Robert Amsterdam, a partner at Amsterdam and Peroff, explains how the treatment of private energy companies in Russia is part of a broader pattern of political centralization and describes what he believes are the global goals of Russia's more aggressive, energy-driven foreign policy. Andrei Illarionov, the newest senior fellow at the Cato Institute, describes the accelerated pace of change in Russia and new ways in which political, economic and civil liberties are being eliminated.
In his 25 years of practice, Robert R. Amsterdam has handled numerous international business disputes and human rights cases in a variety of emerging markets, including Russia, Hungary, Nigeria, Venezuela and Guatemala. As an advocate for the rule of law, Robert has both defended and prosecuted cases for and against governments, and has represented such corporations as YUKOS-Group MENATEP, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Four Seasons Hotel Group.
Canadian Lawyer describes him as "one of the few lawyers in the world [good at] taking on the state when the state starts acting like a criminal." London's The Lawyer magazine named him one of the Hot 100 Attorneys in the UK for 2005.
Robert is a member of the Canadian and International Bar Associations. He earned his BA from Carleton University in Ottawa, and studied law at Queen's University in Ontario (LLB).
Andrei Illarionov is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. From 2000 to December 2005 he was the chief economic adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illarionov also served as the president's personal representative (sherpa) in the G-8. He is one of Russia's most forceful and articulate advocates of an open society and democratic capitalism, and has been a long-time friend of the Cato Institute.
Illarionov received his Ph.D. from St. Petersburg University in 1987. From 1993 to 1994 Illarionov served as chief economic adviser to the prime minister of the Russian Federation, Viktor Chernomyrdin. He resigned in February 1994 to protest changes in the government's economic policy. In July 1994 Illarionov founded the Institute of Economic Analysis and became its director. Illarionov has coauthored several economic programs for Russian governments and has written three books and more than 300 articles on Russian economic and social policies.