10:00 am EST - 11:30 am EST

Past Event

A Confusing Turn in Russia

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

10:00 am - 11:30 am EST

Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC

The recent arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky—Russia’s richest man, head of its largest oil company, YUKOS, and an outspoken critic of President Putin—has raised concerns about Russia’s future direction and the intentions of its leadership. Many Russian experts worry that Russia may be returning to the old days of targeted attacks against prominent figures and restrictions on civil society. Additionally, the decision by the Russian government to freeze YUKOS shares represents a reversal of the privatization process begun a decade ago and of Russia’s policy on international investment. Is Russia now on the road to authoritarianism and increased state control over the economy? And what does this mean for the United States at a time when U.S. – Russian relations, thanks to cooperation on the war on terrorism and a strategic energy dialogue, seem better than ever?

With the Russian parliamentary elections scheduled for December 7th, a panel of experts will discuss these recent developments and assess their implications for Russian society. The backdrop for the discussion will be The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold, a new Brookings book by Senior Fellows Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy, which argues that Russia’s future is hindered by geography, political pathology, and historical missteps.

Panelists at this briefing will answer questions from the audience following their remarks.