COMPASS Policy Forums

Minsk Dialogue Policy Forum: European Security: Stepping back from the Brink, 7th October 2019, Minsk, Belarus

7 – 8 October 2019 saw the 2nd year of the Minsk Dialogue Policy Forum, which was organised in partnership with the COMPASS project, the support from BSU and MFA. It attracted over 700 academics, policy-makers and practitioners from 61 countries, which is a 1.5 increase in interest and participation since 2018!

This year the forum focused on the theme of “European Security: Stepping back from the Brink”, covering relations with major powers, the role of international organisations, regional conflicts development across Central Eurasia, and relations between competing initiatives from the EU, EAEU and BRI [for full programme visit here]. COMPASS project hosted two plenaries – Plenary One “European Security: Can we stop confrontation?” with Viacheslav Nikonov, State Duma, Russian Federation; Dirk Wiese, Bundestag Germany; Istvan Balogh, State Secretary MFA, Hungary; Alexis Lamek, Deputy DG MFA France; Brad Freden Department of State USA; and Dr Huseynov, MFA Azerbaijan. Plenary Two focused on “EU-EAEU-BRI: Any real areas of mutual interest?”, hosting Lord Teverson, COMPASS AB member; Sun Li, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Alexey Gromyko, Institute of Europe RAS, Russia; Tony van der Togt, Clingendael, Netherlands; Suren Sargsyan, Armenia; and Eugene Chausovsky, Stratfor, USA. Furthermore, a special panel on “Central Asia: Security and power challenges in Wider Eurasia” brought together members of the COMPASS consortium including Shafag Mehraliyeva (ADA University); Aleksandr Baichorov (BSU); Nilufar Rakhmatullaeva and Alisher Rakhimov (UWED); Kholahmad Samieve (TNU), under the moderation of Roza Turarbekova (BSU).

The new feature of this year’s forum was the Future Leaders Session, bringing together 16 young participants from the COMPASS consortium (Kent, Cambridge, BSU, ADA University, TNU and UWED) and European Leadership Network. Our young leaders worked hard on their individual statements and a joint Declaration on the eve of the forum, which they presented at the opening of the Forum, describing major challenges for the regional security and their possible solutions. The session received positive feedback from the UK, EU and Russian Ambassadors – Their Excellences Jaqueline Perkins, Dirk Schuebel, and Dmitry Mezentsev – and Valery Varanetsky, MP Belarus. The Declaration will be included in the MD forum policy paper, to be disseminated to all major UK, EU and national stakeholders of the forum. For more information please visit the websites below.

Day 2 of the Forum included a presidential plenary, with President Lukashenko, Baroness Ashton and Mr Vershbov among others. Baroness Ashton, who also attended the Future Leaders Session earlier, was very pleased to have a photo with the COMPASS young leaders, after her morning speech.

Another year of success, and policy impact, translating COMPASS research into policy impact and outreach. Sincere thanks go to the MD organisers – Yauheni Preihermann and Artsiom Nazaranka from COMPASS BSU; all our Future leaders and Zach Paikin in particular; and of course COMPASS biggest supporters – Lord Teverson and HE Jaqueline Perkins!


For more information visit here:

Full details of media coverage

2018 – 2019 Academic Year

London Forum, 28 January 2019

On 28 January, the GCRF COMPASS project organised its landmark event – the London Forum. This event brought together high-ranking academics, including Vice-Chancellors and PVCs, and practitioners from Belarus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and UK Universities – Cambridge and Kent, to engage with UK government officials, policy-makers, funders and practitioners. The forum provided opportunities for networking, and exploring options for further cooperation on different levels of resilience-building – institutional, educational, community, economic, energy and security. The diverse and dynamic group of speakers and panellists provided an in-depth insight, as well as, actionable and practical tools for engagement. More information can be found here.

National Team Leaders share their reflections:

Prof Munira Shahidi, National Team Leader, TNU:   Artsiom Nazaranka, National Team Leader, BSU:
“As TNU team leader and professor in the Department of International Affairs, I was delighted to learn many things… Discussions in London Forum and FCO in particular opened for me new perspectives on research integration, as well as impact on governance and sustainable communities, in Tajikistan and wider. The most important realisation of all is that there is still curiosity and wish to understand and learn more about each other. I hope the Forum on intercultural communication in Tajikistan, which is planned in Dushanbe in 2020, will continue in that lively and open format”.   London Policy Forum, including the FCO was a great success too given level of participants and quality of discussions. It clearly brought right people from the right backgrounds in the right place and the right time! Special thanks for the level of Parliament involvement – simply great! – and for amount of opportunities for informal networking – cannot be overestimated! I’m particularly happy that London Forum was extended to also include visits of BSU Rector Professor Andrei Karol to our partner universities – Cambridge and Kent – to discuss details of further opportunities for cooperation. And while in Kent, a new Erasmus+ exchange agreement with Kent was signed! A huge success!”
Prof Sherzod Abdullaev, National Team Leader, UWED:    
On behalf of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the University of Kent, the University of Cambridge and all our partners in the COMPASS project for organising these fabulous events in Brussels and London. Even though, I could not take part in these special events due to my other prior commitments, I can sincerely assure you that I was with you in my spirit and thought. Our team members who visited Brussels and London underlined a great success of the held sessions in all possible respects”.    


1st Regional Policy Forum – Minsk Dialogue ‘In Search of Security for All’, 23 – 25 May 2018

Baroness Suttie Keynote speech a Minsk Dialogue Forum
COMPASS team and Advisory Board members at Minsk Dialogue

COMPASS also supported the Minsk Dialogue policy forum through a reception and participation of partner team members in a number of panel and break-out sessions as well as a keynote address by Baronnes Suttie, member of the House of Lords and the COMPASS Advisory Board. One of the core activities of the project is to maximise policy impact at regional and international levels and the forum attracted over 600 experts and policy-makers from 50 different countries. The Minsk Dialogue was opened by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei, and was attended by President Lukashenko, and major Ministers, and EU policy-makers. The project’s PI, Professor Korosteleva, was interviewed for a Prime Time National TV channel, of which an excerpt is available here.