall, in this case - the wall of prejudice, so that also other political powers from both our countries could voice their opinions and meet together with you," noted Minister Ronis, inviting to hear out different opinions in a dialogue.

Further in his speech, the Foreign Minister of Latvia emphasised the "three whales" of a responsible politics of Latvia, or a "troika" of aspects behind the recovery of Latvia's competitiveness: first - a coordinated and solidarity-based exit strategy from the crisis, second - a renewed NATO with committed member countries who can handle new and old threats, and third - partnership with its neighbours.



In his opening speech, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia Aivis Ronis indicated that values are the landmark, the starting point and the goal for Latvia's foreign policy. This policy is to be based on three pillars. First of all, on a coordinated and united European Union strategy for overcoming the crisis. Secondly, on cooperation within the framework of the renewed NATO, member states of which are able to overcome both old and new threats. And finally, thirdly, in cooperation with neighbors. "In my view the only valid prescription in order to maintain security for our country now is to attract resources, to apply public administration and stimulate the economy in order to achieve competitiveness. This is a responsible policy towards our partners, neighbors and allies ", the minister noted.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Latvia Mr. Alexander Veshnyakov welcomed the trend of development of Russian-Latvian relations and highlighted the stability of the principle of Russia's approach to building cooperation with Latvia on the basis of good neighborhood policy.

Mr. Veshnyakov highlighted the prospects of cooperation in the field of transit, where Russia is a key partner of Latvia and approximately 70% of cargo transported by rail and passing through the seaports of the country is Russian, as well as investment cooperation, the level of which has still not exhausted the existing opportunities. The volume of accumulated direct investment from Russia into the economy of the country in 2009 totaled $ 509 million. Russia occupies only a modest 7th place among the major investors of Latvia.

When opening the discussion, the chairman of Russia's Institute for Contemporary Development and the Supervisory Board of the Baltic Forum Igor Jurgens expressed the opinion that no revolutionary changes in the geopolitics of the past few years have taken place, however many of the processes already identified before have substantially accelerated.

"The logic of competition compels us to accept someone else's gain as a challenge that requires protective measures and their weaknesses as a chance to be used in our own interests. However the mentioned logic is efficient in the case when quality competitiveness of the national economy is provided. Both the new strong players and the new weak ones in the world economy are important for Russia as much as the development of partnership with them for the sake of modernization is feasible and productive "- said Jurgens.

In his opinion, the global crisis has not become a fatal challenge for Russia, even though it has revealed many of the issues which experts have mentioned long before crisis: "We received clear evidence of instability of the accelerated growth based on the inflow of petrodollars and augmentation of the role of government in the economy, the sensitivity of such issues as export orientation towards primary industries, the principal weakness of the private financial system, the dependence on external credit in the accumulation of massive financial government reserves and significant export of capital." Therefore, "the main task for the country during the period of stabilization is to assume the path of sustainable development consistent to external influences and accompanied by modernization of the financial system by way of radical improvement in the regulatory environment. The main propelling force behind the mentioned growth should be investment and innovation. "

Mr. Jurgens specified "we can not restrict ourselves solely to economic measures. Total integrated modernization, including modernization of the political sphere, social relations and civic consciousness is required. One of the major factors capable both to accelerate overcoming of the crisis effects and to become a catalyst for comprehensive modernization, is the involvement of Russia into global political and economic integration processes."

Ambassador Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz (Germany) rejected the popular view that U.S. is losing its importance in the global politics. "That is not happening either economically or financially or in respect to the military influence" - said the Ambassador. "However there are other countries that enter the mentioned level of global leadership. In my view they are China and India, they are gradually catching up with the U.S. These countries have become stronger economically, and eventually this will inevitably lead to some political consequences."

