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My name is Mark Medish; I am Vice President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, thank you so much for joining us this evening for this bicentennial commemorative dinner marking 200 years since the start of diplomatic relations between America and Russia. If you do the math it means that diplomatic relations began more or less in 1807. It occurred with an exchange of diplomatic notes. To be sure emissaries had gone back and forth before that date and it John Quincy Adams and Andre Dashkov more than a year to reach their respective capitals. So the date is something of a moving feast. We can keep doing this. We should also note that the 200 years were not interrupted. There was a pause after the Bolshevik Revolution. We should also note that the shape of the countries has changed over that period. The Russian Federation is not exactly what the Russian Empire was in 1807 and in 1807 the United States comprised only 17 states, nothing west of Ohio. Now today everybody is acutely aware that this is a tense but very important time in the bilateral relations between our countries. In fact the US-Russia relationship often reminds one of the old line about love making between porcupines, somehow they manage to do it and survive. And it's precisely the thick skinned ambassadors of the two countries who are most intimately familiar with how the porcupines manage to survive. We are extremely honored to have with us this evening nine former ambassadors and the two current serving ambassadors, two other former ambassadors were unable are participating in our proceedings but were unable to be here this evening. They were here for two days of discussions hosted by the Carnegie Endowment, to reflect on bilateral history but more important to brainstorm on the prospects and priorities going forward for our two countries. I draw your attention to a joint op-ed that the former ambassadors have signed, which will appear in the International Herald Tribune, tomorrow morning, it's already out online. I also want to draw your attention to a luncheon we will be hosting at the Carnegie Endowment, open to the public tomorrow where the ambassadors will be making presentations and taking questions. It will be moderated by Jill Doherty. For making this historic gathering possible we are deeply grateful to several sponsors. Boris Jordan, who has joined us from Moscow and he is a new father by the way, congratulations, our friends at British Petroleum and our friends at the Washington Group International. We are most grateful for your support, without you it wouldn't have been possible. Without further ado I would like to turn the podium over to the President of the Carnegie Endowment, Dr. Jessica Tuchman Mathews. We are only 97 years old. But we think with many, many years of work US-Russian relations behind us and 15 years now almost on the ground in Moscow that we were appropriate to host this extraordinary gathering and very, very proud to do it. We have now Carnegie Moscow Center is as I say is almost 15 years old. While it has American roots and part of an American institution, with 41 Russians and one American on its staff it has long since become a thoroughly Russian institution. Its senior staff includes many of Russia's most well known and well respected experts in a whole number of fields, domestic politics, foreign policy, Islam, all sorts of issues and its junior staff comprises some of the best young talent in the country. Last week we released Dmitri Trenin's gem of a new book, Getting Russia Right. Next we will launch the latest in Lilia Shevtsova's brilliant series on Russia's political transition, this one called Lost in Transition: The Yeltsin and Putin Legacies. And then later this week we will be hosting the first round of a very unusual government initiated roundtable on democracy and human rights, initiated by both the governments of the United States and Russia with Ambassador Vladimir Lukin, who is also besides being a former ambassador to the US, ombudsman of the Federal Republic for Civil Society, chairing the Russian delegation and this is something very ambitious that we are looking forward to. This is just not every three week period is quite this busy but it's a pretty exciting program. And in many ways the success of the Moscow Center is what prompted us a few years ago, to adopt, as we near our centennial, a very ambitious new plan to become the first global think-tank. And we now are trying to copy the success that we enjoyed in Moscow with on the ground operations in Beijing, in Beirut and in Brussels. We it's because of the depth of our commitment to Carnegie Moscow Center and to work on Russia and Eurasia that this meeting means so much to us. And for meeting of this for dinner of this significance we really couldn't have a better speaker or a more appropriate one than Congressman Lee Hamilton, who is President and Director as I think everyone here knows of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and also Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. Lee represented Indiana's ninth congressional district for 34 years. He became in during that time, chairman of the House International Foreign Affairs Committee and the Permenant Select Committee on Intelligence as well as a whole number of other positions. What is equally remarkable is that since leaving Congress he has cut an even wider swath, he has served as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group and Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission. He has he is serving