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Doug Bandow Speaks at AHI Noon Forum on “Improving U.S. – Russian Relations: A Key to Balkan Stability"
April 28, 2008—No. 29 (202) 785-8430

Doug Bandow Speaks at AHI Noon Forum on “Improving U.S. – Russian Relations: A Key to Balkan Stability"

WASHINGTON, DC—On April 15, 2008, AHI hosted a Noon Forum at the Hellenic House on “Improving U.S. – Russian Relations: A Key to Balkan Stability” It was presented by Doug Bandow, Robert A. Taft Fellow, American Conservative Defense Alliance.

Bandow said that in the 20th century “Russia and the U.S. were engaged in a constant struggle and that in the 21st century that struggle seems to be with China.” He brought up the development of its pipeline as an example of the expansion of Russia’s gas and energy capabilities.

In reference to the Balkans, he said that the U.S. may potentially create another Cold War situation unless it approaches the issue of Kosovo and Serbia by seeking to engage Russia, a powerful policy determinant in the region. Unfortunately however, the current administration is reluctant to take such a route. On Iran, he said that Russia can help with the problem of nuclear proliferation. “Iran is a complex issue on which unanimity is important. Russia is a critical component on this issue.”

Concerning the question of human rights, he stated that the human rights issue is important. He said that it is “unfortunate that human rights abuses are taking place in Russia. But the US needs to understand that it is not ruling Russia. Russia is an independent sovereign state and the US should understand that this criticism may lead to increased nationalism. Unilateral politics do not work any longer; improved relationships with Russia can contribute to solving this issue.”

Regarding the expansion of NATO, Bandow did not consider that it was in the “U.S. national interest.” and on Kosovo, he said that it is time for the US and its Allies “to step back and enter into talks with Russia regarding the status of the borders and of the state. It is likely that the best solution would be a partitioning of Kosovo between Serbia and Albania. In this regard, there needs to be a serious consultation with Russia.”

Doug Bandow is Vice President of Policy for Citizens Outreach, a Washington-based grassroots political organization. He also is the Bastiat Scholar in Free Enterprise at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Cobden Fellow in International Economics at the Institute for Policy Innovation. He was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Before, he served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as a Senior Policy Analyst in the 1980 Reagan for President campaign.

In addition to being published in various periodicals, he has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including ABC Nightly News, American Interests, CBS Evening News, CNN Crossfire, CNN Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Nightline, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He received his B.S. in Economics from Florida State University in 1976 and his J.D. from Stanford University in 1979.


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