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Diplomacy in Action

U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission: Bi-Weekly Look-Ahead and Wrap-Up

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
May 16, 2011


Look Ahead

May 16 – 19: Environmental Working Group: Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will join representatives of the Russian prosecutor’s office in leading a seminar in Khabarovsk Kray on illegal logging and the U.S. Lacey Act, which combats trafficking in illegal wildlife, fish, and plants. The seminar will be attended by local government officials, forestry agency representatives, and members of the NGO community.

May 16 – 20: Emergency Situations Working Group: The Russian Ministry of Emergency Response (EMERCOM) will participate virtually in the National Level Exercises 2011 (NLE) from a simulation cell in their operations center in Moscow. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will lead U.S. agencies, private sector representatives, and foreign participants in the NLE in preparing an effective nation-wide response to a catastrophic earthquake occurring inside the U.S.

May 17 – 20: Emergency Situations Working Group: Dr. Denis Onieal, Superintendent of the National Fire Academy and Acting Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration, will speak at EMERCOM’s Integrated Safety and Security Exhibition and Conference-2011 (ISSE-11) in Moscow on the topics of organizational and operational aspects of disaster preparedness. The theme of this year’s conference is wildfire preparedness in the Asia Pacific.

May 18 – 20: Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group: The U.S. Department of Commerce will host a delegation of experts from the Russian Ministry of Economic Development for an exchange of best practices on effective procurement processes. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will also participate.

May 19 – 21: U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary Patrice Brown will represent the U.S. Department of Justice at the St. Petersburg Legal Forum, hosted by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

May 19 – 24: Education, Culture, Sports, and Media Working Group: The Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra will travel to Russia, performing in Moscow at the International House of Music in Svetlanov Hall and at Spaso House as well as in Kazan and Samara. Visit the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra’s Website.

May 19 – 20: Defense Relations Working Group: The Logistics Sub-Working Group will hold its inaugural meeting in Moscow. Military logistics experts from the Department of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense will discuss the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), lifecycle logistics support strategies, inventory management and material tracking technologies, supply distribution processes, and the utility and benefits of an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA).

May 7 – 21: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministerial: The 2011 APEC trade ministerial will take place in Big Sky, Montana, with Ministers of Trade interacting on investment issues, life science innovation, food security, and increased small and medium-sized business competitiveness. Russia’s Minister of Economic Development, Elvira Nabiullina, will be leading the Russian delegation and will meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke. See the Office of the United States Trade Representative Website.

May 23- 25: Science and Technology Working Group: The U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) will host a Technology Commercialization Forum at the St. Petersburg State Mining University. Russian and U.S. technology experts will work with students and faculty on the development of professional skills and the creation of commercialization models. This event will complement other CRDF programs in Russia, which includes partnering with the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in supporting proposals for joint U.S. – Russia research projects in the Russian Far East.

May 23 – 27: Civil Society Working Group: Under the auspices of the Prison Reform Sub-Working Group, USAID will sponsor 15 Russian human rights activists and public monitoring committee representatives to the United States to exchange views with their peers on issues related to confinement and on successful strategies to monitor and improve prison conditions as well as to improve advocacy and awareness. The delegation will also meet with U.S. government representatives and representatives of the legislative branch to discuss current policy priorities in this area and how NGOs can work with governments to improve public oversight and shape policy reform. The delegation will also study operations at a number of detention facilities, including county jails and psychiatric institutions.

May 23 – 27: Health Working Group: Polio experts from the Russian Ministry of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Health Organization (WHO) will undertake joint polio immunization monitoring missions to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The teams will observe local immunization campaigns, identify threats to regional containment efforts, and work with local communities to promote vaccination.

May 26: President Obama and President Medvedev meet on the margins of the G-8 meeting in Deauville, France.

Previous Events Wrap-Up

Environment Working Group: From April 20 – May 14, a delegation of Russian government officials and representatives of indigenous populations and NGOs travelled to Washington, DC and Alaska. Their trip was part of an ongoing effort to create a U.S.-Russia shared heritage area in the Bering Strait region, which includes promoting the protection of shared environments and strengthening relations between U.S. and Russian indigenous groups. During their trip, the delegation held consultations with the U.S. National Park Service to discuss effective park management and preservation practices. Additionally, they met with various participating Alaskan tribes to work with them in coordinating the establishment of the shared heritage area. View the NPS website to learn more about the Beringia Shared Heritage Program. 

Education, Culture, Sports, and Media Working Group:

  • From May 2-6, U.S. veteran journalist and founding editor of USA Today Amy Eisman gave a series of lectures and seminars in Russia’s Far East to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. Speaking with students, professors, government representatives, and media professionals, she addressed some of the issues facing citizen journalism, regional media, journalist education standards, and how digital technologies influence modern publishing models. See Consulate Vladivostok’s Facebook Page.
  • The U.S. Embassy and the Moscow Fulbright Office welcomed senior administrators from five U.S. community colleges to Russia during the first half of April 2011. The delegates visited higher educational institutions in and around Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and in cities throughout the Ural region. They met with their Russian university counterparts and members of vocational associations, local industries, and non-governmental organizations to discuss workforce training, relations between educational institutions and local industry, the benefits of applied bachelor degrees and other professional training programs. This visit coincides with Russia's ongoing educational reform efforts and our growing agenda in academic cooperation.

Military Cooperation Working Group: From May 5-7, Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Russian Chief of Defense and General of the Russian Army, Andrey Makarov, in St. Petersburg. The focus of discussions was on missile defense cooperation, military reform, and on counterterrorism cooperation. The meeting concluded with Admiral Mullen and General Makarov signing a memorandum of understanding enhancing U.S.-Russia collaboration in combating global terrorism. See photos from the meeting as well as Admiral Mullen’s visit to St. Petersburg. View the transcript of Admiral Mullen’s interview with ITAR TASS

Admiral Mullen and General Makarov congratulate each other on signing an MOU on combating terrorism in St. Petersburg May 6. (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Defense)

Business Development and Economic Relations Working Group:

  • On May 11, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) held a digital video conference with representatives from the Russian Ministry of Economic Development (MED) to plan for a June visit by Russian federal economic officials, NGO representatives, and regional mayors to Detroit and Pittsburgh. The purpose of the upcoming visit will be to exchange views on industrial re-structuring, local economic development, and small business practices vital to promoting economic sustainability in former single industry cities and regions.
  • From April 20 – 30, six Russian businesswomen travelled to the U.S. to meet with their American peers to discuss promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship among women in small business. While in Washington, DC, the delegation consulted with the Small Business Administration, the State Department’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the State Department’s Office of the Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues. They later visited the Silicon Valley and conferred with leading U.S. women business managers and industry leaders in digital media, marketing and product development, e-commerce, technology deployment, and wireless communication, among others. 
The delegation of Russian business-women and entrepreneurs holding consultations at the U.S. Senate in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: USAID)

Commission Coordinators: On the margins of the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Nuuk, Greenland (May 11-12) Secretary of State Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov met to discuss bilateral issues. 

Date: 05/12/2011 Description: Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Nuuk, Greenland. Secretary Clinton represented the United States among other participating foreign ministers from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. - State Dept Image
Secretary Clinton represented the United States at the Nuuk Ministerial, among other participating foreign ministers from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State)

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