Von Ploetz paid particular attention to the proposals of the President of Russia Medvedev for the new negotiations on the European security system, noting that this is the first detailed proposal for security, which was made by the Russian Federation since it has been founded. He stated that President Medvedev's project had been discussed in the expert group, which was to prepare a concept of the new NATO strategy. In the group of 28 countries that are members of NATO, a fairly wide range of opinions and views was presented. "It's important to understand what the relationship between global patterns of geopolitics is, especially in relation to China, and in the light of the proposals of President Medvedev.

Why did he not focus on global security, but on the European one? In my view, we have to recognize that possibly what was intended, above all, was to determine Russia's place in relation to other European countries or, in other words, he wanted to emphasize the identity of the civilization of Russia as a European civilization. We have to admit that there exists a certain gap in the values, as it has already been discussed. However if we compare the EU, NATO and Russia, on the one hand, and China, Russia and NATO, on the other hand, there civilizational gap is much larger.

Thus, the good news is that Russia defines its civilization as part of the European culture. From the perspective of Europe and Asia, Russia is a necessary partner, and certainly a desired partner in the work on conflict resolution in respect to Central Asia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and in general a partner in resolving global threats. To integrate Russia into a strategic partnership would also be in our interests", the ambassador remarked.

Former Deputy Secretary of State, the chief negotiator on arms control and now a leading director of McLarty Ambassador Richard Burt, believes that international relations have reached a definite turning point. "Perhaps that is the most important point since the end of the Cold War. In my view we are now entering a new geo-economic era", said Burt.

"We are witnessing a change, however it does not concern the fundamental architecture of international relations. We're talking about changes in the practical approaches that we use to support our national interests, as well as changes in mentality, which will allow us to put at the heart of the matter a situation where all the players involved in the international relations remain in the win.

Some of the old rules and regulatory standards of the old geopolitical system have no meaning. We have moved from a bipolar to a multipolar world and the impact of certain global forces has changed as well. The economic potential is now of much more importance than it was in the past. Military might, at least for the major powers, perhaps is not as important already as it was formerly. Actually, the idea of nuclear confrontation, which was one of the key positions during the Cold War, has now practically almost lost its relevance. The idea of the territory conquest is no longer a viable development alternative for the world's major powers."

Assessing the state of the world economy after the crisis, President of the Institute for Energy and Finance (Russia), Leonid Grigoriev noted that the industrial production of U.S. still has to recover by 8% in order to reach the pre-crisis level which will not happen before 2011.President Obama will face difficult choices. In the nucleus of the EU, as well as in Russia this level is minus 12%. "Unemployment is severe. We are on the stage of economic crisis, when the fear of the collapse of the banking system danger has passed, the danger of a second grand fall, it seems, has passed as well. However the Icelandic volcano suddenly emerges and paralyzes everything", the economist noted.

"For Russia to find its way out of crisis is a huge problem. Yes, the human capital we have is 90% European, whereas the oil and gas reserves are by 90% Asian. This difficult struggle among us is not a battle of civilizations and not a battle of values. There is no difference in values in terms of the middle-class Russians, including those couple of million who reside in Europe and the U.S. However the structure of society, poverty, severe crisis, of course, create problems.

This is the problem of Russia's energy machine, which previously was not created for commercial purposes. We, Russians, have never adopted the decision that with the country's population of a little more than 2 per cent of the total world population and slightly more than 2% of global GDP, we would produce 11,5% of global primary energy. Hopefully, there will be no Greek crisis, because that would curb global recovery for another six months. If we are to survive it, then I am very optimistic about the future, because it would be easier to overcome any debt problems already in 2011, 2012, at the general raise. "

In his presentation during the second panel discussion "New models and global policy objectives", the first vice-president of Booz Allen Hamilton (USA) Dov Zakhaym noted the significant changes in the standpoint of the U.S. in respect to the world, initiated by the first war against Iraq in 1991."What is happening now is very reminiscent of that coalition of the willing. Anyone wishing to participate may join the coalition - not only the military coalition, but also the financial one. We understand that the coalition is a necessary condition in order to resolve certain problems, "said Zakhaym, noting that a similar coalition is important today and for the solution of economic problems.

