Russia and the United States decided on the heads of the “new philosophy” :: Policies :: RBC

The co-chairs of the group of experts of Russia and the USA, which agreed Vladimir Putin and Donald trump, may become the academician Alexander Dynkin, managing Director, Kissinger Associates Tom Graham, told RBC sources

Alexander Dynkin

(Photo: Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS)

For the first time about the plan to establish an expert Council of Russia and the United States was declared on a press-conferences of two presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald trump in Helsinki on 16 July. Approval of Putin, the Council will “seek common ground and understanding of how to bring international cooperation at a steady positive trajectory”. Later, on July 25, plans to establish an expert group at a hearing of the Senate was confirmed by the head of the state Department Mike Pompeo.

Russia and USA need to think of a new philosophy of building relationships, explained Putin in Helsinki. According to the Russian President, should include influential Russian and American scientists, researchers, former diplomats and military.

The Russian team of experts in the Council will be headed by the academician and the President of the Academy of science named after E. V. Primakov, a former assistant on economy of the Prime Minister of Russia (1998-1999) Alexander Dynkin, to date, this candidate is regarded as paramount, told RBC two people close to the Ministry of foreign Affairs. On the possibility of adopting the Dynkin knows the interlocutor of RBC in the expert community.

The leader of the American team, likely to be Thomas Graham, the noted close to the Kremlin source. That from the American side that Graham can become the co-chair of the group, heard another source of RBC familiar with the selection of candidates. Graham was senior Director for Russia in the administration of George W. Bush, he is now engaged in research at Yale University and is the managing Director of consulting on geopolitical issues of Kissinger Associates Inc., founded in 1982 by former U.S. Secretary of state Henry Kissinger. At the request of RBC, Graham said.

Tom Graham

(Photo: YaleUniversity / YouTube)

Alexander Dynkin declined to comment on their participation in the work of the expert Council. Answering the question about the feasibility of establishing a Council, he said that the expert meeting on a personal level he sees as a more profitable form of dialogue than “communicating via the replicas through the media and social networks.”

According to the source RBC, band members shouldn’t just be politicians, and people with experience of decision-making. “The idea is that the Board includes people with experience of public administration in the past, such as, for example, former foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. They must represent something other than themselves”, — said the interlocutor of RBC. The members of the Council must be able to pass the discussion on to the decision makers, the only way the work can be effective, told RBC earlier, another source close to the Russian dipvedomstva. He also mentioned Mann and Graham as potential members of the group. Ivanov, who heads the Russian international Affairs Council, declined to comment.

When that group will start to work, is unclear: most likely, this will happen after the midterm elections to Congress in November, says the source RBC, close to the foreign Ministry, noting that “after the theme of Russia will become less politically charged”.

The expert Duo

Dynkin and Graham — qualified, experienced and able to solve responsible tasks, said RBC head of the Center for international security, IMEMO ran, academician Alexei Arbatov. Agree with him Director of the Center for North American studies, IMEMO Victoria Zhuravleva, stressing that “the Russian expert community has many highly qualified professionals ready to conduct discussions in a constructive manner and not subject to anti-Americanism.” Speaking about the Graham candidacy, she added: “In the current environment it appears to be the only man, in which the Commission can work and bring results. Graham — a unique specialist, understanding Russia and the specifics of its relationship with US, not affected by anti-Russian sentiment and a very sober look at the current situation.”

The Council for the improvement of bilateral ties is not the first joint project in which can participate Dynkin and Graham. In late summer, 2014 13 high-level experts (seven from Russia and six from the United States) met on a Finnish island of beust to develop a “road map” for resolving the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Then the work of the “group of beust” was criticized by some analysts due to the absence in its composition of representatives of Ukraine. Subsequently, however, some of the ideas of the group submitted for discussion at the highest level. In particular, the proposal to introduce in the Donbass peacekeeping force. “The panel’s proposals appeared in the official documents, but, unfortunately, for the last four years in the Donbas and Luhansk was not achieved peace,” said Arbatov, who for a couple with Darkinym was co-Chairman of the “group of beust” from the Russian side. Leaders of the American team in Finland was made by Graham and Andrew Weiss, a former employee of the state Department and White house during the administration of bill Clinton, and now Vice-President of the Carnegie Foundation. On the question of whether Arbatov invitation to enter a new group to improve Russian-American relations, the academician replied in the negative. Weiss to a request to RBC did not answer.

Destroy the wall

The main problem faced by experts on Russian-American relations, the lack of access to political elites, said Zhuravlev. “And we, Russian specialists, and our American colleagues have ideas on how to get out of the crisis, but we cannot convey that understanding to the leadership of our countries, between us the wall,” she complained.

Donald trump and Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Helsinki. 16 Jul 2018

(Photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

In this context, says Zhuravlev, the establishment of the Commission will demonstrate awareness of the policies necessary to improve the bilateral dialogue, and involving experts. “The Council can become an important communication channel through which the authorities of both countries will have access to balanced, evidence-based information from experts,” notes the analyst. In the future, the establishment of such a channel in both countries will help “if not to eliminate all negative aspects in the relationship then gradually change their model and help to overcome the negative background,” says Zhuravlev. In her opinion, to earn the expert Council will be able not earlier than the midterm elections. “On the eve of the November congressional elections, the situation in the United States too tense,” — said Zhuravlev.

Without the political will of the expert discussion is unlikely to yield results that agree Arbatov. “Dialogue of experts on Russian-American relations never stopped, but they can only pass their recommendations to the authorities — whether these recommendations have been noted or not, from the experts themselves not affected”, — he said. And warned that to talk about “the ability of some specialists to solve problems in bilateral relations would be taken lightly”.

According to the head of programme, Moscow Carnegie center Andrey Kolesnikov, there are three themes that are likely to rise to the level of expert advice more often than others: “This is the fight against terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and, perhaps, the crisis in North Korea”. High hopes for the work of the expert Council imposes: “a General vector relations, he is unlikely to be affected, and would be more of a ceremonial nature.”

Steps to improve relations with the United States in tune with the expectations of most Russians. This is evidenced by the results of a survey of the all-Russia centre of studying of public opinion (VTSIOM), which was published on 23 July. According to the research poll, 52% of respondents see a need to strengthen political ties with Washington.

In addition to the establishment of the expert Council Putin and trump has offered in Helsinki to create a business forum for development of economic cooperation. However, on 22 July, The Financial Times (FT) wrote that Russian managers and entrepreneurs to this idea were skeptical, pointing to the lack of topics to talk about, in addition to the sanctions. The source FT close to major Russian businessman, also noted that leading companies are unlikely to be interested represent Moscow on these forums “with the current political climate” in America.

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