Symposium tackles Ukraine war impacts on Kuwait, region

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Reconnaissance Research, French experts discuss visions and ideas in security

KUWAIT CITY, May 19: Reconnaissance Research on Tuesday hosted a closed symposium attended by French experts about the impacts of the Ukraine war on Kuwait and the region, in presence of HE French Ambassador to Kuwait Claire Le Flecher and a number of representatives of the French diplomatic mission. The symposium focused on visions and ideas presented by two key speakers: Dr. Pierre Razoux, Dr. Jean Baptiste.

Left: HE French Ambassador to Kuwait Claire Le Flecher, (right), Dr. Jean Baptiste and Dr. Pierre Razoux during the closed symposium hosted by Reconnaissance Research.

Both of them have long experience in the fields of security, defense and international relations. The conferees discussed the effects of global changes. triggered by the Russian war on Ukraine, on the Iranian nuclear deal.

The speakers pointed out that Iran would become a nuclear country by 2025, and that any future deal wouldn’t work out, considering that it is necessary to get ready to deal with a “nuclear Iran” even if this fact doesn’t appeal to the region’s countries.

The symposium stressed that there is European willingness to support Ukraine as much as possible, as Russian President Vladimir Putin bets on Europe’s impatience with the war effects due to its growing energy needs, especially during the coming winter. The speakers said that if the war doesn’t come to an end before winter, some European countries may change their mind, given pressing energy needs. Still, their stance wouldn’t matter so much nor would it reverse the equation in favor of the Russian side, regarded by the speakers as the loser so far due to failure to achieve its ends as scheduled.

The symposium considered that China, Turkey and India are key beneficiaries of the war since they have had unprecedented export opportunities, especially following Russia’s decision to suspend its exports of military supplies, spare parts and other strategic goods. The speakers noted that the need to have food, water and energy security has now become the core issue for all countries, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and then the Russian war on Ukraine.

Addressing the symposium, French Ambassador Claire Le Flecher said: “It is important for us to collaborate with independent think-tanks such as Reconnaissance Research to talk about many pressing issues, and Ukraine in this context is an important topic.” She also drew a comparison between the relevance of such discussions regarding Kuwait’s past with the Iraqi invasion. Support was given to Kuwait at that time, it needs to be given to Ukraine today.

On his part, Dr. Pierre Razoux, the Academic and Research Director of the FMES Institute, said: “This war has far more impacts than many people realize.” He also talked about the impact of the EU’s management of the Ukrainian crisis, creating challenges or burdens for China regarding its links with many states, especially GCC. Dr. Jean Baptiste Jeangène-Vilmer, director of the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM) at the French Ministry for the Armed Forces, said: “I strongly believe that the EU has both the will and ability to sustain its support for Ukraine even during the coming winter, when there will be more demand for energy.”

He also spoke about how the EU gathered together in unity to face this war and show its power of cohesion. Founder and CEO of Reconnaissance Research Abdulaziz Al-Anjeri said: “To have two prestigious French institutions (FMES) and (IRSEM) select Reconnaissance Research as a starting point for their inaugural activities in Kuwait, is a true honor.” He added: “the significance of this symposium stems from its main issue: the Russian war on Ukraine. And despite Europe being the hardest hit by this war, it is a global crisis, and no country seems to be far from being affected by its impacts.”

Participants pointed out that Russia is a superpower that has strong presence in the region and enjoys strategic relations with many countries here. The discussion listed the main impacts of this war as the surge in oil prices and disruption of international supply chains, underlining that it’s necessary to weigh all these dimensions with key research, academic and scientific experts only to get familiar with future scenarios and possible reflections on Kuwait and the region in general.

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