"U.S. can no longer dictate their will to the world. However U.S. is by far the largest economy in the world. America's ability to respond to such phenomena as the financial crisis is much better than that of the EU. America has the economic strength and ability to address and respond to the most acute problems. We believe that the dollar for many more years will remain the reserve currency. We are experiencing a correction, rather than any radical changes. U.S. is not a superpower, however that is not the point. We are a sine qua non for the success of international decisions. Try to accept any sanctions or to introduce changes without participation of the U.S. In this issue it's a must to ensure the support of the United States ", concluded Mr. Zakhaym.

Continuing the discussion on international coalitions, the executive director of the Nixon Center (USA) Mr. Paul Saunders said that the main issue of any coalition of this type would be - what is expected of its participants. "The question is, which countries are willing to participate in the coalition and with what military, economic or other purposes, the extent to which they are willing to make concessions in order to provide the mentioned support. If we examine, for example, Russia or China, it seems, they are often less willing to sacrifice their own interests, or at least part of them, for the sake of the coalition, " said Saunders.

Russia / Eurasia program Director of the German Council of Foreign Relations, Alexander Rahr was skeptical in assessing the readiness of Germany to participate in resolving of global problems. "Germany has proposed a package of measures to support Greece. This is a huge burden for Germany. We have already spent a lot of money to support East Germany, to support banks in Germany - that has been a huge expense. In my opinion, it is difficult to expect more from Germany ", said Rahr.

With regard to the EU, in the opinion of Mr. Rahr it would require not months but years to consolidate the European economy again. In particular, it will require huge expenditure on social needs. Possibly EU foreign policy will suffer, and it will be quite difficult for Europe to participate actively in the Eastern Partnership, to influence events in such regions as Kyrgyzstan, etc. According to Rahr, the EU faces a huge challenge, never before resolved peacefully - integration and an attempt to become not only an economic, but also a political union. "Finally we have the Lisbon Treaty, and some kind of general economic policy. The financial crisis has become another obstacle on the road to consensus, however at least now operational tools already exist.

Speaking of the role and place of Russia in the world, the director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, RAS (Russia) Alexander Dynkin noted that Russia has already left behind the debate about Europe or Asia: "Now it is a Pacific country both from the psychological and historical point of view, as well as geographically, and from the cultural point of view. We're talking about significant and important steps in respect to foreign policy towards countries such as Ukraine, Norway, Poland, and Kyrgyzstan. We have precisely expressed our reluctance to support this so-called "tulip" revolution. Those are obvious and real trends, it is a real way, and possibly this is the first manifestation of modernization policy, including external relations. "

"The incentive to modernize may come from the EU, and not at all from China. If you look at our policy toward China, then our moves at the moment are quite cautious. Of course, we are entering a new phase of globalization with new leaders - China, India, and the Gulf countries perhaps. These countries have now become ardent supporters of free trade relations without any restrictions or opposition, however we must not forget at the same time that not only the Central Bank, but also Politburo exists there. A very important anchor of our modernization, the basis of modernization is economic cooperation and membership in the WTO. We are waiting for WTO membership longer than China did. Accession of Russia to the WTO is necessary as soon as possible. "

The debate unfolded on Middle East issues. According to Mr. Zakhaym, "Obama administration thinks it can put pressure on Israel and at the same time appease the Muslim world. In my view now they are compelled to admit that it is very difficult to exert strong pressure against any country, especially against such a democratic state as Israel. Palestinian Prime Minister is trying to build new democratic institutions and he is quite successful in that. Mild optimism exists even in regard to the issue of Hamas. This slightly simplifies the problem. Relations with Israel probably are not as tense as they have been a year ago. Again, Russia here may turn out to be very helpful, as well as Europe." In the U.S., according to Zakhaym, the opinion prevails that the current situation cannot continue for a long time.

