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Jun 27

The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests?

In 2011, the Presidents of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to create a Eurasian Union and have it fully functioning by 2015. They claimed that the European Union is their model, but in reality, this is far from being the case. Building on other post-Soviet institutions – Commonwealth of Independent States, Common Security Treaty Organization, and the Customs Union – Russia seeks to use the Eurasian Union to consolidate its power in the space where the Romanov Empire and the USSR used to rule. Currently composed of only these three nations, the Eurasian Union is likely to include Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. Is the Eurasian Union Moscow’s legitimate answer to the rising China and the growing Islamist challenge from the North Caucasus to Siberia? Will a new Russia-dominated bloc endanger U.S. interests? Limit U.S. trade and investment? Block air, sea, and land lanes? Prop up authoritarian regimes? Infringe on the sovereignty of neighboring non-member states? 

Join us as our expert panelists discuss the future of the Eurasian Union and what the U.S. should do to protect its allies and interests in these vital regions.

Agenda

10:00 a.m. – Panel 1
Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvilli, former Ambassador to the United States from Georgia
Fred Starr, Ph.D., Chairman, Central Asia and Caucasus Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Sergey Markedonov, Director, Department for Problems of Ethnic Relations, Institute for Political and Military Analysis in Moscow, and Visiting Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation (Moderator) 

11:30 a.m. – Panel 2
Stephen J. Blank, Ph.D., Research Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Army War College
Chris Socha, Legislative Director, Office of Sen. Risch (R-ID)
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Kathryn and Shelby Cullorn Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation
Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation (Moderator)

More About the Speakers