Dr. Laurynas Kasčiūnas

Is the Chairman of the National Security and Defense Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, he a political scientist, member of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. In the pas he has worked in analytical work at various research centers, and has worked with colleagues on various analytical studies on Lithuanian national security and foreign policy issues. Also, he was a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University

ltn. gen. (ret.) Ben Hodges

Hodges was born on 6 April 1958[2] in Quincy, Florida, the son of Army veteran and life insurance agent Frederick Hodges and Nell Davis Hodges.[3] He graduated from James A. Shanks High School in 1976.[4] Hodges entered the United States Military Academy, graduating in May 1980 with a commission in the Infantry.[5] In February 1981, he became a platoon leader in A Company of the 3d Battalion of the 2nd Armored Division's 41st Infantry (Mechanized), stationed in Germany. On 28 November, he was promoted to first lieutenant. Hodges later became an executive officer in the company, serving there until March 1984. He was promoted to captain on 1 February. He took the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at the United States Army Infantry School, completing it in September.[6] In December 1984, Hodges became assistant S4 of the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade. He later became brigade assistant S-3. In May 1986, he took command of C Company of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry of the division. He later became S-3 of the battalion. Between July 1988 and March 1989 Hodges served as assistant S-3 of the division's 1st Brigade. In March, he became a small group instructor at the United States Army Infantry School. He was later Chief of the Tactics Team there. In August 1991, he became a student at the Command and General Staff College, being promoted to major on 1 September. Hodges later graduated from the School of Advanced Military Studies. In June 1993, he became chief of the Plans Division and G-3 of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.[6] In July 1994, Hodges became executive officer of the 327th Infantry's 3d Battalion. He became Aide-de-camp to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe in August 1995, serving there until June 1997. On 1 July 1996 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In June 1997, Hodges took command of the 3d Battalion of the 187th Infantry with the 101st Airborne. He was Congressional Liaison Officer at the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison between July 1999 and July 2000. In August of that year he entered the National War College, graduating in June 2001. In July Hodges became Senior Battalion Observer and Controller of the Operations Group at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. On 1 March 2002 he was promoted to colonel.[6] In June 2002, Hodges took command of the 101st Airborne's 1st Brigade, leading it in Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 23 March 2003, before the start of the operation, Sergeant Hassan Akbar attacked other soldiers of the brigade, killing two and injuring fourteen. Hodges suffered a minor shrapnel wound in the attack and testified at Akbar's court-martial in April 2005.[7] The brigade fought in the Battle of Najaf in late March and early April.[8][9] In August 2004, Hodges became assistant chief of staff and G-3 of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Between January 2005 and January 2006 he simultaneously served as assistant chief of staff and CJ3 of Multi-National Corps – Iraq. In July, Hodges became chief of staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps. In August 2007, he became deputy chief of Legislative Liaison at the Office of the Secretary of the Army. On 14 May 2008, he was promoted to brigadier general. In August 2009, Hodges became director of operations of Regional Command South[5] in Afghanistan. In December 2010 he became director of the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell at the Joint Staff. Hodges was promoted to major general on 2 February 2011.[6] On 22 September 2012 he was promoted to lieutenant general.[10] On 30 November 2012, Hodges became the first commander of Allied Land Command.[11] Hodges replaced Lieutenant General Donald M. Campbell in command of United States Army Europe on 5 November 2014.[12][13] He retired from the Army and relinquished command of USAREUR on 15 December 2017. Hodges stated that he planned to retire to Florida and work for the think tank Center for European Policy Analysis.