Richard Burt was more skeptical: "Maybe the majority of Israelis support the idea of two states, however the Israeli government does not support this idea. And it is a big problem. These negotiations have been carried out for a very long time, however in my opinion, we have very little time left. Palestinians themselves, despite the support of Hamas, are starting to lose faith in achieving the final goal - the creation of two states. Everyone is in the know more or less what will the negotiations conclude with. Everyone recognizes that this will be something like what Bill Clinton tried to achieve, and what was discussed between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the past decade. The problem is in the current Israeli government. They have to be willing to reach a decision ", said Burt.

Mr. Zakhaym urged caution in respect to China: "If China's GDP will grow by 8% a year, they will face many challenges: migration from rural to urban areas and other issues of economic and social nature. American relations with China are very complicated. War with them is not inevitable, however there is no absolute certainty that it will not happen in more distant future. " A similar view was expressed by Alexander Rahr, pointing to the increasing role of China in Africa. "In my view we can imagine a nightmare scenario when China starts to fight for control of transit routes in Asia on the expense of European control", he said.

When opening the discussion on EU-Russian relations in the Baltic Sea region, Mr. Alexander Dynkin noted that the mentioned region is a very powerful economic group, with the economic potential equal to the economy of Brazil (Brazil today ranks eighth in the world by GDP) and the economic structure of the Baltic Sea region is more advanced, more progressive and more innovative. This, as well as the geography of the region, creates an organic space for cooperation between Russia and the EU.

The president of the Institute for Energy and Finance (Russia), Mr. Leonid Grigoriev, commenced the discussion from an overview of the situation after experiencing the peak of the economic crisis. "For the first time in many years, and for the entire postwar period this has been the first crisis, when the global GDP has decreased. We have reached a very dangerous line and have to be happy, that we are coming out of the crisis, however at the same time we should be very careful. EU and Russia will need about a year only to reach the pre-crisis levels of industrial production ", cautioned Mr. Grigoriev.

2010 will nevertheless be a difficult year for the entire Baltic region. "Therefore it can not be resolved by any simple macroeconomic radical decisions, in 2011 many structural parameters will continue to remain sufficiently complicated. Both Russia and many other countries in the region, and Latvia in particular, will need solutions on the level of industries, at the enterprise level; it will be necessary to establish cooperation. If we will establish cooperation and unleash the potential of companies and businessmen at the micro level, it will help both Russia and Latvia to overcome the crisis and reach a level of higher quality modernization and growth ", the economist encouraged the audience.

According to the director of research programs, "Baltic Forum" (Latvia), Victor Makarov, historically two fundamentally different models of cooperation have existed in the Baltic region. The first, "Hanseatic" model presumes active trade, cooperation, while respecting the rules of transactions, however does not require compliance with the common values. This model has been effective in the Baltic region for centuries and can continue to operate in the future.

Nevertheless, there is another "northern" model of cooperation that makes this region unique, and it is far more ambitious. It originated in the 20th century from the idea of the proximity of cultures, values and partly languages of the Nordic countries and led to amazing results. Nordic countries have managed to create important common institutions, which are based on a very high degree of trust between the countries not yet achieved on the European level.

According to Viktor Makarov, it cannot be stated that Russia and other countries in the region are as close in terms of values. The strategy of EU for the Baltic Sea with Russia's involvement has great potential, however cultural differences will impose restrictions on these integration processes. It is not only about economic cooperation. It is necessary to start thinking about the project of thorough integration, which would include Russia. Such a project would become an investment of the West to the modernization of Russia.

Victor Makarov has identified three areas in which we can promote the mentioned development. First, he called for a political forum that would focus specifically on EU-Russia cooperation in the Baltic region to be founded. Secondly, he encouraged inclusion of the civil society in the process, the development of which will help to reduce the differences in the value systems. Thirdly, it is necessary to resolve the issue of visas. "We need to abolish visas for Russian citizens. This is the relation issue between the EU and citizens of Russia and should not become a subject of bargaining between governments. There is only one political obstacle - along with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries should obtain visa-free regime as well."

