Autor - European Values

Prague Declaration on seven urgent steps proposed by Western security experts

“How the democratic West should stop Putin”

organized by the European Values Think-Tank

Source: President of Russia

About The Prague Declaration

The Prague Declaration presents seven urgent steps that Western liberal-democratic states must undertake to halt Russian aggression.  Thus far, the response to this threat has been weak due to the enduring failure of a significant contingent of the Western political establishment to understand the Kremlin’s hostile intentions.

More than 65 European and American security experts and parliamentarians from 21 countries have signed this public call, which urges Western leaders such as EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to openly name Russia as the chief source of hostile disinformation and to take practical steps in mitigating this threat, for example by tripling the capacity of the EEAS East STRATCOM Team.

The signatories of this Declaration represent all major sectors of the Western political and security establishment: they include, among others, a Vice President of the European Parliament, a chief architect of the Magnitsky Act, the former Director of Government Communications for the Office of Finland’s Prime Minister, and the former President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The signatories also include the leaders of major think tanks: among others, the Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, the UK Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, the Polish Institute of International Affairs, the Estonian International Centre for Defence and Security, the French Center for Study and Research on Political Decision, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, European Values Think-Tank, the Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute, and the Latvian National Defence Academy.

The Declaration

The bellicose actions of the Russian Federation are unprecedented in post-Cold War history. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia is responsible for the first annexation of territory by force in Europe since World War II, constant violations of other countries’ borders and airspace, the kidnapping of foreign citizens, unrivalled use of disinformation, the bribing of politicians, the provision of direct financial and logistical support to extremist and paramilitary groups, hostile interference in democratic elections, and consistent cyber-attacks. Most egregious of all is Russia’s culpability in the deaths of more than 10,000 Ukrainians fighting to defend their country against Russian invasion.

However, despite these atrocities and Moscow’s unapologetic truculence, the response on part of Western democracies has been mostly anaemic. Indeed, many Western voices continue to advocate appeasement of the Kremlin, for example on grounds of maintaining cooperation in the fight against terrorism, despite all evidence indicating that Russia has no interest in genuine cooperation on this front. In many countries, there is a prevailing desire to continue ‘business as usual’ with Russia, despite the thousands killed by Putin’s war in Ukraine and despite the danger that such acquiescence poses to the safety of our democracies.

Let us be clear: Vladimir Putin is leading a campaign of harassment and intimidation against the liberal-democratic West and those wishing to join it. While much of the Western political establishment stands idly by, the Russian leadership is playing ‘divide and conquer’ across the Euro-Atlantic region, targeting different countries with sticks or carrots based on their relations with Moscow. While some countries face coercion and intimidation tactics, others are lured by promises of favourable energy or trade deals if they adopt more anti-Western and anti-democratic positions. Across the board, however, our countries are under attack by a combination of espionage, corruption, organized crime, and relentless, multi-faceted disinformation campaigns aimed at fracturing our societies from within.

While the United States is currently investigating Russian penetration of its most sacrosanct democratic institution – the federal election process – no such investigation of the Kremlin’s hostile influence has been initiated in Europe, despite numerous cases of blatant Russian meddling, namely in the Dutch and Italian referendums, Brexit, the French and German elections, and, most recently, the Catalan referendum. In all of these cases, Russian involvement has been aimed at undermining the democratic process and fuelling chaos, polarization, and discord within society. NATO and the EU are the Kremlin’s primary targets in this endeavour; the break-up of the transatlantic alliance is Vladimir Putin’s ultimate geopolitical objective. Yet for all this, the counterstrategies of both NATO and the EU remain troublingly inadequate, indicating a broad institutional failure to understand and grasp the urgency of the threat.

Accordingly, the signatories of this Declaration call upon Western leaders to undertake the following seven steps to counter Russian aggression and secure the stability and vigour of liberal democratic societies:


Vladimir Putin’s Russia poses a major threat to Western democracies. The Kremlin’s use of subversive tools and tactics to exercise hostile influence over the internal affairs of democratic countries is unacceptable and must be countered with resolute defensive actions to deter further aggression. So far, such substantial countermeasures are non-existent. If Moscow remains undeterred, additional sanctions targeting members of the Russian elite’s inner circle should be imposed to increase pressure on the leadership. Currently, the lack of punitive measures is an invitation for the Kremlin to continue or potentially ramp up its offensive.