as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council and the FBI Directors Advisory Board, the CIA Directors, Economic Intelligence Advisory Council, the Defense Secretary's National Security Study Group and the Department of Homeland Security's Taskforce on Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is kind of a one person foreign policy institution rolled into one. Indeed whenever there is a need for wisdom, for sound judgment, for bipartisanship, the needle tends to swing as to do north, towards Lee Hamilton. I had the privilege, when I came to Washington; I won't even say how long ago, the first job I had, of working for one of the great man of American politics, Congressman Morris K. Udall. And in thinking about these remarks tonight, I was struck at the extraordinary connection between these two men. They are both liberals from conservative states, their service in Congress was almost a complete overlap, three decades, they both were students of the institution and wrote widely and Lee still does, about how it works, what could be reformed to make it work better. And when Mo retired, this is now 1991, the Washington Post where I was working at the time asked me to write a piece about his career and they headlined it As Good As American Politics Can Be. And I'd like just to read you the last two paragraphs. It's not a very good forum to quote yourself. But I was struck in looking back at it, how if you simply change the name, this is an extraordinarily apt description of where we are today and of tonight's speaker. Here is the measure I wrote then of Mo's political career. Sit back for a moment and imagine a Congress full of Morris K. Udalls. Not necessarily those who share his interests or his political persuasion, but 535 men and women who share his faith, that voters will respond to the best that is asked of them, who exemplifies the highest personal integrity and who follow the credo that Mo followed without hesitation, the job of leaders is to lead, where might this country be today. One thing is certain, one of Mo's favorite jokes, which is actually an old line of Adlai Stevenson's, would lose its laugh. He loved to tell the story. It is of the little girl saying her evening prayers and she says, "God bless mother and father, and sisters and brothers. And now this is goodbye, God. We're moving to Washington." So I just would like with great pleasure to introduce one of the men who is as good as American politics can be, Lee Hamilton. Well Jessica thank you for the beautiful introduction. I as you were talking about Mo Udall, just a flood of memories came into my mind because he and I worked so closely together in the Congress for so many years. I want to say what a high privilege it is for me to be with you this evening. And looking around at the various tables I think I can identify at least two or three people at every table that testified before one of my committees some time in the congress and almost anything I know or learned about Russia, I learned from those of you seated here tonight and if you don't like what I say then just reflect on what you told me 10 years ago. But I want the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has just put together an extraordinary series of programs to have two two of the current ambassadors and I think you said nine of the former ambassadors here is quite extraordinary. And I want to say a word of very special appreciation to those ambassadors. I had enough experience in the Congress and elsewhere to understand how enormously important the role of an ambassador is in keeping bilateral relations and beyond that, in good shape. And so I want to thank those ambassadors for their public service. One of these days I am going to get around to establishing a Hall of Fame for politicians Jessica, Mo will go in on the first ballot. But while I am added I will set up another Hall of Fame for diplomats, because you know we have halls of fame for guitar players and baseball players, I think we ought to have one for diplomats as well and many of you would be in that Hall of Fame, to William Burns, to Yuri Ushakov our two current ambassadors, a word of very, very special appreciation. Jessica mentioned the fact that I had served in the Congress for 34 years, I did, the night I retired I made a very bad mistake. I did a lot of bragging and said that I had been in the Congress for 34 years and had cast over 16,000 votes. I went back to my office and I had a call from a constituent, who said, "Lee, I understand you are in the Congress for 34 years." He said, "I understand you announced your retirement today." I said, yes. He said, "I understand you cast 16,000 votes." I said, yes. He said, "Well, I want you to know you finally made a judgment I agree with." Okay, let's talk about this. Now, I am very much aware of the fact indeed I am intimidated by that almost everybody in this room knows a good lot more about Russia, Russian history, than I do. But that never deters a politician from going ahead and speaking, so I will do it anyway. And I begin with what the American at least here would easily agree with. The United States occupy center stage by itself. Our military is present in 150 countries or more. English is the international language of business and culture. American movies and TV Shows are watched the world over, from rural china to the villages of Africa. American inventions have revolutionized life. But our power is not infinite. We cannot kill every terrorist or overthrow every evil regime. We cannot remake the world in our image. It is this seeming contradiction