John Edwards and Jack Kemp Co-Chair Council Task Force on Russian-American Relations

May 31, 2005

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Jack Kemp and John Edwards, May 31, 2005.

Former Congressman and Housing and
Urban Development Secretary and vice
presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and
former Senator and vice presidential
candidate John Edwards at the first meeting
of the Council-sponsored Independent
Task Force on Russian-American Relations,
May 31, 2005.

May 31, 2005 — The Council launched an Independent Task Force today to review current U.S. policy toward Russia and make recommendations on future policy—from global security to Russia’s evolution as a democratic state. The Task Force is chaired by former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards and former Congressman and Housing and Urban Development Secretary and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp. Council Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich, former ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states, directs the Task Force.

“More than a decade and a half after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S.-Russian relations continue to follow a pattern in which high hopes for cooperation alternate with disappointment,” said Edwards. “Our effort will examine this critical but challenging relationship and suggest a strategy for dealing with our differences and making the most of opportunities to work together.”

The Task Force will focus on seven main areas: co-operating against terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, strategic energy partnerships, (de-)democratization, Russia’s relations with its neighbors, Cold War legacy issues, and Chechnya.

“With both President Putin and President Bush now in a second term, prospects for U.S.-Russian cooperation could be strengthened, even on issues where Russian and American interests might not coincide,” said Kemp. “Our goal will be to make recommendations in areas where they can make a useful contribution to the public debate.”

Task Force Meeting, May 31, 2005.

The Council-sponsored Independent
Task Force on Russian-American Relations.

The bipartisan Task Force is comprised of a diverse group of leading policy practitioners, scholars, and figures from the private sector. (See list below.) Release of the report is planned for the fall of 2005.

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that members, students, interested citizens, and government officials in the United States and other countries can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.


Stephen E. Biegun
Ford Motor Company

Coit D. Blacker
Stanford University

Robert D. Blackwill
Barbour Griffith & Rogers, International

Antonina W. Bouis
Andrei Sakharov Foundation

Mark F. Brzezinski
McGuire Woods, LLP

Richard R. Burt
Dilligence, Inc.

Lorne W. Craner
International Republican Institute

Robert J. Einhorn
Center for Strategic & International Studies

John L. Gaddis
Yale University

John A. Gordon
General, USAF, Retired

James A. Harmon
Harmon & Co.

Steven E. Hellman
OILspace, Inc.

Fiona Hill
The Brookings Institution

George Joulwan
General, USA, Retired; One Team, Inc.

Clifford A. Kupchan
Eurasia Group

Jessica T. Mathews
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Michael A. McFaul
Hoover Institution

Mark C. Medish
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

David R. Slade
Allen & Overy

Walter B. Slocombe
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Strobe Talbott
The Brookings Institution

Judyth L. Twigg
Virginia Commonwealth University

Margaret D. Williams
World Wildlife Fund

Daniel H. Yergin
Cambridge Energy Research Associates

Dov S. Zakheim
Booz Allen Hamilton

Contact: Lisa Shields, Vice President, Communications +1-212-434-9888 or

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