Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Russia Project Led by Former Senator Chuck Robb and Former Secretary of Commerce Don Evans

Dec 17, 2010, 17:46 ET from Bipartisan Policy Center

National Security Initiative Seeks Strategic and Constructive U.S.-Russia Relations

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) National Security Initiative launched its Russia Project, a new effort aimed at enhancing U.S.-Russia relations, holding the first in a series of meetings of its steering committee.  Led by Senator Chuck Robb, the former governor and senator from Virginia, and Secretary Don Evans, former Secretary of Commerce, the project will develop and advocate for a new cohesive, strategic direction to U.S. policy toward Russia.  

"Our main objective is to examine Russian and U.S. political, economic and strategic dynamics and interests and propose a new U.S. strategy toward Russia that better advances U.S. security and economic interests," said BPC's Foreign Policy Director, Michael Makovsky.

The Russia Project will examine critical foreign policy issues facing the U.S. and Russia, such as the START arms control treaty, which now awaits ratification by the U.S. Senate and Russian Duma.  The members of the project's steering committee hope to highlight the two nations' common foreign policy interests, while increasing cooperation between the countries.  

While the end of the Cold War has not eliminated, or even significantly reduced, the importance of U.S.-Russia relations, the foreign policy and national security landscape is significantly more complex today than it was amid the Cold War's superpower struggle. Russia remains relevant to many of the key national security challenges the United States faces today, such as: traditional threats from potential Great Power rivals (China); rogue nuclear proliferators (Iran); and unconventional threats from non-state entities (al-Qaeda) and failing states (Yemen, Pakistan). Despite the centrality of U.S.-Russia relations, the United States has often lacked a coherent strategy to effectively address the Kremlin's domestic and international policies.    One of the goals of this project is to advance relations between the two nations, by broadening the dialogue and opening existing channels of communication in both the public and private sectors.

According to BPC President Jason Grumet, "This project will develop approaches to improve U.S. and Russian relations in the energy, business, trade, and investment sectors."

Members of the steering committee include:

  • Co-chair Senator Charles Robb, former Governor of and U.S. Senator from Virginia
  • Co-chair Secretary Don Evans, former Secretary of Commerce
  • Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
  • Ambassador Eric Edelman, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
  • Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council of Foreign Relations
  • Larry Goldstein, Fellow in Energy Studies, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University
  • Reuben Jeffery, former Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
  • Admiral (Ret.) Gregory "Grog" Johnson, former Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Europe
  • Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • David Kramer, Executive Director, Freedom House
  • Ed Morse: Chief Energy Economist, LCM Commodities
  • John Palmisano, businessman, extensive experience in Russia and Eastern Europe
  • Lou Pugliarisi, President, EPRINC
  • Steve Rademaker, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control and Nonproliferation
  • Stephen Sestanovich, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Angela Stent: Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University
  • General (Ret.) Charles "Chuck" Wald, former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command, BPC Board member

About the Bipartisan Policy Center:

In 2007, former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell formed the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to develop and promote solutions that can attract the public support and political momentum to achieve real progress. Currently, the BPC focuses on issues including health care, energy, national and homeland security, transportation, science and economic policy. For more information, please visit our website:

SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center