our awesome power on the one hand and our inability to bend the world to our will on the other that confronts the United States. And so the question how do we develop a more effective and realistic view of our power? Iraq of course sucks the oxygen out of any foreign policy discussion today. But I want to try to look beyond Iraq to the broader future of American foreign policy and specifically of course Russia's place in it. Now there is as everybody is aware in this room, very serious questions about our leadership, questions that are perhaps now beginning to be addressed and almost certainly will be addressed in the days ahead, in the months ahead. I do not accept or agree with the view that America has entered into some sort of permanent decline far from it. But America is currently diminished. Others may see us as a great power, but one whose military limitations have been exposed in Iraq; whose economic strength has been challenged by the rise of China and whose exemplary model has been tarnished by some of our responses to 9/11. Our ability to mobilize the world into cooperative action has suffered a blow but not a fatal blow, for if we do not lead, more often than not, progress will not be made and the world does indeed look to us for leadership on practically everything and particularly peace and prosperity. Some years ago I walked into the office of the National Security Advisor and he had a stack of files this high on his desk and I asked him, "What are all those?" it must have been 30 or 40 of them. He said, those are all files that demand an immediate response. And there was another stack of files on the other side of the desk and about the same height and I said, "What are those?" He said, those are all urgent. All of the ministers and kings and foreign ministers and finance ministers come into this city day after day after day and they all really want one thing, they want the United States to help them. Sometimes they want money, sometimes they want military assistance, sometimes they want a photo- op with the President. But they want help of the United States. And because our ability to affect change is limited and because our resources are not unlimited, we have to make choices and set priorities. We cannot bear every cross. In all likelihood we are and certainly will be making course corrections. But whatever those corrections are we must not turn inward. We remain the world's sole superpower, the world needs our leadership, just as we need the world a world Russia is very much a part of. In light of this environment and the conduct of policy I want to express a few prescriptions or hopes perhaps, for American policy and they run along these lines. I hope we will be less likely to divide up the world between good and evil, but recognize the variety of interests and motivations, the nuances and shades of gray. I hope we will have a deeper sense of the limits of what we can achieve alone in the world. I hope we will better match our goals with the resources we have available, our ends with our means. I hope we will continue to have a deep respect for what American military power can achieve, but will be more cautious in using it to solve all problems. If the only tool we have is a hammer, then every problem begins to look like a nail. I hope we will apply the preventive war strategy with great caution and prudence. I hope we will make a greater effort to build consensus on the use of force, both domestically at home here and internationally. I hope we will be more concerned about this word, legitimacy; which the international community uses a lot but Americans use very little. When we do use force, I hope there will be more careful post-war planning, and more emphasis on our nation building capabilities. Tomorrow I go to the Hill to meet with a number of my former colleagues to talk about this very thing, our structure and our government and our capabilities to deal with nation building. I hope we will have a greater appreciation for the role of international institutions, and re- assert the US role as the leader of the international community and a participant in strong alliances. I hope we will turn increasingly to diplomacy, rejecting the view that talking is in itself a concession. Listening is not weakness, it is simply good sense. Diplomacy does not guarantee success. It does not solve all problems. But if carried out skillfully, it creates the best chance of a comprehensive solution. I hope we will work with the United Nations with all of its difficulties and frustrations. I think we are beginning to do that now. I hope we will reach for ways to deal with an alienated Europe, a rising India and an assertive China. I hope we will not make democracy the chief instrument for achieving our strategic goals in the Middle East because many of the pre-requisites for democracy simply do not exist there. We should support pragmatic, not transformational reform. I hope will place less emphasis on shaping other nations to fit our mold and more emphasis on our national interest and security. I hope we will recognize how hard it is to achieve any grand transformation in the world, particularly to promote democracy in countries that have not known any. I hope we will see a better balance of shared power between the President and the Congress in the making of American Foreign Policy, with of course a strong President, but also a strong Congress with robust oversight and even skepticism of presidential action. My hope is that in the future, we will not hype threats, underestimate costs, paint unrealistic futures, and savage those who