Russia-EU-U.S. Triangular Relations     Print
Tuesday, 08 December 2009

On the occasion of the annual Ambassadors’ Dinner, The European Institute launched a new initiative on Russia-EU-U.S. Triangular Relations. The fluidity and complexity of common strategic, economic, energy and environmental challenges can best be met through effective triangular cooperation. His Excellency Sergey Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, His Excellency Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo, Ambassador of Spain to the United States and Ambassador Richard Morningstar, the U.S. State Department Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy offered their assessments of the prospects for stronger triangular cooperation.

Ambassador Kislyak expressed Russia’s willingness to participate in meaningful dialogue with the EU and U.S. on a number of issues.  He welcomed bilateral and multilateral cooperation on global economic recovery and encouraged the business sector to take the lead. He emphasized that the Russian Federation is ready to work with its European and U.S. counterparts on its recent proposal for a new European security framework, which Ambassador Kislyak stressed would co-exist with NATO, not supplant it.  On the pivotal issue of energy security, he recognized the mutually dependent EU-Russia relationship; noting that while Europe needs a reliable supply, Russia needs predictable and reliable energy markets in order to make the necessary investments at supply sources.  Ambassador Kislyak also called for increased cultural and scientific exchanges as well as increased cooperation in combating narcotics trafficking.

Noting the strong, if at times asymmetrical, relationship between Europe and the United States, Ambassador Dezcallar stressed the importance of the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty for allowing the EU to become a true global player.  European partnerships need not be limited to transatlantic ties, he said, and the impetus for building a stronger relationship with Russia is rooted in both strategic considerations as well as neighborhood policies. While triangular cooperation on common challenges might not be as easy as pushing a re-set button, Ambassador Dezcallar stated that he looks forward to working with the Russian Federation on counter-terrorism, non-proliferation efforts and energy security.

For his part, Ambassador Morningstar underlined the joint importance that the Obama Administration places on Europe and the Russian Federation. With the creation of the U.S. - EU Energy Council and the U.S. - Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, the U.S. will continue to engage Russia on energy security and maintain emphasis on the commitments made at the 2006 G8 summit in St. Petersburg, including increased transparency, stability and predictability of global energy markets. Ambassador Morningstar called for greater cooperation in addressing investment challenges in the energy sector and in developing innovative solutions to effectively combat climate change.  He also expressed strong U.S. support of Europe’s energy security initiatives and efforts to diversify both energy supplies and energy routes.