Recent Events

In light of reports of Russian interference in the US elections, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) called for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to address the cyber threats facing the United States. The hearing, which took place on January 5, included testimony from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel J. Lettre II, and Commander of the United States Cyber Command Admiral Michael S. Rogers, who also currently serves as a Director of National Security Agency and a Chief of Central Security Services.

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Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk still believes deeply in the power of international norms to maintain peace.

“Today’s world is based on great principles: sovereignty, territorial integrity, and untouchable borders. And as far as I understand the situation, the United States is the guardian of these principles,” said Kravchuk at an event on November 18, in response to a question about US President-elect Donald Trump’s possible plans to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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On October 13, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted a public conference “The Illiberal Turn?: Reasserting Democratic Values in Central and Eastern Europe.” This conference was organized in partnership with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). This event addressed the political, economic, and social currents that challenge the region's path toward greater cooperation, prosperity, and freedom.

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On September, 2016, the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative hosted a panel on the book The Future of Natural Gas: Markets and Geopolitics. Nicolò Sartori, Senior Fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali, and co-editor of the book, provided an overwiew and discussed the development of LNG as a future reliable resource, diversification of energy supplies in Europe and Asia, and market forces driving the natural gas industry. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, highlighted Japan’s strategic importance for the LNG market, as well as Japan’s geopolitical issues with China, citing that two-thirds of LNG shipments pass through the contested South China Sea.

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On September 21, 2016, the Global Energy Center hosted a panel on whether the Southern Gas Corridor is on track, as it is facing geopolitical and financial issues.

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Wednesday July 13, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted a panel of human rights experts to discuss the human rights violation which often accompany international mega sports events. The panelist included: Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, Sunjeev Bery, advocacy director, Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, David Kramer, senior director for human rights and democracy at the The McCain Institute for International Leadership, and Pedro Abramovay, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean and Director of the Latin America Program at Open Society Foundations. The event was moderated by Robert Herman, vice president of Emergency Assistance Programs and Multilateral Advocacy at Freedom House.

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“People have forgotten that there’s a real humanitarian situation and a real need in a European country,” said Jock Mendoza-Wilson, director of international and investor relations at System Capital Management, during a recent Atlantic Council panel examining the crisis in Ukraine.

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“The Black Sea is increasingly becoming a fault line between Russia and the US,” said Romanian ambassador to the US, George Christian Maior. Wednesday June 15, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted a two-panel conference to discuss security and energy in the region. The first panel, The Changing Military Balance in the Black Sea, focused on the militarization of the Black Sea, and the reasons major Black Sea regional players have for pursuing policies which avoid escalating tensions.

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Challenging Putin at the Ballot Box
By Mitch Hulse

In a climate of repression and authoritarianism institutionalized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, opposition parties “must use every opportunity to challenge” the Kremlin even if it means participating in a “flawed and truncated election process,” according to a Russian opposition leader.

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While not much has changed for American investors, the Iran Nuclear Deal has brought about major shifts in international trade, particularity, but not exclusively, in the oil and gas sectors. Richard Nephew joined the Atlantic Council’s Turkey office on June 9, 2016, to discuss the obstacles facing Iran as the Islamic Republic reenters the global economy. “We should look at Iran as an emerging market with all of the challenges that come with an emerging market as well as the opportunities. We need to look at Iran as a place where, yes, you can do business but you have to be careful,” said Nephew.

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