This July, Washington, DC will host the NATO summit, marking the Alliance’s diamond jubilee. This summer’s summit comes at a critical juncture as for the first time since the end of World War II, a major power is committing aggression in Europe. Putin’s war on Ukraine not only seeks the subjugation of Ukraine but is also part of the Kremlin’s revisionist agenda, which threatens all of Ukraine’s neighbors and is designed to undermine the NATO Alliance and the values of democracy and transatlantic security that the Alliance protects.

Last summer in Vilnius, the NATO summit delivered a vague promise to invite Ukraine to join NATO “when allies agree and conditions are met.” The year since has been marked by enduring and increased violence by Russia in Ukraine and directed moves by the Kremlin to destabilize international financial and food systems and engage in influence campaigns to challenge the democratic world, all while the United States stalled on providing Ukraine with critical aid until just last month.

Russia’s aggressive policy, most evident in its savage war on Ukraine, is a grave threat to US and European security and prosperity.  Ukraine is at the front lines of the defense of Europe. Long-term US and Allied security require a secure and stable Ukraine. Right now, that means NATO and its partners should provide Kyiv all the aid it needs to win this war; it also means the Ukraine must become a member of NATO.

The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center convenes two panels of former senior US national security officials, as well as top experts on Russia, Ukraine, the transatlantic relationship, and NATO to discuss the authoritarian challenge that Russia and its allies pose to the US, NATO, and the West, and what should happen at the summit this summer to address the specifics of Putin’s revisionist agenda.


12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Registration and lunch (in-person attendees only)

Lunch available to in-person attendees only.

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Opening and keynote remarks 


General (ret.) Wesley Clark, Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe (VIRTUAL)

Ambassador John Herbst, Senior Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

The Hon. Mitch McConnell, United States Senator (R-KY); Minority Leader of the United States Senate (VIRTUAL) 

12:45 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. | Panel one | The strategic danger to the US, NATO, and the West: Russian revisionism and the authoritarian challenge


Christian Caryl, Former Editor with The Post’s Opinions Section, The Washington Post (VIRTUAL)

Ambassador John Herbst, Senior Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

Žygimantas Pavilionis, Member of the Lithuanian Seimas, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

Alina Polyakova, President and CEO, Center for European Policy Analysis

MODERATED BY: Andrew D’Anieri, Resident Fellow, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

1:40 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Fireside Chat


Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Former Secretary General of NATO; Former Prime Minister of Denmark (VIRTUAL)

Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine (VIRTUAL)

2:15 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. | Coffee Break 

Coffee break available to in-person attendees only.

2:25 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Keynote Remarks


The Rt. Hon. Liz Truss, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (VIRTUAL) 

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Panel two | The NATO-Ukraine relationship: Membership as the key to long-term stability in Europe


Debra Cagan, Senior Advisor, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

Ambassador Daniel Fried, Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council; Former US Ambassador to Poland

Alina Frolova, Deputy Chairperson, Center for Defense Strategies (VIRTUAL)

Ambassador William Taylor, Vice President, Russia and Europe, United States Institute of Peace

Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Distinguished Fellow, Eurasia Center, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Atlantic Council; Former Deputy Secretary General of NATO

MODERATED BY: Leah Scheunemann, Nonresident Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Atlantic Council

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Closing remarks


Ambassador John Herbst, Senior Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to promote policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.

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