The theme of specific EU-Russian efforts in the Baltic region was continued by Ambassador von Ploetz: "The Baltic countries are sufficiently small players regarding the production and distribution of energy. The EU started as the Union of Coal Industry, which was ruled by the countries on a collective basis. The same collective conditions may be a measure to strengthen confidence and trust in each other. Traditionally, the Baltic ports have had an enormous importance for the USSR. It is necessary to work together in order to develop the infrastructure to take advantage of the ice-free ports of the Baltic Sea. This will contribute to a stable relationship, which is good for Russia, the EU and individual countries in the Baltic region ", Ambassador von Ploetz proposed.

Director of the Center "EU-Russia"(Brussels), Fraser Cameron, reminded the audience that Rostov Summit EU-Russia was the 25th summit: "These relations are the most bureaucratic relations in the world. We have more summits with Russia at the EU level than summits with the U.S. We have been meeting regularly for many years. Taking into account those regular negotiations and meetings, we understand each other, however we continue to talk not to each other, but in parallel to each other "- Cameron complained. He highlighted the theme of Russia's possible modernization and participation of the EU in it. Both mentioned issues invoke skeptical attitude to many in the West. "The concept advocated by Mr. Putin is aimed at making the existing system more efficient. No fundamental changes to the existing system are even envisaged, it is about how to invest in nanotechnology, how to build innovative parks, etc. However that will not be efficient ", the expert believes. The European business, he said, fears that Western companies have a zero prospect to receive fair treatment in Russia because the corruption and disrespect for the principle of the rule of law is retained. "We must help Russia, however it should not be unconditional support. Such conditions have already been partially identified in order that each party would benefit ", said Mr. Cameron.

In response to the criticism expressed by Mr. Cameron, Mr. Alexander Dynkin remarked that corruption is a pan-European problem and that there are examples of attitude not completely adequate to Russian investments in the EU. Nevertheless, he agreed that in Russia these problems are more explicit. Alexander Rahr noted that we are close enough to getting rid of visa barriers with Russia and Ukraine. European business leaders are urging their governments to abolish visas. At present a certain competition for entering a partnership with Russia exists on the path to modernization of its economy.

Director for International Development, Institute of Modern Development (Russia) Mr. Sergey Kulik believes that even during consultations inside EU when they are related directly to Russia, it would be desirable to sometimes consult with Russia and show interest in participation on the part of Russia. In the case of the Baltic Strategy, according to Mr. Kulik, what was happening was that first the strategy was adopted, and only then Russia was introduced to it and offered to discuss and participate in it. "There are bureaucratic resentments that affect the course of events. When we talk about the truly real and urgent task of enrolling Russia into the issue relating to the Baltic Sea strategy there should be such spirit of cooperation that would not scare away the people who make and implement decisions", recommended Mr. Kulik, continuing that the same applies to the Eastern Partnership. "This has been little discussed in writing, however Russia has offered to participate in the Eastern Partnership, and was even prepared to participate in the funding of the Eastern Partnership, as it also concerns post-soviet countries, CIS countries etc. Russia should have been at least consulted with. At least on the early stages it would have been necessary to discuss everything and remove certain concerns." Absence of such consultations, according to Kulik, partly explains the negative reaction of Russia to the idea of the Eastern Partnership.

As regards visas, Kulik highlighted a major problem: Russia's position is to move to a visa-free regime in the nearest future, whereas the position of the EU is to carry out a serious reform in order to simplify the visa regime. "In principle, the EU proposal is for a greater cause. However if this system is to be implemented, during its implementation, partly because of bureaucratic issues, the prospects of introducing a visa-free regime when the EU's position is adopted, can be postponed for an indefinite period, at least not before 2020 ", the expert believes.

