Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the US
Moderated by Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute

October 11, 2016

Russian-American relations are tense but not unsalvageable, said Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The ambassador discussed his country’s positions on various global issues and explained, in Russia’s view, why relations between the two countries are deteriorating.

Speaking to a crowded room full of students and alumni, Kislyak cited NATO’s expansion, differing views of Ukraine and Syria, and economic sanctions as sources of conflict that have pitted Russia and the US against each other. However, Russians and Americans have been able to work together in tense moments before, and Kislyak believes that our cooperation can be extended and strengthened in areas where it already exists, such as the global fight against terrorism.

Questions from the audience focused on current Russian involvement in Ukraine, Russia’s position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the protection of minority rights in Russia and Crimea, and Russia’s involvement in the US presidential election.