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In July 2006 the summit of the G8, under Russian chairmanship for the first time, was held in St. Petersburg. At the same time a U.S.-Russian bilateral summit was held. These events were critical to the development of Russia's relations with the West in 2006.

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Hopes for serious progress in the area of nuclear disarmament have not been justified. What challenges will Russia face in the disarmament process? What should its Western partners do in order to return to fruitful cooperation on all fronts? Did Russia do the right thing when it declared a moratoriu...

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  • Affiliation : Journalist
  • Affiliation : Prof., Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
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  • Position : Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation
  • Affiliation : Embassy of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation
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Round table "Russia's Foreign Policy Menu for 2009: European & US Vectors" 11.02.2009

On February 11, 2009 the Centre russe d'études politiques (CREP) and the Trialogue Club International held a joint roundtable discussion in Geneva. The topic of the event was "Russia's Foreign Policy Menu for 2009: European & US Vectors".

In the course of the debate, the speakers and participants shared their views on the actions that Russia should take in the post-crisis world, the future of the arms control and disarmament issues in the Russian relations with Europe and the United States and the measures to be taken to build trust and confidence globally.

Dr. Zevelev focused his presentation on the future of the Russia-U.S. relations in 2009. He suggested that the changes in Russian and American foreign policy programs can be expected. That would lead to a better understanding in three areas: missile defense, NATO enlargement and arms control. However, he does not envisage any changes in the foreign policy goals of both countries.

The future of the relations between Russia and Europe was covered in the presentation of Dr. Pavel Baev, Head of the Program in the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo. According to Dr. Baev, “Gas is the central issue in Russia-European relations.” The crisis leads to protectionism and “deunionization” in Europe, driving the European countries apart. Russia is set on exploiting the fact that it is becoming harder for Europe to develop a common platform.

The third presentation was devoted to the Russian policy in the Middle East. Mr. Konstantin Eggert, Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow Bureau of the BBC Russian Service noted that “Russia is expected to maintain its traditional links with the Middle East States.” The issue of the nuclear armed Iran will remain in the area of the biggest disagreements between Moscow and Washington, as the nuclear Iran is not seen as a big threat to Russia.

The roundtable was attended by CREP members and invited guests, including permanent representatives to the United Nations and international organizations in Geneva Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka (Sri Lanka), Johannes Landman (the Netherlands), representatives of the private sector Mr. Bernard Schiess (CEO of the Rosbank), Mr. Aymar Durant de Saint Andre (Financial consultant), diplomats from Belarus, Finland, India, and Russia, and other experts.

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