For nearly 30 years, the EastWest Institute has worked to bridge the divide between the United States and Europe on the one hand, and on the other, the Soviet Union until 1991 and after that Russia. Yet, 2008 appears to be a year of rising tensions endangering international order: While the West accepted Kosovo sovereignty, Russia denied any legal value to Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. In the meantime, the NATO Bucharest summit held out the prospect of Georgia’s and Ukraine’s membership.

The adoption of a new US National Defense Strategy in April 2008 was shortly followed by a new Russian Foreign Policy Concept in July 2008. We now have to deal with a “Georgian war” that was waged at the beginning of August and that resulted in Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In order to discuss these recent developments, the meanings and security perceptions that Russia and Europe attach to them, as well as to investigate the broader implications it has for the East-West relationship, the EastWest Institute is setting up a EWI study group on Russia, Europe and the United States.

The study group will comprise invited specialists and officials with strong knowledge of the foreign policy and security approaches of these three actors, as well as of the evolving international security landscape. These specialists and officials will gather in three roundtable seminars from September to November 2008 with a view to preparing a report that will be presented to key governments. Based on the findings of EWI’s policy study group, subsequent activities for the study group might be identified as necessary to further a constructive relationship between Russia and NATO.


  • Substantial changes in Russia’s foreign policy approach?
  • A dangerous act: NATO’s Bucharest agenda
  • The US anti-missile defense shield in Eastern Europe
  • The “Georgian War”: an application of Russia’s new foreign policy concept?
  • The US elections’ impact on the US-Russian relationship
  • Iraq, Kosovo, Iran and Chechnya - how much trust is left?
  • The re-emergence of an old superpower: what is Russia’s new place in the international system?
  • The East-West divide: Where are we heading?

Time and Venue:

EWI Brussels Center, rue de la Loi 85, 1000 Brussels

Tuesday, 30th September
 11-12.30 a.m., afterwards: informal lunch until 1 p.m.
Tuesday,28th October
 11-12.30 a.m., afterwards: informal lunch until 1 p.m.
Tuesday, 25th November
 11-12.30 a.m., afterwards: informal lunch until 1 p.m.

 By invitation only. Inquiries for participation welcome.