According to Sergey Chernyshev, Director of the Department for Economic Cooperation with CIS countries, Ministry of Economic Development (Russia), both for the EU and Russia it is important not to maintain "gray zones" around them: "One should always make arrangements with neighbors based on clear and mutually acceptable principles. Attempts to ignore this have led to very poor results. They have led to the situation that neither Russia nor our neighbors have any understanding of how we should look globally in 10-15-20 years: together, separate, as enemies, as rivals or as friends? In the future, for us and for Europe, which is situated to the west of us, and for which Latvia is playing the role of a mediator, there is however no other choice apart from attempting to build a common economic space. We have to build a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean to the Pamir ", proposed Mr. Chernyshev.

Board member of the Baltic Forum Abram Kletskin cautioned that speaking of the relations between Russia and Europe, and especially Russia and the Baltic countries, it should not be forgotten that they encompass not only foreign but also domestic political problems: "In each of these countries there are influential forces, which need in one case - Russia as an enemy and in the other - Latvia, Lithuania ...Until we all do not jointly undertake to fight these forces, whereas any moves towards cooperation between our countries encounter resistance, helping the mentioned forces to keep afloat politically, each of us individually can not cope with that. There exist certain improvements, however one should not flatter themselves by individual example of how dramatically the relations with Poland have improved. I'm not sure that this spring will lead to a bountiful harvest, "cautioned Mr. Kletskin.



Journalism in the digital world. The Baltic Accent

On April 21, 2010 in Riga the association "Baltic Forum" together with its longtime partner the news agency of Russia "RIA Novosti" organized a video bridge Riga - Moscow ‘Journalism in the digital world. The Baltic accent'.  From the Latvian side Juris Paiders, the chairman of the Union of Journalists of Latvia, Abrams Kleckins, the chairman of the National Radio and Television Council, Edgars Kots, director general of LTV, Sigita Kirilka, chairman of the board of 'BNS-Latvia' and Alexander Vasilyev, the director of the Baltic Forum took part in the video bridge. Radik Batirshin, chairman of the transnational television MIR, Andrey Bistricky, chairman of the radio campaign 'The Voice of Russia', Alexei Pankin, from the magazine 'strategy and practice of the publishing business' and Alan Kasaev of 'RIA Novosti ' took part in it from the Russian side.



The outcome of the Second World War and Holocaust

The International organization Baltic Forum together with the World Congress of the Russian-speaking Jews, with the support of other Israeli and Russian scientific and educational organizations hosted an international conference on the outcome of the Second World War and the Holocaust: the victims, the righteous, the liberators and the executioners on March 14 and 15 , 2010 in Riga.

The aim of the conference was the introduction of a scientific approach in the research of the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Several documentary films were shown on March, 14 - the opening day of the Conference. In the framework of the conference, three sessions and three round table discussions were held on March 15 on the following topics:

  • The Second World War and the Holocaust: unknown historical sources and modern historiography;
  • Education against prejudice;
  • Documentary films on World War II and the Holocaust: the problem of historical truth.

The conference brought together internationally known experts such as Israeli Writers' Union President Ephraim Bauh, Russian-speaking Jewish World Congress President Boris Shpigel, head of Simon Wiesenthal Center Ephraim Zurof, Center 'Holocaust' Director Ilya Altman, television journalist and film director Vladimir Molchanov, President of Jewish religious society ‘Shamir' Rabbi Menachem Barkan, director of documentary films and journalist Boris Mafcir, as well as other historians, education specialists, World War II and Holocaust history teachers, writers, script writers and documentary film directors from Latvia, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania and Estonia.



14 March 2010

14.00-19.00 Presentation of new projects related to the Conference topic / Moderators: Prof. Abram Kletskin, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian National Television and Radio Council, Member of the Board of the Baltic Forum (Latvia), Larisa Sisoyeva, Director of the European Continental Chaper of WCRJ (Germany)

14:00-15:00 Screening and discussion of the documentary film Melodies of the Riga Ghetto, Russia, 2006 / Producer Vladimir Molchanov (Russia)

15:00-16:00 Screening and discussion of the documentary film I Am Not Afraid (screen title The Mystery of the Vilnius Ghetto), Russia, 2004/ Script writer and producer Liliya Vyugina (Russia)