disagree with us. The task for the American policymaker is to apply our power pragmatically and skillfully to restore our credibility, to fashion a sustainable foreign policy that will advance our most pressing interests. The US-Russian relationship exemplifies many of the aforementioned complexities of conducting foreign policy in the 21st century; complexities many refuse to accept. Common interests must dictate our relations, for without a solid bilateral relationship, we will fail to advance several of our most pressing interests. What should be the foundation of US-Russian relations be? Russia, as you know better than I is in the midst of an identity crisis of sorts. It cannot decide whether its preference is to be authoritarian, imperialist or a modern European democracy. Whatever path Russia and its people choose may vary, its interests on the international stage will remain relatively constant. President Putin's assertive leadership, underpinned by tremendous popularity, presents a stark contrast to the Yeltsin years of the 1990s, when elections produced a leadership that failed to inspire the public's confidence. President Putin's forcefulness abroad parallels the consolidation of his power at home. Independent media, civil society groups, and even independent-minded businesspeople have to a large extent been quashed. The Parliament is a rubber stamp for the Kremlin. Provincial governors are subservient, the judiciary has become subordinated and Putin has subordinated the energy companies. His government cannot be called democratic. There is growing authoritarianism, nationalism, and concentration of economic power. And while he will probably leave office next year, his influence undoubtedly will remain strong. But a Kremlin that does not share our democratic values certainly complicates the US-Russian relationship. The legacy of American involvement in Russian domestic affairs during the 1990s is not very positive, and there is little enthusiasm among Russians for a return to those days. Moscow simply will not accept our marching orders on issues like democratic reform, and Putin has said as much. He has been extraordinarily tough on the US. He has accused us of provoking a nuclear arms race, undermining international institutions, destabilizing the Middle East. We have been acting "unilaterally" and "illegitimately," those are his words, with disdain for international law. He has spoken nostalgically of the Cold War, and wants to "balance" the US. To an American at least much of this rhetoric is very disturbing. But in my view, it should not preclude serious engagement. Russia may not be a superpower, but it is back as an international player. Our relations today, as Mark said a moment ago are not good, possibly as bad as they have been since the fall of the Soviet Union. "The new chill" is the term I have seen several times to describe them. The relationship is at a critical point in its history. It could move in any number of directions, depending on the path that we and the Russians pursue. We have a lot of questions. What are its aims in its neighborhood? How does it view it relationship with the EU? How will it use its energy resources? How does it view NATO as a partner or a problem? Does it view India and China as potential allies, rivals, or both? And of course what kind of relationship does it want with the U.S.? Is Russia a reliable partner or an unpredictable adversary? But as difficult as we find the present state of affairs, it is still a dramatic improvement from the intense hostility of the Cold War. It's important to note that we have achieved a great deal since the Soviet Union's collapse. The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is one such example. Thus far we have worked together with Russia to prevent the spread of nuclear material and terrorist acquisition of the ultimate weapons of mass destruction, though our funding, in this country, is insufficient in my view, given the stakes. Elsewhere there has not been any risk of armed conflict between the two states. Many take that for granted. But there are a number of people in this room who lived through the Cold War know how dangerously close to the precipice we came. So far constructive dialogue has relegated such concerns to history, where they belong. Trade and investment are on the rise. American oil companies have invested in Russia's energy sector, though many have endured legal complications. We are working together uneasily of late for sure, to prevent Iran from going nuclear. In Progress in the six-party talks over North Korea shows the potential of working together in pursuit of shared interests. The six-party talks have also proven to be an effective venue for integrating China into the international system, a process that will require Russian assistance and cooperation. And also, this month was the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It was a somber month for Russians as well. Three years have passed since the horrifying terrorist attack in Russia, in which hundreds of innocents lost their lives. Russians have weathered a storm of vicious attacks for nearly a decade in their apartments, movie theaters and schools. Our shared trauma has inspired US-Russian cooperation in fighting terrorism all over the world. But our interests will not always align. Dealing with Hamas, arms sales to Iran, Kosovo, Syria, Venezuela, military basing in Central Asia, missile defense, and other matters have the potential to derail bilateral cooperation. There is no avoiding some very serious disagreements. Opponents of engagement would prefer that