Who is Jan Balliauw?
Jan was a regular visitor to the Soviet Union, even back in the Communism era. His job was to produce reports for the Dutch public broadcaster, VPRO radio. As a correspondent in Saint Petersburg and Moscow for Flemish public broadcaster VRT, he took a front-row seat for the break-up of the Soviet Union.
He experienced how Russia evolved from a potential partner for the West into an unreliable neighbour. Thanks to countless reports from all parts of Russia, but also from Kiev, East Ukraine, Crimea and former war zones in the former Yugoslavia, he is a leading specialist when it comes to East-West relations. However, Jan also pays very close attention to the geopolitical twists and turns caused by the election of President Trump, and warns of an uncertain future for Western Europe.
Jan has written about his experience as ‘special correspondent’ for radio and TV in a book, and also produced an impressive TV documentary for the VRT about the state of affairs 20 years after the break-up of the Soviet Union. But he also likes to treat live audiences to his insights into the recent political history of the European continent. Even though this report may not be very reassuring to our small countries, it is certainly a fascinating experience.