Beyond the ongoing stream of anti-Western disinformation narratives stemming from Russia, the Kremlin also employs temporary, intense campaigns to influence national elections and referenda in Western countries. In this context, national parliaments should form investigative panels to collect and publicise evidence of Moscow’s disinformation and influence operations. Transparency is the best tool that democracies have at their disposal: thus, full disclosure of Russia’s subversive efforts is the most effective – and also legitimate – way to inform the public about this threat.


EU member states should jointly conduct targeted research (e.g., through detailed polling) to obtain data about which demographic groups typically believe the Kremlin’s disinformation narratives. Only such comparative and in-depth exercises can expose the reach of Moscow’s efforts to sway public opinion.


The EEAS East STRATCOM Task Force, established by EU leaders two years ago to counter Russian disinformation campaigns, remains gravely understaffed, with only three national experts focusing on the crucial task of Europe’s defence against Russian hostile influence. These three experts – who are paid by their home states rather than by the EEAS – alone cannot fulfil the tasks set forth by the European Council. Accordingly, the EEAS should triple the capacity of the Task Force so that it has the resources to fulfil its mandate. Indeed, given the extant staff size and budget of the EEAS, it is reasonable to request the addition of at least seven additional experts who would be paid from the EEAS budget. The EEAS East STRATCOM Task Force has established itself as a highly specialised expert pillar in Europe and is widely respected within Western intelligence and security circles. This unit should therefore be transformed from a temporary assignment into a permanent EEAS structure and receive at least one million Euros for targeted research. Similar allied structures exist to coordinate messaging vis-à-vis ISIS; a similar structure should now be put in place to counter pro-Kremlin disinformation.


Despite the gravity of the threat, few Western political leaders have openly identified the Kremlin as the aggressor. For example, Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, has spent the last two years endeavouring to avoid naming Russia as the primary source of hostile disinformation within the EU. Crucially, if Europe wants to defeat this threat, its leaders must confront it head on: the Russian leadership must hear European representatives declare that its subversive efforts will not be tolerated. 


Although at least twelve EU member states consider Russian hostile influence to be a serious threat, they have so far failed to work effectively as a coalition. However, this threat can only be defeated through collective action: as such, these countries must set up mechanisms such as cross-border working groups to develop and implement concrete countermeasures (e.g., message coordination).


Thus far, information-sharing between EU member states has been sparse. Central and Eastern European governments and civil society groups must actively deliver lessons learnt from their experiences of countering Moscow’s hostile influence operations to Western European countries, where the understanding of this threat is comparatively limited. Moreover, while an expert community on Russian influence and disinformation operations is emerging in Europe and the United States, it is essential to deliver rudimentary knowledge about threat assessment, the Kremlin’s and its proxies’ modus operandi, and viable policy options to people beyond the specialist community. In-depth training programmes and briefings for non-specialists in government and the wider political establishment, as well as in the media and non-profit sector, are greatly needed.

List of signatories:

