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The Russian Federation has become an increasingly aggressive actor in Eastern Europe and across the world, launching cyber-attacks, waging misinformation campaigns, and even invading and annexing Crimea. In recent weeks, Russian troops have massed along the Ukrainian border, sparking widespread speculation that another invasion could be imminent. In a statement perhaps indicative of his ambitions for Russia’s future, President Vladimir Putin once called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” What does Putin want? What could Russia’s aggressive stance mean for peace and security in Europe and beyond? What tools do the United States and NATO have at their disposal to deter Russia and prevent conflict? And can the U.S. build a more stable relationship with Russia?
Join Perry World House and Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished diplomat who has served as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and Deputy Secretary General of NATO, for answers to these questions and more.
Alexander Vershbow is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Perry World House. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. He was Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2012 to 2016, the first American to hold that position. He was directly involved in shaping the Alliance’s response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, adapting NATO’s deterrence posture, and deepening NATO’s partnerships across the globe. A career diplomat since 1977, Vershbow served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (2009-2012), U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2005-2008), U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2001-2005), and U.S. Ambassador to NATO (1998-2001). He also held numerous senior positions in Washington, including Special Assistant to the President for European Affairs at the National Security Council (1994-97) and State Department Director of Soviet Union Affairs (1988-91). Vershbow received a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University and a Master’s in International Relations from Columbia University.
Trudy Rubin is a Visiting Fellow at Perry World House and the Worldview columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and a member of The Inquirer's editorial board. Her column runs in many other U.S. newspapers. In 2019, Rubin received the Overseas Press Club of America’s Flora Lewis Award for Best Commentary in international affairs. In 2017 and 2001, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, she received the Arthur Ross Award for distinguished analysis of foreign affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy. She is the author of Willful Blindness: The Bush Administration and Iraq. Ms. Rubin has special expertise on the Middle East, South Asia, and Russia. In recent years, she has written from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, Turkey, France, Italy, Britain, and Germany. Before joining the Inquirer in 1983, she was Middle East correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. She is a graduate of Smith College and the London School of Economics.
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