A mix of Russian, European and American professors and political figures evaluated the newly cemented Russia-U.S. friendship and its impact on Europe’s political climate on Monday in the Intercultural Center.

The three panels, “Is There a New Euro-Atlantic Security Architecture,” “Energy and Economic Security” and “Arms Control and Nonproliferation,” focused on how the trilateral relationship can best be used to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing international economic and political environment.

“Having worked in the government, I realize that the way we work together is based upon how much we understand each other’s points of view,” Dean of the School of Foreign Service Carol Lancaster said. “It is important now above all times when there has been a reset in U.S.-Russian relations.”

Jointly hosted by Georgetown’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, the event highlighted the relationship between the two graduate programs.

Issues tackled during the “Changing Global and Regional Environments” conference included transnational security, Afghanistan, the Polish-Russian rapprochement, the NATO summit, the global economy, war-time policy missile defense cooperation and the shared goal of a stronger security community.

Keynote speaker Rose Gottemoeller (FLL ’75), the chief negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, emphasized the value of transparency between Russia and the U.S. in the context of the new reset of international relations policy. She mentioned the START treaty’s clause about bilateral on-site inspection rights of the countries’ arms bases as one of the most vital ways”to increase mutual confidence and stability.”

“We are in a new phase of future arms reductions. Of course, holistic missile defense must be addressed,” Gottemoeller said. “The Obama administration is seeking to cooperation with Russia across the administration on multiple levels.”

While the conference primarily focused on Russia-U.S. relations, namely the recent movements to collaborate on nuclear policies, panel members also frequently emphasized the European Union’s political and economic importance.

Europe’s power plays and the United States’ role weighed heavily into the discussion. One CERES graduate student even posed the question of whether the U.S. was betraying the United Kingdom’s Trident programme, which under the 1958 U.S.-U.K. Mutual Defense Agreement implied a mutual sharing of design information. The new START policy grants the same information openness to Russia.

Manfred Huterer, political counselor and deputy head of the political department of the Germany Embassy then initiated the panel on a security architecture within the Euro-Atlantic region by introducing a community of shared values.

“Especially from a German perspective, it’s important to remind ourselves of Charter of Paris signed 21 years ago, which invoked a new era of democracy stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok,” Huterer said.

Huterer also implied that Europe is looking toward an era of collaboration between the two power players.

Hannah Vanhoose, a first-year CERES graduate student, believed that the event allowed for a more open dialogue than she would hear in the classroom.

“It’s interesting to see things outside of an academic setting because people are much more opinionated,” Vanhoose said. “I hope that this relationship with Moscow State Institute for International Relations develops for students as well, for example with opportunities for exchanges with the institute.”

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