  • Ackerman Galia , PhD, Chief of the Russian Bureau of Politique Internationale (review), France
  • Agov Yordan, Vice-Chairman of Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria in Sofia
  • Altau Karl, Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC)
  • Anda Burve – Rozite, Journalist,
  • Andrei Kovalev, PhD History, Author of Russia’s Dead End: An Insider’s Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin
  • Andrikienė Laima Liucija, Member of the European Parliament, Lithuania
  • Aro Jessikka, Investigative journalist, Finland
  • Assenov Plamen, independеnt bulgarian journalist and writer, author of many political analyses of the treaty from Russia
  • Bahovski Erkki, The ICDS, the editor of Diplomaatia
  • Baublys Artūras, Art2B, Public Establishment, Director
  • Berzins Janis, Director at the Center for Security and Strategic Research, National Defence Academy, Latvia
  • Berzins Valdis, Latvijas Avize daily, foreign news editor
  • Blank Senior Stephen, Fellow, American Foreign Policy Council, USA
  • Boháček Petr, Director, European Security Journal, Czech Republic
  • Boyadzhiev Georgi, Scale Focus AD, Bulgaria
  • Browder Bill,  Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital, UK
  • Buziashvili Eto, Programs Director, Georgian Strategic Analysis Center, Georgia
  • Coynash Halya, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Ukraine
  • Čelutka Simas, Director of European Security Programme, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, Lithuania
  • Čižik Tomáš, Director, Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs, Slovakia
  • D’Urso Dario , Director, EuropeNext
  • Dal Re Maurizio , Cyber Security Expert, Italy
  • Dalia Bankauskaite, Media Program Director, Vilnius Institute of Policy Analysis
  • Dalziel Stephen, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Statecraft
  • Dębski Sławomir, Director, The Polish Institute of International Affairs, Poland
  • Emek Patrick, Author, Analyst & Blogger, Fellow (Retired) Atlantic Council
  • Engelen Kurt, Euro Atlantic Association of Belgium, Vice president
  • Evgenidze Nino, Economic Policy Research Center – Executive Director
  • Eyal Jonathan, Associate Director, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, UK
  • Fedchenko Yevhen, Co-founder,, Ukraine
  • Fleischer Pawel, President & CEO of the Institute for Forecasting and International Studies
  • Foley John, US Army, LTC, (Retired)
  • Fota Iulian, former national security adviser to the President of Romania,  signing in personal capacity, Romania
  • Freudenstein Roland, Policy Director, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Belgium
  • Furmonavicius Darius, Lithuanian Research Centre, UK
  • Gaprindashvili Paata, Director, Georgia´s Reforms Associates, Georgia
  • Garmash Anna, President, Ukraine Action, Ukraine
  • Gedmin Jeffrey, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University, former President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, USA
  • Gerber Simon, President of, Switzerland
  • Gonchar Mykhailo, President, Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’, Ukraine
  • Gonchar Mykhailo, President, Centre for Global Studies ‘Strategy XXI’, Ukraine
  • Grant Glen, Member Reform Office MOD Ukraine
  • Gressel Gustav C., PhD, Senior Policy Fellow, Wider Europe Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Grigoryan Stepan, Chairman of the Board, Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Armenia
  • Gvineria Shota, Deputy Secretary, National Security Council, Georgia
  • Gyori Lorant, analyst, Political Capital Institute, Hungary
  • Haigh Maria, Associate professor, University of Wisconsin
  • Christoph Müller, BigBand of the German Armed Forces, StaffSergeant
  • Ivanov Plamen, Atlantic Council of Bulgaria
  • Jakóbik Wojciech, Energy analyst, Poland
  • Kamiński Krzysztof, President, Warsaw Institute, Poland
  • Kasciunas, Laurynas, Member of Parliament, Lithuania
  • Kasparov Garry ,  human rights activist, Russia
  • Kelam Tunne, European Parliament, Member from Estonia
  • Keršanskas Vytautas, Deputy director, Eastern Europe Studies Centre
  • Kestutis Eidukonis J., World Lithuanian Community/Lithuanian Parliament Commission member, Lithuania
  • Khylko Maksym, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board, East European Security Research Initiative Foundation, Ukraine
  • Kintsurashvili Tamar, Media Development Foundation, Georgia
  • Kirchick  James, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution, USA
  • Kobosko Michal, Director, Poland Office, Atlantic Council, Poland
  • Kolář Petr, former Deputy Foreign Minister and four-time Ambassador, Czech Republic
  • Kolga Marcus, Senior Fellow, MacDonald-Laurier Institute Centre for Advancing Canada’s Interests Abroad
  • Kovacevic Milica, Center for Democratic Transition, Montenegro, President
  • Kreko Peter, Director, Political Capital Institute, Hungary
  • Kross Eerik-Niiles, Former Intelligence Chief, current Member of Parliament, Estonia
  • Kudors Andis, Executive Director, Centre for East European Policy Studies, Latvia
  • Kwasiborski Matthew, European Institutes Director
  • Lavreniuk Andrii, UKRINFORM’s Staff Correspondent in Belgium, Ukraine
  • Lednik Ihar, Civic online initiative “Europe without dictatorships!”
  • Loskutovs, Aleksejs, Member of Parliament, Latvia
  • Lozowy Ivan, Movement to Fight Corruption, Chairman of the Board
  • Magdin  Radu, international analyst, former prime ministerial advisor in Romania, Romania