brig.gen. (ret) Rainer Meyer zum Felde

Born 1954, married to Felicitas, three children. 1973-1977 Airforce Academy and University of the Bundeswehr, München. 1977-1995 Assignments as Company and Battalion Commander in Air Force Regiments. 1985-1987 General Staff Course, Hamburg. 1987-1989 Head Personnel Affairs, 4th Air Force Division. 1989-1991 Ministry of Defence, Policy Division, Desk Officer Operations Plans and Policy. 1992-1995 Armed Forces General Staff College, Air Faculty, Hamburg. 1995-1996 Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes International (IUHEI)/ Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), 10th International Course. 1996-1998 Ministry of Defence, Policy Planning and Advisory Staff to Minister Rühe, Desk Officer Operations. 1998-2002 NATO HQ Brussels, German Military Delegation to MC. 2002-2003 NATO, SHAPE, Deputy Team Leader ‘NATO Command Structure Functional Review Team`. 2003-2006 NATO, HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Norfolk, USA, Branch Head ‘Policy’. 2006-2009 Ministry of Defence, Policy Planning and Advisory Staff to Minister Jung, Branch Head NATO and Transatlantic Security Policy. 2009-2011 Armed Forces General Staff College, Director for Security Policy and Strategy. 2011-2013 Vice President, Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS), Berlin. 2013-2017 Permanent Delegation of Germany to NATO, Brussels, Senior Defence Advisor and German Representative in NATO’s Defence Policy and Planning Committee (DPPC). October 2017-March 2018 Government Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). Since April 2018, Senior Fellow at the ISPK and the institute’s representative in Berlin.

Dr. Ariel Cohen

Ariel Cohen, L.L.B., Ph.D., is a recognized authority in political risk, international energy, and security. He is the Founding Principal of International Market Analysis Ltd, a boutique consulting firm dealing with geo-economic, geostrategic, energy, and natural resources ( He is also an internationally recognized expert on Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. He is a Senior Fellow with the non-profit International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC) and Director of Energy, Growth, and Security Program (EGS) there. Dr. Cohen also holds a non-resident Senior Fellowship at the Eurasian Studies Center at the Atlantic Council with a regional focus on Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. For over 20 years, Dr. Cohen served as a Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Sarah and Douglas Allison Center at the Heritage Foundation. He directed Heritage’s energy war games (simulation exercises) and worked closely with Congressmen and Congressional staff members as well as cabinet-level and sub-cabinet domestic and foreign decision-makers.

Ms. Beata Patašova

Beata Patašova is a Programme Officer at NATO HQ. She is in charge of NATO public diplomacy engagements with Russia an Eastern European partners. She has previously worked for NATO performing long-term, data driven analysis of media and Russian disinformation.

Mr. Rasmus Hindrén

Mr. Rasmus Hindrén is the Head of International Relations at the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats. Mr. Hindrén joined the Center in October 2020, coming from the Ministry of Defence of Finland where he was Deputy Head of Unit for Defence Cooperation. He was Defense Counselor at the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. from 2017 to 2020. He has worked at the Ministry of Defense since 2008 in several positions dealing with multilateral and bilateral defense cooperation and planning. Before that he worked on security policy in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and was seconded to NATO International Staff as national expert (2007-2008). Mr. Hindrén served as Defense Adviser at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU (2011-2014). Mr. Hindrén is a graduate of the University of Helsinki, Finland, and holds a master’s degree in Social Sciences (International Relations). He has authored several articles on security and defense policy.

Mr. Marko Mihkelson

Is a Member of Estonian Parliament and he is a member of the Reform Party (Renew Europe). He is a Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Marko Mihkelson was first elected to the Parliament in 2003 and is currently serving his fitfh mandate. He has served in previous parliaments as a Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair of EU Affairs Committee and Chair of National Defence Committee. Between 2000 and 2003 he worked as the Director of the Baltic Centre for Russian Studies, from 1997 to 2000 he was the Editor-in-Chief of the biggest national daily newspaper Postimees and from 1994 to 1997 he was Postimees’s correspondent in Moscow. He has a MA degree in History from the University of Tartu. He is author of the books „Russia: In Dusk and Dawn“ 2010 and “The Disruptive Era” 2018 (both in Estonian).

Dr. Timo Hellenberg

Timo Hellenberg, (Dr.Pol. Sc., M.Sc.Econ.) is a CEO and founder of Hellenberg International Ltd and CEO of Hellenberg HK Limited. He has served as a Special Adviser (EU and Foreign Affairs) to two Prime Ministers of Finland and more than decade as a security consultant for the Finnish Government Council. He has 25 years of academic and crisis management researcher incl. at the United Nations (DRD). Board member of the Paasikivi Society; Board member of the Geopolitical Society of Finland; Member of the Finnish-Russian Scientific and Technical Committee; Board Member of the Baltic Civil Defence Network; Senior Advisor at the IMA (Washington); Member of the Advisory Board of the Cyberwatch Finland.

