The second day of TO BE SECURE (2BS) Forum started with a presidential discussion entitled „“AGAINST THE INSIDIOUS WILES OF FOREIGN INFLUENCE, THE JEALOUSY OF A FREE PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE CONSTANTLY AWAKE”. This panel was moderated by the President of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Dr. Savo Kentera. The panelists were H.E. Mrs. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia, H.E. Mr. Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro and H.E. Mr. Borut Pahor, President of Slovenia. H.E. Mrs. Grabar-Kitarović said that Montenegro will join NATO this year despite the obstacles it had and thus it is an exceptionally good example to all the countries of SEE. She added that she believes, although Montenegro will still have obstacles, its Euroatlantic path has been paved. H.E. Mr. Vujanović emphasized that by accessing NATO, Montenegro has met its constitutional requirement. Also, he said that upon joining NATO, we are much closer to the EU, as well as that Euroatlantic integration of Montenegro is not a process against anyone, but a strategic goal. H.E. Mr. Pahor stated that Montenegrin NATO membership is an optimistic sign of peace and stability in SEE and that it proves that things are possible. He also added that reconciliation is one of the key processes in order for people to see Euroatlantic integration process as “hope” and not as “fear”.
PANEL IV: “SHAKING THE WEB OF ALLIANCES: TURKEY, RUSSIA AND THE WEST”
The fourth panel, under the title “SHAKING THE WEB OF ALLIANCES: TURKEY, RUSSIA AND THE WEST”, was moderated by Mr. Darren Evans, CEO of Julius Management and Advisory Group, while the panelists were Amb. Dr. David Shahnazaryan, Senior Analyst at the Regional Studies Center (RSC) in Armenia, Amb. Alper Coşkun, Director General for International Security Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Dr. Ariel Cohen, Director of the Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of USA. Amb. Dr. Shahnazaryan pointed out that Russia and Turkey have contradicted opinions and that in this situation, the USA can give some guarantees to Turkey. Dr. Cohen stated that this is a historic moment, when NATO and EU institutions are being tried. Dr. Coşkun emphasized that EU membership continues to be a strategic priority for Turkey, as well as that, in cooperation with Russia, Turkey might be able to change the destiny of the region, but with the US and its allies on board.
PANEL V: “MEDIA IN THE POST-TRUTH ERA: RETHINKING DEMOCRACY AND SECURITY”
The moderator of the last panel under the title “MEDIA IN THE POST-TRUTH ERA: RETHINKING DEMOCRACY AND SECURITY” was Mr. Brent Sadler, Ex Reporter, CNN, while panelists were Amb. Miodrag Vlahović, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Mrs. Tinatin Khidasheli, Former Minister of Defense of Georgia, Mr. Robert Pszczel, Public Diplomacy Division, Dr. Michael Carpenter, Senior Director, Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, Dr. Gregory Simons, Associate Professor, Uppsala Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Sweden. Amb. Vlahović said that the Russians have not understood entirely that we are truly serious about Euroatlantic integration. Mrs. Khidasheli pointed out that ordinary people do not understand and do not know anymore what to believe in and added that fighting fake news with propaganda is wrong. On the topic of media in the post-truth era, Mr. Pszczel said that we hear at least one or two disinformation pieces on a daily basis. Dr. Carpenter emphasized that we need an independent Ombudsman-like organization, composed of reliable media outlets. Finally, Dr. Simons added that due to fragmented news, Russia is not seen as an enemy, but as an ally.