Russia: Partner or Adversary?

November 24, 2008

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Ambassador Elizabeth Jones

One of the key difficulties facing Europe and the United States is how to deal with Russia, as the current conflict in Georgia makes abundantly clear. Obstacles abound: Russia's new president complains about Russia's “legal nihilism,” but seems unable to change the Putin culture of political interference in the oil and gas sectors; Russia reacts angrily when a NATO future for Ukraine or Georgia is mentioned and has been acerbic about Bush administration plans for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. What happened to the “peace dividend” promised in the 1990s with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and why do Europe and the United States need Russian cooperation? What are the core dynamics of the American-European-Russian relationship? Ambassador Elizabeth Jones discusses the origins of recent Russian attitudes and suggest ways in which Europe and a new U.S. administration can work productively with Russia to address common global challenges.

Ambassador Jones, executive vice president at APCO Worldwide, handles international advocacy and strategic counsel for APCO and leads their business diplomacy practice. Previously, she spent thirty-five years in the U.S. Foreign Service, where she achieved the department's highest rank of career ambassador. As U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, Ambassador Jones designed U.S. policies for NATO and European Union countries, Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. She also has been U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Near East Bureau, senior advisor for Caspian Energy Diplomacy, and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany. Other overseas assignments included Kabul, Cairo, Beirut, Tunis, Amman, Baghdad, Islamabad, and Berlin. Ambassador Jones received her M.A. from Boston University and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

 

Recorded Monday, November 24, 2008 at InterContinental Hotel.