Toward an Understanding of Russia: New European Perspectives

Toward an Understanding of Russia: New European Perspectives

Toward an Understanding of Russia: New European Perspectives

Toward an Understanding of Russia: New European Perspectives

Synopsis

If Russia veers toward instability or a more severe dictatorship under President Vladimir Putin, the threat to its neighbors could be severe. To understand Russias unsteady evolution, the Council on Foreign Relations organized an innovative international conference with analysts from the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.

Excerpt

On September 6–7, 2001, the Council on Foreign Relations organized an innovative international conference in Washington, D.C. The two-day meeting was truly international in its scope and content, not simply because Europeans were present but because the conference itself was designed as a forum for Central Europeans from the new democracies to analyze Russia and to help Americans better understand developments under President Vladimir Putin.

The conference was the key component of a project sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation and intended to expose U.S. policymakers and analysts to central and east European (CEE) insights on Russian domestic and foreign policy. The conference organizers gathered a broad array of speakers representing a number of prominent policy institutes from Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Estonia, and the Czech Republic—countries that neighbor Russia and have experienced Moscow’s policy more directly than their west European counterparts. This report is a product of the initial papers produced by the panelists, the ensuing discussions and inputs from conference participants, and important updates since the proceedings concluded.

The Council’s conference had two specific objectives. The first was to encourage and promote central and east European input into U.S. policymaking toward Russia and toward the wider region. Such an input is both timely and important given the new administration in Washington and the necessity of gaining a clearer focus on the nature of the Putin government.

The second objective was to help in the development of closer ties between scholars, policy analysts, and policymakers on both sides of the . . .

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