Please join us on July 8, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for a discussion with H.E. Carl Bildt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, on European Union and transatlantic relations with Russia, as well as recent developments within the EU and the impact on EU foreign policy.
At the end of June, the European Union will sign comprehensive association agreements with Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, putting its relations with its eastern neighbors on a new footing. The process of arriving at these accords has made clear that Europe – and the United States – now face a new Russia, one that is revisionist in its outlook and policy. The illegal annexation of Crimea, as well as Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, has revealed a Russian government seeking to overturn basic elements of post-Cold War Europe.
“What is happening now is that we see Russia emerging as an unpredictable power. That’s extremely worrying from a security policy point of view, but also from the business point of view…that’s going to have a significant economic impact over time.”
– Minister Bildt, to CNN
Europe must find a way of dealing with this new, revisionist Russia, even as it faces the growth of political forces with ties to Moscow and seeks to lessen its own energy dependence. Europe will inevitably continue to have strong economic interests in Russia, as well as a need to cooperate on key strategic issues, such as Iran. The United States, too, must figure out how to deal with Russia while remaining engaged on strategic matters. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has long been at the center of European efforts to develop a coherent EU foreign policy, including towards Russia. One of the initiators of the EU’s Eastern Partnership, he has been keenly involved in EU relations with Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. At the Atlantic Council, he will discuss his views on European Union and transatlantic relations with Russia, as well as recent developments within the EU and the impact on EU foreign policy.
Carl Bildt has been foreign minister of Sweden since 2006. He previously served as Sweden’s prime minister from 1991 to 1994. Bildt was one of the original architects of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, and is also noted for his prominent role as co-chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference in 1995. He was High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from December 1995 to June 1997, and from 1999 to 2001 served as the United Nation Secretary-General’s special envoy for the Balkans.