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Obama Presses Pause on Russian Reset  Button

WHO: James Goldgeier, dean, American University School of International Service

Celeste Wallander, Director of the International Politics program, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

Analysis and discussion about White House’s decision to postpone Obama-Putin Summit in Moscow

August 7 - ongoing

In-studio, American University, via telephone

Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2013) – The White House has been signaling for weeks that President Obama’s potential summit in Moscow with Russia’s Vladimir Putin was far from certain given the totality of circumstances of souring bi-lateral relations on issues ranging from missile defense, Syria’s ongoing civil war, arms reduction, global security, trade and commercial relations and human rights issues. The Snowden affair only added to the already existing tensions. The lack of progress on the above issues without anything meaningful to announce or sign made the postponement necessary. While not a Cold War level freeze in relations – Secretary of State Kerry and Defense Secretary Hagel are meeting in Washington with their Russian counterparts this week to work on issues where the two countries can come to agreement—the reset button set forth in Obama’s first term has clearly been paused.

American University School of International Service experts are available to discuss the cancellation of the upcoming meeting, the significance of the cancellation and where bi-lateral relations stand at the moment. They can also address how bi-lateral relations can be return to a positive tract, and what the short, mid-term and long term prospects are for relations between the United States and Russia.

Celeste Wallander, associate professor and director of the School of International Service’s Global Governance, Politics, and Security Program, served most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, and was a foreign policy advisor on the Obama for America campaign 2007-2008. Prof. Wallander is an expert in Russian foreign and security policy and the author of over 80 scholarly and public policy publications.

James Goldgeier, dean of the School of International Service, is a U.S. foreign policy expert who has held positions in the State Department and National Security Council staff. Goldgeier formerly served as director of George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11 (co-authored with Derek Chollet), Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (co-authored with Michael McFaul—The U.S.’s current ambassador to Russia.)

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.