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Negotiating with Russia: What if the Talks Fail?

January 14 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST

Earlier this week, senior U.S. and Russian officials held talks in Geneva. Representatives from the two countries are slated to participate in a NATO-Russian Council meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and will come together again at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Vienna on Thursday.

These meetings come at a time when relations between Russia and the United States are fraught. Tensions stem largely from the situation on the border with Ukraine, where Russia has positioned thousands of troops. U.S. intelligence sources believe that Moscow is planning a military offensive, but Russia denies any intent to invade Ukraine. The situation is further complicated because Russia sent troops into neighboring Kazakhstan last week after the oil-producing former Soviet republic was hit by a wave of unrest.

In two conversations over the past five weeks, U.S. President Joe Biden warned Putin that Russia would face unprecedented economic sanctions in the event of further aggression against Ukraine. The Group of Seven nations and the European Union have also threatened “massive consequences.” Join the ACG for a discussion with Russia experts Dr. Stefan Meister and Dr. Angela Stent about this week’s talks with Russia.

Dr. Stefan Meister has been the head of the German Council on Foreign Relations’ Program on International Order and Democracy since August 2021. From 2019 until then, he worked as director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s South Caucasus Office.

From 2017 to 2019, Dr. Meister was head of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia at DGAP, where he had previously headed its program for Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Before that, he was a senior policy fellow in the Wider Europe Team at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Berlin and London. In the 2015/16 term, Dr. Meister was a visiting fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, where he wrote on Russian disinformation and propaganda. He has served as an election observer for the OSCE in post-Soviet countries several times and worked on conflict transformation and institution building in post-Soviet countries.

Dr. Meister is co-author of Geopolitics and Security: A New Strategy for the South Caucasus (KAS/DGAP/GIP, 2018), The Russia File (Brookings, 2018), Eastern Voices (Center for Transatlantic Relations/DGAP, 2017), and The Eastern Question (Brookings, 2016).

He studied international relations and East European history in Jena, Leipzig, and Nizhni Novgorod and holds a Ph.D. from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena with a thesis on the transformation of Russian higher education and research system.

Dr. Angela Stent (1982 ACG Young Leader) is Senior Adviser to the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University where she is also Professor Emerita of Government and Foreign Service. She is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-chairs its Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs. From 2004-06 she served as the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council. From 1999 to 2001, she served in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Stent’s publications include: From Embargo to Ostpolitik: The Political Economy of West German-Soviet Relations, 1955-1980 (Cambridge University Press, 1981); Russia and Germany Reborn: Unification, The Soviet Collapse and The New Europe (Princeton University Press, 1999); The Limits of Partnership: US-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton University Press, 2014), for which she won the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Douglas Dillon prize for the best book on the practice of American Diplomacy. Her most recent book is Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest (Twelve Books, 2019) for which she won the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy’s prize for the best book on U.S-Russian Relations.

She was a member of the senior advisory panel for NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe for Admiral James Stavridis and General Philip Breedlove. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a contributing editor to Survival and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Cold War Studies, World Policy Journal, Internationale Politik, and Mirovaia Ekonomika i Mezhdunarodnie Otnosheniie. She has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Russia and Central Asia. She was a trustee of the Eurasia Foundation. Dr. Stent received her bachelor’s from Cambridge University, her Master’s of Science with distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her master’s and doctorate from Harvard University.


January 14
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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