Mr. Mykola Bielieskov

MA in international relations (2016). In September 2016-September 2019 worked in Ukrainian NGO "Institute of World Policy" as an analyst. Since October 2019 Research Fellow (Defense Policy Department) at National Institute for Strategic Studies under President of Ukraine. Fields of interest - Ukrainian and Russian Armed Forces, evolution of operational art.

Dr. Maria Snegovaya

Maria is Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science and a Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic and Trans-European Space Studies at Virginia Tech University, and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and the Illiberalism Studies Program at George Washington University. I am also a member of PONARS Eurasia, a George Washington University-based network of academics advancing new approaches to research on politics and society in Russia and Eastern Europe. I earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. My research interests include party politics, political behavior and political economy. I explore the ongoing democratic backsliding and re-autocratization in Eastern Europe and the tactics used by Russian actors and proxies who circulate disinformation to exploit these dynamics in the region. I also study Russia’s domestic and foreign policy. My work has been published in numerous political science and policy journals, including West European Politics, Party Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, Journal of Democracy, Democratization, and the Washington Post‘s political science blog the Monkey Cage. My research has been referenced in publications such as the New York Times, Bloomberg, the Economist, and Foreign Policy. Throughout my career I have collaborated with multiple U.S. research centers and think tanks to develop policy recommendations designed to address the challenges of democratic backsliding. These include the Brookings Institution, the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Freedom House among others.

col. (ret.) Gintaras Bagdonas

Col. (Ret.) Gintaras Bagdonas is an advisor at the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania. Prior to that he was posted as a Military Liaison of NATO Military Staff in Georgia and in the South Caucasus. He has held positions including Director of NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, Head of the Lithuanian Special Mission in Afghanistan, Commandant of the General Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy, Director of Military Intelligence of the EU Military Staff, Director of the Lithuanian Military Intelligence and Security organization.

Mr. Tomas Jermalavičius

Tomas holds a BA in political science from the University of Vilnius, an MA in war studies from King’s College London and an MBA degree from the University of Liverpool. Prior to joining ICDS in the end of 2008, Tomas worked at the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL), first as Deputy Director of the College’s Institute of Defence Studies in 2001-2004, and later as Dean of the College in 2005-2008. In the latter capacity, he was also the editor of the journal ‘Baltic Security and Defence Review’. At BALTDEFCOL, he lectured and published articles on strategy, military theory, defence policy and civil-military relations. Tomas continues contributing to the College’s mission as its honorary fellow. During 2005-2008, he was also involved, as a lecturer, in the Prometheus Programme of Transition Studies at the Euro-College of the University of Tartu and post-graduate military diplomacy programme at the Lithuanian Military Academy as well as in various projects of the Estonian Academy of Young Scientists (ENTA). Since 2017, he also has been a Visiting Professor at the Natolin Campus of the College of Europe in Warsaw, teaching a course on terrorism and hybrid warfare to post-graduate students.

Mr. Konstantin Eggert

Konstantin Eggert MBE is a freelance journalist and political commentator. He writes a weekly column on Russian affairs for DW (Deutsche Welle), Germany’s international broadcaster. He also hosts ‘Trending’, DW’s interview programme. In 2016-2018 Konstantin Eggert was programme host and political commentator for TV Rain, Russia’s groundbreaking independent TV channel. He also worked for Kommersant, Russia's oldest private media group.n 2009-2010 Mr Eggert was Vice-President for Public and Government Affairs for ExxonMobil Russia Inc. In 2002-2009 he was Moscow Bureau Chief for the BBC Russian Service. In 2008 HM the Queen created Mr Eggert Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Moscow University Institute of Asian and African Studies, where he studied Arabic language and history. He speaks English, French and Arabic

