How Russia and others are exploiting global crises – the national security risks and economic opportunities

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  • Sir Laurie Bristow, former UK Ambassador to Russia and Afghanistan and Russia expert;
  • Camilla Toulmin, former Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Africa expert;
  • Wangari Muchiri, renewable energy engineer and energy planning expert based in Kenya.

About: 2022 has seen the world rocked by war, weather extremes and a gas crisis. Nations in North and Central Africa, on Europe’s doorstep, and many with complex post-colonial ties to Europe, include some of the poorest and least stable countries in the world. Climate impacts, famine, displacement of people and terrorist groups exacerbate instability and push some to the brink of failure as functioning states.

With Russian mercenaries active in parts of the Sahel region following withdrawal of French forces, are foreign powers stoking instability on more than one of Europe’s doorsteps? How close are countries to the brink? What risks does this pose to UK national security and where do our interests lie? How could the UK seek to work with others to offer support and investment, to help bring greater stability on the region? And what are the economic opportunities for investment in a young continent with new leaders talking of leapfrogging fossil fuels in the transition to a clean future?

If you would like to attend the briefing, or have any questions about it, please contact George Smeeton:, t: +44 (0)7894 571 153 or Gareth Redmond-King, International Lead, ECIU, email:, Tel: 07971 009 558