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University Experts on International Security Hosting Visitors from the Baltic and Black Sea States
Date: 23 February 2000
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Defence and security issues are at the top of the agenda for five representatives from the Baltic and Black Sea states during their visit to the University of Aberdeen’s Scottish Centre for International Security.
Sponsored by a grant from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the four women and one man from Romania, Georgia, Lithuania, and Latvia are spending six weeks in an intensive training programme in Aberdeen. They will participate in a two day residential research seminar at The Burn (near RAF Edzell), a conference on Post-Soviet Security in Edinburgh, a research visit to London and two one day research conferences in Aberdeen, on Russia-EU relations and Black Sea Geopolitics with representatives from the Conflict Studies Research Centre, RMA Sandhurst, the Greek Naval Academy and Ministry of Defence.
Dr. Graeme Herd, Deputy Director for the Scottish Centre for International Security and the organiser of this project, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for the Centre and also for our Visiting Research Associates. In many cases, women are underrepresented in the security of Eastern Europe, and we are also pleased to note some of the similarities between their countries and ours.”
He said: “Romania, Georgia, Lithuania and Latvia are small states with trying to develop their own identities and independent foreign and security policies. We believe this is an opportunity for Aberdeen to help in the future of and in the process of democratic security building in these countries.”
The participants come from a variety of backgrounds, both government and non-government. Ms. Margita Markevica, is a Press Officer for the Latvian Parliament, Ms. Migle Budryte works in the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence, Ms. Tamara Pataraia is a Research Fellow in a Georgian non-governmental organisation and is interested in the threat posed by Russia to Georgia’s sovereignty, Mr. Mihai Maties works in Bucharest in the Office of the Presidency of Romania, and Ms. Ana Serafim, also from Bucharest, is visiting from the Institute for Political Studies of Defence and Military History.
The Scottish Centre for International Security was chosen by the European Union to be the lead partner in a large international two-year PHARE/TACIS project on democratic security building in the Black Sea project (223,000 ECU). The competition was immense, as only 40 grants of this type were awarded from a pool of over 1000 applications from all over Europe.
After their departure from Aberdeen, the representatives will travel to Finland for a two-month research programme funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI). The programme will conclude in September 2000 with an international conference in Greece. Upon their return to their home countries, they will publish the results of their research and disseminate their research to the local media in the Baltic and Black Sea area.
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: Mr. Mihai Maties (Department of Public Policies in the Office of the Presidency of Romania), Ms. Ana Serafim (Research Fellow, Romanian Institute for Political Studies of Defence and Military History), Ms. Tamara Pataraia (Research Fellow, The Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development in Georgia), Ms. Migle Budryte (Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence), and Ms. Margita Markevica (Press Officer, Latvian Parliament), will be available for interview and a photo opportunity on Friday, February 25th, at 10:30 am, in F61, Edward Wright Building, University of Aberdeen.
University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email email@example.com.