Mrs. Molly K McKew

Molly K McKew is a writer and researcher of Russian influence and information warfare. She is the lead author of, which explores what great power competition looks like in an era of irregular warfare and hybrid influence. Her articles have also appeared in Politico, Wired, the Washington Post, Lawfare, and other publications. McKew is CEO of Fianna Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in strategic messaging. Her work has focused on the European frontier — including the Baltic states, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. McKew is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she teaches Russian hybrid warfare

col. (ret.) Adrian Siadkowski

Adrian Siadkowski (born 1979), Col. (ret.), PhD, DSc, professor of WSB University (Poland). He graduated from the Military Academy in Poznań, the Police Academy in Szczytno and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.  He is an security expert in international relations specializing in migration, border protection, and islamic fundamentalism and extremism. As a Border Guard officer, he moved up the ladder from a border control officer, through Headquarters of the Polish Border Guard, to Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was also a Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard, Adviser in Ministry of Defense, expert of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and trainer of Border Management Staff College w Dushanbe (Tajikistan). Author of many publications in this domain.

prof. Julian Lindley-French

Julian Lindley-French is a leading strategic analyst, author and commentator with several books to his name. He is Senior Fellow at the Institute of Statecraft, Director of Europa Analytica, a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of the Atlantic Council of the United States and the Strategic Advisory Panel of General Sir Nick Houghton, Chief of the British Defence Staff. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter. His blog, Lindley-French’s Blog Blast, has a world-wide readership and is on the websites of several leading think-tanks. He is also a regular columnist for several leading newspapers. Author of several books his last The Oxford Handbook of War is regarded as a definitive anthology on war. In January 2014 he published a new book entitled “Little Britain? Twenty-First Century Strategic Challenges for a Middling European Power”. In 2014 the paperback edition of his Oxford Handbook will be published by Oxford University Press. In 2015 Professor Lindley-French will publish a second edition of NATO: The Enduring Alliance for Routledge Press. 

Mr. Antti Rinne

Mr. Antti Rinne is First Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament. He also was Primine Minister of Finland and Minister of Finance.
Earlier memberships and positions held at parliament:
Speakers (Speaker) 24.04.2019–05.06.2019, (First Deputy Speaker) 11.12.2019–17.12.2020
Speaker's Council (Speaker) 24.04.2019–05.06.2019, (member) 11.12.2019–28.05.2021, (First Deputy Speaker) 11.12.2019–17.12.2020
Chancellery Commission (Speaker) 24.04.2019–05.06.2019, (First Deputy Speaker) 11.12.2019–17.12.2020
Foreign Affairs Committee (member) 09.06.2015–16.04.2019
Constitutional Law Committee (member) 14.12.2020–28.05.2021, (Chair) 16.12.2020–28.05.2021
Parliamentary Supervisory Council (member) 09.06.2015–26.06.2015
Auditors of the Bank of Finland (member) 29.06.2015–02.05.2017
Forum for International Affairs (Speaker) 24.04.2019–05.06.2019, (member) 11.12.2019–28.05.2021, (First Deputy Speaker) 11.12.2019–17.12.2020

Dr. András Rácz

Dr. András Rácz is a senior fellow in DGAP’s Security and Defense Program. From September 2019 to December 2020, he was a senior fellow of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Previously, Rácz was associate professor at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest and non-resident research fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute in Tallinn. Between 2014 and 2016, he was senior research fellow of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki. Prior to that, Rácz worked as a senior research fellow at the former Hungarian Institute of International Affairs and a visiting researcher at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC. He was also a fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation’s program in European Foreign and Security Policy Studies (EFSPS). Rácz earned his PhD in modern history from Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University in 2008.