  • Malakov Petko, Soldier BG ARMY
  • Malinionis Vaidotas, National Defense Foundation, Lithuania
  • Maliukevicius Nerijus, researcher, IIRPS, Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Manolov Nikolay, Dobson|DaVanzo LLC, Senior Scientist
  • Mantila Markku, former Director of Government Communications at Prime Ministers Office,
  • Marin Danu, Foreign Policy Association of Moldova
  • McKew Molly , information operations expert, USA
  • Mesik Juraj, civic activist, Slovakia
  • Mezřický Václav, emeriti docent Faculty of Law Charles University Prague
  • Milic Jelena, Director, Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies, Serbia
  • Miliute Rita, Journalist, Lithuania
  • Milo Daniel, Head of STRATCOM Initiative, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Slovakia
  • Moser Michael, University of Vienna (Austria), Professor
  • Naď Jaroslav, Director, Slovak Security Studies Institute, Slovakia
  • Naydenov Mihail, Defense and International Security expert, Atlantic Council of Bulgaria
  • Nicolini Mario, Founder & Honorary President, Euro-Atlantic Center, Slovakia
  • Niland Paul, Founder, Statement Email, Ukraine
  • Novak Andrej Ferdinand, European Cosmopolitan Consulting, Senior Consultant
  • Novotný Vít, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Senior Research Officer
  • O’Connell Evan,  Senior Associate, Aspect Consulting, France
  • Panyi Szabolcs, journalist, and, Hungary
  • Pedersen Kim Bjarne, Writer and human rights activist, Denmark
  • Pelczynska-Nalecz KATARZYNA, Stefan Batory Foundation
  • Philippe de Lara, Assistant professor of political science at Paris 2 university (Paris)
  • Poche Miroslav, MEP, Czech Republic
  • Popescu Liliana, SNSPA University, Bucharest
  • Porchkhidze Irakli, Vice-president, Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies, Georgia
  • Potekhin Dmytro, Nonviolent.Solutions, Ukraine
  • Potiekhin Principal Oleksandr, researcher, Institute of World History, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
  • Przybylski Wojciech, Visegrad Insight, Res Publica
  • Rebecca Harms, Member of European Parliament
  • Reichardt Adam, Editor-in-Chief, New Eastern Europe, Poland
  • Rey Marcin, Blogger, Rosyjska V Kolumna w Polsce, Poland
  • Rimantas Kraujalis, Chairman of the Council, Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Roháč Dalibor, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, USA
  • Rusev Dimitar, Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria, Chief Expert
  • Sakalauskas Giedrius, Direktor, Res Publika, Lithuania
  • Samadashvili Salome, MP, Parliament of Georgia, Deputy Chair, Committee on Foreign Relations
  • Sanchez Elisa, Autonoma
  • Saryusz-Wolski Jacek, MEP, Poland
  • Seely Robert , MBE MP, Member of Parliament, Isle of Wight
  • Shymko Lisa, President, Ukraine Support Fund (Canada & Ukraine)
  • Schindler John, former NSA analyst, USA
  • Smolar Eugeniusz, – Senior Fellow, Centre for International Relations, Poland
  • Spolitis Veiko, Parliament dof the Republic of Latvia / MP
  • Stollmeyer Alice, Founder & Director, Defending Democracy, Belgium
  • Suprun Marko, Patriot Defence NGO, Acting Director
  • Szigetvári Viktor, Head of the Party Parliament, Együtt (Together) Party
  • Szymańska – Klich Anna, Foundation Institute for Strategic Studies, Chairman of the Board
  • Szyszko Jan, Polityka Insight, European Affairs Analyst
  • Štětina Jaromír , MEP, Vice-Chair of Subcommittee on Security and Defence
  • Tabliashvili Irakli, – web page. VOICE FROM GEORGIA. DIRECTOR
  • Tatham Steve, Director Influence Options Ltd, Associate Fellow Strategy & Security Institute, University of Exeter, UK
  • Telička Pavel , MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Czech Republic
  • Tenzer  Nicolas, Chairman of Center for Study and Research on Political Decision, Guest Professor at Sciences Po Paris, France
  • Teperik Dmitri, Chief Executive, International Centre for Defense and Security, Estonia
  • Toque Mehedao Jesús, Secretary, Unión Europea y Política Geoestratética
  • Tretyak Leon, SBS Radio, Sydney. Producer.
  • Troebst Stefan, Leipzig University, Germany
  • Tudor Radu, Political and Military Analyst, Antena 3 TV, Romania
  • Umland Andreas, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kyiv
  • VaidereInese, Member of the European Parliament, Latvia
  • Valcárcel Siso Ramón Luis, Vice-President of the European Parliament
  • Vasiloi  Rosian,   signing in personal capacity, security studies expert, former Deputy Head of the Border Police Department, Republic of Moldova
  • Vassilev Ilian, Former Ambassador of Bulgara to Russia – 2000-2006
  • Végh Edvárd, chairman, Democrats Party (Hungary)
  • Vichev Dimitrin, Atlantic Council of Bulgaria – Co-president & CEO
  • Vilu Raivo, Professor, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Former MP, German Parliament
  • Vogel Nathalie, independent analyst, Germany
  • Wetzel Iryna, Board Member of, Switzerland
  • Wićaz Stanij, European Values Think Tank, Intern
  • Wierzejski Antoni, Analyst, Centre for International Relations, Poland
  • Wyciszkiewicz Ernest, director, Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding, Poland
  • Yordanov Alexander, Chairman of the 36th National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria
  • Young Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, Defence & Security Analysis
  • Zala Boris, MEP, Slovakia
  • Zelienkova Kristyna, former Czech MP, author of the report Political consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine

