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GIRS Teleconference

Facilitating dialogue between students in Monterey and Moscow.

Teleconferences are conducted (in Russian and English) with the Student Scientific Society (NSO) at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). Students from Monterey and Moscow analyze different sides of an issue and present their findings.

Past Dialogues

2018

US Russian Dialog Series
GIRS US Russian Dialog Students
GIRS US Russian Dialog Series 2

Syria: Point of No Return?

On April 24th, 2018, the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) hosted a teleconference between students of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). This time the teleconference was focused on the escalation of the Syrian crisis. The students explored the differences in how Moscow and Washington view the Syrian crisis discussing the recent developments in Syria including military strikes and alleged chemical attacks. The dialogue was an interesting exchange of opinions and viewpoints. At the end of the meeting, the participants emphasized the importance of a constructive dialogue on issues concerning international security.

US Russian Dialog Nonproliferation
GIRS US Russian Dialog Nonproliferation
US Russian Dialog Nonproliferation Group

US and Russian Nuclear Policies and the Crisis of Nonproliferation

On March 7th, 2018, the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) hosted a teleconference between students of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). The students discussed the existence of unofficial nuclear weapon states as a factor undermining the NPT, Vladimir Putin’s Address to the Federal Assembly with regard to new Russian weapons system, Donald Trump’s reform of the US military budget, and nuclear states’ stance on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

2017

Conflicting Threat Assessments on the DPRK Nuclear Threat

On October 4, 2017, students from MIIS and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) conducted a teleconference, in order to explore the differences in how Moscow and Washington view the budding nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Students were divided into two teams, one to represent the American perspective and the second to present on the Russian perspective. Each team, comprised of a Russian student and an American student, presented for about ten minutes each, and then took questions from the audience.

North Korea expert Dave Schmerler from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) was also present during the dialogue. He provided his perspective, as well as advice to participants of the dialogue about, whatever your threat assessment may be, the crisis on the Korean peninsula is a question that both countries will have to consider in the future. Better that they consider it together.

U.S.-Russian Cooperation in the Fight Against ISIS

On April 4, 2017, students from MIIS and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) conducted a dialogue over Skype on U.S.-Russian cooperation in the fight against ISIS. With expert commentary by MIIS terrorism expert Jeffrey Bale, Summer Gary and Libiao Pan each delivered presentations on the main topic, which they coordinated with MGIMO students. Dialogue between MIIS students and MGIMO students represent one regular activity of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies, and are open to the public.

No conversation about bilateral cooperation in the fight against ISIS is likely to conclude without discussion of the war in Syria, a topic which both sides of the dialogue extensively covered. Dr. Bale later observed that, considering the chemical attack which occurred in Syria on April 4, a far different conversation would have taken place had the dialogue happened just one day later. Nonetheless, participants were able to reach a conclusion during the course of the dialogue on the importance of cooperation in a time when two powerful countries share a common threat. Moreover, the dialogue was a productive exchange of ideas in ways that the United States and Russian Federation might cooperate in the future on issues concerning international security.

2016

American and Russian Perspectives on the North Korean Nuclear Threat: Lessons for the Future

On November 16th, 2016, the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) and the Student Scientific Society (NSO)’s Future World Diplomats hosted a dialogue between students of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). In the weeks leading up to the dialogue, MIIS and MGIMO students collaborated remotely to prepare joint presentations. During the discussion the students delivered two series of presentations: one on official American and Russian policies and the prospects for re-starting the Six Party Talks, and another on media interpretations in the U.S. and Russia and public opinion in Russia regarding North Korea. After each set of presentations the dialogue opened up to a round-table discussion of the information presented, prospects for future official cooperation, as well as the differing educational experiences of the American and Russian participants studying the topic.

The Syrian Conflict: Actors within It and Prospects for A Peaceful Outcome

On April 13, 2016 students in the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) and Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies (NPTS) degree program discussed various aspects of the Syrian Conflict with students from the Student Scientific Society (NSO) at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). Two speakers from each academic institution provided brief presentations highlighting the above subtopics. The discussion then opened to questions and comments, and eventually focused on the way in which the conflict could proceed given the most likely policies of the U.S. Presidential Candidates vis a vis the crisis.