Mr. Liudas Zdanavičius

Liudas Zdanavicius is analyst at the Centre for Defence Analysis of the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania. He holds an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Vilnius University. He is the author and co-author of a number of articles and books on security in the Baltic Sea region, including topics such as Russian foreign and security policy, Russian and Chinese economic influence, and the Kaliningrad region. Currently he is working on the policies of Russia and China towards Central and Eastern European countries. Another important topic of the interest: development of the comprehensive defence system in Lithuania. Latest publications: Zdanavičius, Liudas. “Russia, China and the Baltic connectivity. 2021“. In Nordic-Baltic Connectivity with Asia via the Arctic: Assessing opportunities and risks. ICDS. 2021. Zdanavičius, Liudas. 2021. “China’s Economic Presence in the Baltic States and Belarus: Economic Statecraft Amidst the Great Powers Competition”. In Fulvio, Attinà (ed.), World Order Transition and the Atlantic Area: Theoretical Perspectivees and Empirical Analysis. Springer. (accessed 5 July 2021) Zdanavičius, Liudas, and Nortautas Statkus. “Strengthening Resilience of Lithuania in an Era of Great Power Competition: The Case for Total Defence.” Journal on Baltic Security, vol. 0, no. 0, 18 Dec. 2020, 10.2478/jobs-2020-0009.


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Vilnius Security Forum 2022



Growing tensions in the Eastern EU and in vicinity of the Ukraine border combined with the organized illegal migration to EU via Belarus directly threatens European security and stability.

To better understand the security environment and unite Western allies against possible rising threats “Vilnius Security Forum 2022” will organize discussions which will help to facilitate projection and preparations for the coming uncertain future for the Western allies.


Venue: Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas, III-ieji rūmai, Kovo 11-osios salė

Gedimino pr. 53, Vilnius/Webinar

19 January 2022




08:15 – 09:00 Registration

III Palace (ID required)

Welcome coffee

Introduction: COL (Ret) Vaidotas MALINIONIS, Director, National Defence Foundation and Colonels Association, (LTU)


09:00 – 09:05 Welcoming remarks

 Dr Paulius SAUDARGAS, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas (LTU)


 09:05 – 09:35   Key note speakers

MrLaurynas KASČIŪNAS, Member of the Seimas, Chairman of the Committee on National Security and Defence (LTU)

Mr.  Antti RINNE, First Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Former Prime Minister of Finland (FIN)


09:35 – 11.05 Panel discussion

Topic: Situation: Ukraine and Russia

Moderator: Mr. Liudas ZDANAVIČIUS, Policy analyst, Center of Defence Analysis, General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania (LTU)


Mr. Marko MIHKELSON, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Parliament of Estonia, (EST)

Mrs. Maria SNEGOVAJA, George Washington University (USA)

Mr. Mikola BELIASKO, National Institute of Strategic Studies (UKR)


11:05 – 12:35 Panel discussion

Topic:  Most probable/dangerous course of action

Moderator: Mr. Andras RACZ, senior fellow, German Council of Foreign Relations (DGAP) (DE)



Mrs. Solomiia BOBROVSKA, Member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (UKR)

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ben HODGES, Expert, Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Former Commander of United States Army Europe (USA)

Mr. Konstantin EGGERT, Journalist, Kolumnist, Deutsche Welle (RUS)

Professor Julian LINDLEY-FRENCH, Chairman, The Alphen Group (UK)


12:35 -13:00 Coffee break 


13:00 – 14.20 Panel discussion

Topic   Western response (I)

 Moderator: COL (ret) Gintaras BAGDONAS, member of the Colonels Association, (LTU)


Mrs. Beata PATAŠOVA, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO

Mrs. Molly McKEW, lead author of, writer/lecturer on Russian influence and information warfare (USA)

Brigade General (Ret.) D. Rainer MEYER ZUM FELDE, Senior fellow, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel, Gmbh (DE)


14:20 – 16:00 Panel Discussion

Topic: Western response (II)

Moderator: Dr. Timo HELLENBERG, Chief executive of Hellenberg International Ltd (FIN)


Mr. Rasmus HINDREN, Head of International Relations of the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, (FIN)

Mr. Tomas JERMALAVIČIUS, Head of Studies/Research Fellow, International Centre for Defence and Security (EST)

COL (ret) Adrian SIADOWSKI, Professor of WSB University (POL)


Concluding remarks:

Mr. Ariel COHEN Ph.D., Senior Fellow, The Atlantic Council, Founding Principal, International Market Analysis (USA)


Gynybos paramos fondas