Coordinator of this Declaration

Jakub Janda

Head of the Kremlin Watch Program

Sign the Prague Declaration


Public debates on disinformation

We would like to invite you to two public debates on the topic of disinformation:

How can democratic nations defend their sovereignty from hostile foreign interference?

  • With Edward Lucas and Jakub Kalenský

Russian influence efforts under spotlight

  • With Veka Modebadze and Lyuba Tsibulska


Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Nad štolou 936/3, 170 34 Praha 7-Holešovice


[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”program”]


Please, register here:


Kremlin Watch Reader 2017

The Kremlin Watch Team monitors on weekly basis scientific publications in the field of disinformation and hostile Russian influence. The following reader brings you the most interesting analyses in this area, which we read in the year 2017. The reader can serve as a tool for acquiring a broader view on the subject, though of course, it is not complete or exhaustive. Číst dále

State of the Czech disinformation community in 2017

The following Kremlin Watch Report deals with the activities of the Czech disinformation community. Specifically, it provides an overview of the key systematic findings about Czech disinformation outlets based on investigations into the topic carried out by the Kremlin Watch Program since November 2015. Therefore, it is not an in-depth research into individual cases, nor an overview of the whole disinformation scene, which includes non-governmental organisations, informal groups on social media, politicians and other entities. It is rather a brief excursion into the topic with some examples of the most powerful and active disinformation outlets and their practice. It will mostly serve to those exploring the topic, and it will also provide a general overview to all who are not yet aware how the Czech local disinformation scene works. Given the fact that the report deals with an issue that is dynamic and volatile, general trends that are identified in this report might slowly change depending on the receptivity of the Czech public to disinformation. The full report is available in PDF. Číst dále

Contact us

For comments related to content or media inquiries, please contact Deputy Director of European Values Think-Tank Jakub Janda at janda(at)

For Monitor suggestions or technical comments, please contact Kremlin Watch analyst Veronika Víchová at vichova(at)