6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

SSANSE Project: Symposium on Russia and China's Political Interference Activities in NATO Small States

For both Russia and China, foreign political interference activities are a useful and cost-effective method of foreign policy. In Russia it is theorized as “smart power”, while China still uses the Soviet-era term “united front work”. The activities of Russia and China go well beyond accepted norms of public diplomacy and are having a corrupting and corrosive effect on many societies. This half-day symposium focuses on Russia and China's Political Interference Activities in NATO Small States. The world is seeing a return of both “might is right” politics and spheres of influence. As history has shown, the weakness of small states in a time of rising security threats can undermine the security of larger powers. The Symposium examines case studies of some representative small NATO states experiencing Russia and China’s political interference activities, the patterns of interference to look for, and discusses what is to be done.


Neringa Bladaitė, University of Vilnius
Anne-Marie Brady, Wilson Center/University of Canterbury
Donald J. Jensen, Center for European Policy Analysis
Ryan Knight, Georgetown University
Martin Hála, Charles University
Margarita Šešelgytė, University of Vilnius
Khamza Sharifzoda, Georgetown University
Mark Stokes, 2049 Project
Alan Tidwell, Georgetown University
Baldur Thorhallson, University of Iceland
Moderator: Abe Denmark, Asia Program, Wilson Center


8:45am - Panel One

Donald J. Jensen: Assessing Contemporary Russian Interference Activities

Anne-Marie Brady: Magic Weapons? An Overview of CCP Interference Activities

Mark Stokes: Huawei and One Thousand Talents: China’s military links and technology transfer activities

Ryan Knight: Russia’s use of the Orthodox Church in Small NATO states

Alan Tidwell: Active Measures: Lessons Learned from the Past

10:10am - Morning tea

10:30am - Panel Two

Martin Hála: The CCP’s Magic Weapons at work in the Czech Republic

Khamza Sharifzoda: Armenia’s Struggle:  Escaping the Kremlin

Baldur Thorhallson: Iceland’s engagements with Russia and China

Neringa Bladaite: Russia’s Political Interference Activities in Latvia

Margarita Šešelgytė: Russia and China’s Political Interference Activities and Lithuania


The Small States and the New Security Environment (SSANSE) Project is funded by NATO-SPS