Russian Ambitions

People gather to watch celebrations for Navy Day, with a Russian warship and a submarine seen in the background, in Vladivostok, Russia, July 26, 2015

People gather to watch celebrations for Navy Day in Vladivostok, Russia, July 26, 2015

Photo by Yuri Maltsev/Reuters


December 1, 2015


6:00 p.m. – Registration
6:30 p.m. – Program


RAND Corporation
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Russia's interventions in Ukraine and Syria raise serious concerns about Moscow's regional and global ambitions. Both moves have won public support for President Vladimir Putin in Russia, but they also risk becoming quagmires or stretching resources at a time of Russian economic setbacks. Thus far, the United States and Europe are aligned in their dealings with Russia on these crises, but ultimate goals and how they will be achieved remain uncertain. Will the West accept new “frozen conflicts” in Ukraine, and ease some sanctions? Can the West work with Russia to foster a transition in Syria to more stable, broad-based political arrangements? RAND's William Courtney, a former U.S. ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan, will offer insights on these issues.

William Courtney, photo by Laryssa Courtney

William Courtney

Adjunct Senior Fellow; Former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan

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