disputes form the basis of our US-Russian relations, but that's an unstable foundation. The proper approach from my point of view is to recognize these serious differences, not ignore them, and fully engage Russia. In external affairs, Russia's tense relations with former Soviet Republics are to us, worrisome. As the petro-dollars have flowed into Moscow, many in the Kremlin have learned that energy is a more cost effective weapon than brigades ever were. On Kosovo, Washington and Moscow are worlds apart. Many have publicly advocated that the United States bypass Russia in the Security Council on the issue. But unilateral recognition of Kosovo's independence over Russia's strenuous objections would contribute to its alienation from us and validate concerns in both countries of an emerging second Cold War. In looking over the record, it seems to me we see a Russia that is both partner and adversary. More cooperative on Arab Israeli issues, less on Kosovo, more on antiterrorism and nuclear non proliferation, less on strategic defense. Secretary Gates put it earlier this year quite well I thought, "One Cold War was quite enough." So what do we do? Let me begin to wrap up. Russia is not the Soviet Union. Just because it is re-emerging as a global power does not make it a threat. An independent and strong Russia could be a positive force, an outcome partially dependent on the actions that we will take. Therefore we should engage Russia on a broad agenda, deepening cooperation in areas of agreement while defending our national interests which include the rights of Russian neighbors to live in freedom and to chart their own course. We must be aware of how Russia sees itself. Some Americans still view Russia as they did in 1991; a dethroned superpower, bested by the United States, condemned to a minor role on the international stage. But that's misguided. Russia can make a difference on questions of peace and stability across a wide swath of Europe and Asia. We should abandon incendiary rhetoric, avoid lecturing and move away from personality-driven politics. We can recognize Russia's shortcomings, but this should not preclude us from strong diplomatic engagement in pursuit of our own interests. The course of action also demands that we recognize Russian interests. On issues like Kosovo and NATO expansion, we must include Russia whenever possible, integrating it into the world's economic and security frameworks. We must work together to manage regional conflicts as we have in North Korea and Iran. It's very doubtful that we can solve these problems without Russian help. We must also push for a deeper cooperation on securing Russia's nuclear material as part of a far larger effort to re-invent arms control, which would tie into missile defense which is of course a major point of contention today. On the economic front, we must continue strengthening economic ties. Last year's bilateral agreement, which paved the way for Russian membership in the WTO, was a step forward. My view is that sanctions are not an appropriate response to discord with Russia. They will obstruct, not abet, our policy objectives, with tremendous costs for both countries. America's leverage to impact Russia's fundamental domestic trajectory is limited. Ultimately, the Russian people must be the agents of change, democracy and liberalization. George Kennan's words on the subject in 1951 are as pertinent today as they were in. He wrote, "No members of future Russian governments will be aided by doctrinaire and impatient well-wishers in the West who look to them to produce in short order a replica of the Western democratic dream. The ways by which people advance toward dignity and enlightenment in government are things that constitute the deepest and most intimate processes of national life." This does not mean we should abandon the democracy promotion and the civil-society programs we have invested in so heavily over the last twenty years. But how we promote democracy should change. We should invoke once more the Helsinki Final Act, which made democracy an international concern. The European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a signatory, provides Russians with legal recourse to abuses in their country and provides an opportunity for integration and engagement with Europe. We should always press our position on adherence to democratic standards, but refrain from counterproductive actions. We should try to persuade Russia that closer ties to the US and the EU will yield a more prosperous and more secure Russia. As we encourage Russia to become more compatible with democratic standards, we should be careful to advocate, but not to apply overt pressure for reform. Our most important leverage on democratic reform is Russia's understanding that the US is central to its modernization, security and economic integration into the world. Of course we have to broaden our dialogue with the Russian people and our understanding of Russian society. We should expand scholarly exchanges and study abroad programs in our universities. We must improve our communication with Russians both at the official and non-official levels. Senior people diplomats, scholars, journalists, students, and many others, must engage in an intensive dialogue. That will not eliminate the disagreements, but civilian bridges have the potential to strengthen US-Russian relations as future generations work to bolster bilateral ties during the next 200 years. How we fashion our future relations with Russia will be an important signpost of our success in shaping the future of American foreign policy. Thank you.