One of the central topics debated at the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC) was the crisis in Ukraine and its impact on Europe’s security architecture. Adding some drama to the event was Chancellor Merkel’s and President Hollande’s February 4-5 visits to Kyiv and Moscow, with another round of talks in Minsk scheduled for February 11. Other key issues discussed at length were the situation in the Middle East, the fight against terrorism, the global refuges crisis, and climate change. American officials attending included Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke on February 7, and Secretary John Kerry, who took part in a panel discussion on February 8 with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. US officials from the Departments of State and Defense, plus other agencies, took part in a dizzying number of bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral meetings and various other events during the conference. A large delegation from the U.S. Congress also participated in MSC2015.
Before the official opening, 160 people took part in a youth event on February 5 entitled “Privacy, Security, and You!” which included the US State Department’s Cyber Coordinator Chris Painter among others.