Lowy Institute unpack Ukraine crisis Moriah Foundation Lowy Institute Dinner

June 10, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Moriah Foundation and Foundation Circle Members attended the annual Moriah Foundation Lowy Institute Dinner with Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow, Dr Bobo Lo, in conversation with Lowy Institute Executive Director, Dr Michael Fullilove, discussing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact on global security.

Dr Michael Fullilove and Dr Bobo Lo

Bobo is an award-winning Chinese Australian writer and foreign policy expert. He served as a diplomat in Moscow and was the Director of the Russian and China Program at the Centre for European Reform.

Foundation President Judy Lowy thanked members for supporting The Moriah Foundation to assist as many children as possible to receive a Moriah education. Judy then shared her reflections from her recent visit to Warsaw and Ukraine, and the incredible support the Jewish Agency is providing to this war-torn region. “I felt such an overwhelming feeling of pride and admiration in seeing how Israel has responded to this terrible situation.”

Michael Fullilove provided an overview of the huge challenges the Australian Government is facing including dealing with the new international disorder. “In Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified, brutal invasion of Ukraine, we have perhaps the biggest discontinuity in the international system since the Second World War.”

Regarding why Russia invaded Ukraine, Bobo explained that Putin wants to crush the idea of a sovereign independent Ukraine, revise the post-cold war settlement in Europe and overturn any semblance of rules-based international order globally.

Bobo expressed his surprise at the weakness of Russia’s military. “We always knew that Putin’s Russia was a dysfunctional State… that it was a country without mates with the arguable exception of China.” Bobo shared that he was also surprised by the strength of Western unity, but questions how resilient the Western solidarity will be in the face of soaring inflation and other urgent priorities, particularly in light of Russia’s durability.

In discussing Israel’s interest in this conflict Bobo noted that Israel is treading a thin line, trying to sustain a pragmatic relationship with Putin’s Russia so it doesn’t disrupt Israel’s security. On the other hand, Israel has a flourishing democracy and believes in civilized behaviour and most Israelis condemn the invasion.

In regard to China, Bobo said, “The Chinese are trying to be as loud as possible about its support of Russia while doing as little as possible in terms of material assistance. It has shown that this ‘no limits friendship’ is actually a friendship with very profound limitations.”

The evening concluded with Bobo answering questions on the impact of economic sanctions, NATO’s role, America’s likely involvement, life after the conflict, effectiveness of the information war, likelihood that Putin will use nuclear weapons and the effect of the diminishing morale among Russia’s soldiers and inner circle.

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