16:00-17:00 Screening and discussion of the documentary film The Brest Ghetto (screen title The Mystery of the Vilnius Ghetto), Russia, 1995 / Producer Yelena Yakotitch (Russia)

17:00-17:30 Screening and discussion of the documentary film Zhytomyr: A Typical Jewish Story, Israel, 2009 Producer Boris Maftsir (Israel)

17:30-18:50 Screening and discussion of the documentary film IzGoi, Belarus, 2009 Producer Aleksander Stupnikov (Israel)

19.00-20.00 Dinner

20.00-21.00 Presentation of new projects related to the Conference theme Alfa Room Modrator: Boris Feldman, publisher, Editor-in-Chief of the publishing group Russian Germany, Vice-President of the World Association of Russian Press, President of the German Association of Russian Compatriots (Germany)

20:00-20:20 Presentation of the Enciclopaedia Holocaust on the Territory of the USSR Ilya Altman (Russia), Director, "Holocaust" Centre (Russia)

20:20-20:40 Presentation of the project: Latvian Jewish Enciclopaedia Rabby Menachem Barkan, President of Jewish Religious Community "Shamir" in Latvia "Specifics of extra-curricular teaching of Holocaust in Latvia "

15 March 2010

9.00-9.20 Opening of the Conference. Speakers: Conference co-chairmen Janis Urbanovics, President of The Baltic Forum, and Boris Spiegel, President of the WCRJ / Janis Urbanovics, President of The Baltic Forum, and Boris Spiegel, President of the WCRJ

9.20-10.00 Welcome addresses by invited guests / Prof. Abram Kletskin, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian National Television and Radio Council, Member of the Board of the Baltic Forum (Latvia)

10.00 -10.20 Plenary Session / Ilya Altman, Candidate of History (Russia), Director, "Holocaust" Centre (Russia): Holocaust in the context of WWII: Source study and historiography; Valeriy Engel, Candidate of History, First Vice-President of the WCRJ

10.20 - 10.40 Dr. Igor Kotler, President and CEO of the Museum of Human Rights, Freedom and Tolerance, USA, «The History of World War II and the Holocaust in research and publications in the U.S.

10.40-11.00 Dovid Katz - professor of Judaic Studies at Vilnius University, Director and founder of the Yiddish Institute in Vilnius (Lithuania) Subject: "The recent attempts to erase the Holocaust of European history, or questions not answered and the prosecution of victims: forgetting the Holocaust, Prague Declaration and the new anti-Semitism"

11.00 - 11.20 Rabby Menachem Barkan, President of Jewish Religious Community "Shamir" in Latvia "Specifics of extra-curricular teaching of Holocaust in Latvia "

11.20-11.40 Vladimir Molchanov, television journalist, film director (Russia) Past Imperfect

11.40-12.00 Boris Muftis, documentary filmmaker and journalist: Holocaust in documentary films: The problem of reconstruction of historical memory

12.00-12.30 Coffee break

12.00-12.30 Press Conference

12.30-14.00 Roundtable discussion / Education Against Prejudice / Rabby Menachem Barkan (Latvia)

12:30-14:00 Roundtable discussion / Documentaries on WWII and Holocaust: The Problem of Historical Truth. Boris Maftsir (Israel)

14.00-15.00 Dinner

15.00-17.30 Roundtable discussion / WWII and Holocaust: Unknown Historiсal Sources and Modern Historigraphy / Ilya Altman, Candidate of History (Russia)

17.30-18.00 Coffee Break

18.00-19.30 Roundtable discussion / WWII and Holocaust: Unknown Historiсal Sources and Modern Historigraphy (Continued) /Dr. Igor Kotler (USA)

19.30-20.15 Plenary Session / Reports by session moderators  / Adoption of a resolution on the results of the conference

Closing of the confernece / Janis Urbanovics, President of The Baltic Forum, and Boris Spiegel, President of the WCRJ