Team Baltica


Prof Šarunas Liekis

Prof Šarunas Liekis is specializing is Middle East and East Central European Affairs. The researcher is capable of conducting research and participating in the projects  also to conduct applied research – providing results for academia, governmental institutions and NGO’s. Prof. Šarūnas Liekis has been working at Vytautas Magnus University since 2010: he is the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy, member of the faculty Council, Professor at the Dept. of Political Science, and member of VMU Senate.His research priorities include history, political science, minorities, religion politics, ego-documentation. His courses at VMU include Comparative Public Politics, Ethnicity and International Relations, Political Ideologies, etc. Prof. Liekis holds lectures, consults students, participates in the defence of theses and dissertations at universities of Lithuania and abroad (in Lund, Uppsala, Paris, Constanța, Warsaw, etc.).

Prof. Šarūnas Liekis has served inter alia as an expert for the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) at the Council of Europe (since 2002) in Strasburg, France. He is also member of various workgroups of research and consulting in Lithuania and abroad. Prof. Liekis has experience in preparation, coordination and management of scientific research. In addition to conducting research, he also takes part in exchange programmes, vocational training and qualification raising courses. He was awarded research scholarships in the USA, Great Britain and Israel. The professor has published 2 monographs, 3 studies and over 40 scientific articles. Since 2010 Prof. Liekis is Chairman of executive group of national project Tauta Ir Valstybė (The Nation and the State) under the Research Council of Lithuania


Prof Andris Sprūds

Andris Sprūds is the director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. He also holds the position of professor at Riga Stradins University. Andris Spruds has an MA in Central European History from the CEU in Budapest, Hungary and in International Relations from University of Latvia. He has also obtained a PhD in Political Science from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Andris Spruds has been a visiting student and scholar at Oxford, Uppsala, Columbia and Johns Hopkins University, as well as the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics. His research interests focus on energy security and policy in the Baltic Sea region, the domestic and foreign policy of post-Soviet countries, and transatlantic relations.


Dr Gintaras Šumkas

Dr Gintaras Šumskas is a Research Director at Vilnius Institute for Political Analysis and an assistant professor at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas. Gintaras has an experience is both academic and applied research and has an extensive expertise in research methods. Scientist specializes in the fields of voting behaviour, political communication, political elite studies and European studies.




Vlad Alex Vernygora

Vlad Alex Vernygora is a DSocSc candidate at the University of Lapland (Finland) and lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Law (School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia).  He is an alumnus of Yaroslav Mudry National Law University (Ukraine) and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Vlad is one of the leading promoters of Asia-Pacific Studies in the Baltics and Nordics. His research interests include contemporary political empires, Europe’s interactions with the Asia-Pacific, the EU and its neighborhood, and the Belt and Road Initiative. In the period from 2014 until 2017, Vlad was managing the operational side of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme Project “NATO Global Perceptions – Views from the Asia-Pacific Region”. In March 2018, Vlad was issued an Exequatur from the Estonian MFA in confirmation of his appointment as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji in Tallinn with jurisdiction throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Estonia.


Vineta Kleinberga

Vineta Kleinberga is a research fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) since September 2018 and a researh fellow at Riga Stradins University since February 2019. She is an expert on EU issues, focusing on the dynamics of EU integration and Latvia’s membership in the EU, and devoting particular interest to EU’s institutional and policy developments. She has ten years long experience in the government sector, working with the EU legislation and regulations, and elaboration and coordination of national strategies and positions on the EU issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. She was involved in the preparation of the Work programme of the Latvian EU Presidency in 2015 and organisation of presidency events in Riga. As well, she has commented on EU developments and has been a lecturer on the EU integration, institutions and policies. She holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the Central European University in Budapest and has studied at the Copenhagen Business School. She also has previous work experience in Transparency International Latvia, the Riga Graduate School of Law, Riga Stradins University, and the Institute of Economics of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.


Elizabete Vizgunova-Vikmane

Elizabete Vizgunova-Vikmane is a Researcher at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. She is a holder of an MA European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe; and an MA International Security from Sciences Po-Paris School of International Affairs. Elizabete has previously worked with the Latvian Ministry of Defence, European Union Institute for Security Studies, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, inter alia.



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