On October 8, the Brookings Institution hosted Senator Richard G. Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for a conversation on Russia.
Indiana’s longest-serving senator, Lugar was first elected in 1976, and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading voices on foreign relations and national security. Foremost among his initiatives is the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. With the fall of the Soviet Union, he saw the grave proliferation risk presented by the Soviet Union’s vast arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Working with then-Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Senator Lugar crafted an ambitious program to safeguard and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.
Russia’s path forward since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been a turbulent mix of openness and retrenchment. In his remarks, Senator Lugar, who recently returned from Russia, will examine the prospects for progress at the October 12 meeting in Moscow of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates with their Russian counterparts, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Lugar discussed the agenda, including the U.S. proposed missile defense system in central Europe, non-proliferation and energy security. Brookings President Strobe Talbott provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.