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The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine: A Crisis Or An Opportunity For German Foreign Policy?

May 13, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Germany has made a dramatic shift in its foreign, defense, and energy policy as a direct result of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. After decades of Ostpolitik (a foreign policy of détente toward the Soviet Union and then Russia) and Wandel durch Handel (or “change through trade”), we have seen a major pivot in German policy toward Russia. But, is it here to stay? And, to what degree to Germany’s stance toward Moscow help Putin launch the current conflict?

Join us for a hybrid event with senior German diplomat Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, who served as the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) from 2008 until 2022 and is now President of the Foundation Council of the Munich Security Conference Foundation.

Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger was the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) from 2008 until 2022 and is now President of the Foundation Council of the Munich Security Conference Foundation. Additionally, he teaches at the Hertie School in Berlin as Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice. He advises the private sector, governments, and international organizations on strategic issues.

Ambassador Ischinger began his career in 1973 in the cabinet of the UN Secretary-General in New York. In 1975, he joined the Federal Republic of Germany’s Foreign Service. In 1993, he was named Director of Policy Planning, and in 1995 Political Director. In this role, he led the German delegations during the Bosnian Peace negotiations in Dayton/Ohio in 1995, the negotiations on the NATO-Russia Founding Act in 1996/1997, and during the Kosovo crisis in 1998/99. In October 1998, he was appointed State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) of the German Federal Foreign Office. From 2001 to 2006, he served as German Ambassador in Washington, DC, and, from 2006 to 2008, in London. In 2007, he also represented the EU in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo.

In 2014, Ambassador Ischinger served as the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-In-Office in the Ukraine crisis. In 2015, he chaired the OSCE-mandated “Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project” tasked with providing advice on how to build a more resilient European security architecture.

Ambassador Ischinger serves as a member of a number of non-profit boards, including the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the American Academy Berlin, and Dialogue Europe Russia (DER) as well as the Atlantik-Brücke, the Yalta European Strategy Group (YES) as well as the Atlantic Council, Washington D.C. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). He also serves on the Supervisory Board of Hensoldt AG and on the International Advisory Board of Investcorp, London.

Wolfgang Ischinger studied law at the universities of Bonn and Geneva and obtained his law degree in 1972.  He earned a MA degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and did postgraduate work at Harvard Law School. He is married to author and journalist Jutta Falke-Ischinger, and has three children. He is a licensed skiing instructor and loves mountaineering and hunting.


May 13, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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