CWU News

Is Russia Going Too Far? Discussion and Reception May 8 at CWU

Are you concerned about Russia's influence in Western politics? Professor Hannes Adomeit will speak about Russia's looming presence in "German-Russian Relations: How to Cope with Moscow's New Assertiveness," a discussion and reception May 8. The event, sponsored by the Seattle Eric M. Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany and Central Washington University, will be held at 5:00 p.m., in Science II, Room 101 (the Planetarium). The event is free and open to the public.

According to Adomeit, Russia’s internal structure, the “Putin system,” has solidified into an authoritarian political construct sui generis. National-patriotic mobilization has replaced socioeconomic modernization as a goal to be pursued. In the “common European neighborhood,” German-Russian relations are characterized by competition and conflict.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken the lead in Europe to impose and maintain sanctions on Russia. She has rejected returning to “business as usual” and rapprochement short of a full implementation of the Minsk accords. But how sustainable is that approach?

Throughout the electoral campaign and thereafter, Donald Trump had cast Putin in a favorable light, doubted the effectiveness of the sanctions, expressed disinterest in Eastern Europe, and distanced himself from engagement on Ukraine, saying that “rich and powerful Germany” and other countries “directly affected” by the conflict should deal with the problem. The lecture will examine the current state and possible development of Germany’s Ostpolitik and Russia policy in light of transatlantic challenges.

Adomeit was most recently a Bosch Public Policy Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, writing a paper on German-Russian relations under Merkel and Putin. Until 2014, he was Professor for Russian and European Studies at the Warsaw campus of the College of Europe. Prior to that, he was a Research Associate and head of the research section on Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.

His academic degrees include, in Germany, an MA in political science from the Freie Universität in Berlin and, in the United States, an MA degree in international relations, a certificate in Russian Studies, and a PhD with distinction, all from Columbia University in New York City. In the past, he also held teaching and/or research positions at institutions in several countries, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California.

From 1989 to 1997, he was professor of International Politics and director of the Program on Russia and East-Central Europe at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston as well as a fellow at the Harvard Russian Research Center. He has written many articles in academic journals and books, including Imperial Overstretch: Germany in Soviet Policy from Stalin to Gorbachev: An Analysis Based on New Archival Evidence, Memoirs, and Interviews. He was born in 1942 in Memel, East Prussia, now Klaipeda, Lithuania.


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