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Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak spoke with an invited audience of Middlebury Institute students, faculty and staff on November 12 at a private seminar co-hosted by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies.

Kislyak’s remarks and the subsequent discussion focused on the state of U.S.-Russian relations and the prospects for their improvement. Ambassador Kislyak and CNS Founding Director Dr. William Potter agreed that the U.S.-Russian relationship has fallen to its lowest level since the end of the Cold War. Ambassador Kislyak suggested that, based on this assessment, the relationship can only improve.

Ambassador Kislyak and Dr William Potter

One possible area for progress that was discussed at length during the seminar involved expanded interactions and collaboration in the educational sphere. One example of this is the new Dual Degree in Nonproliferation Studies being offered through the Middlebury Institute, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and the PIR Center, Moscow, as well as the growing number of Russian scholars lecturing at the Middlebury Institute as part of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies.

Ambassador Kislyak had previously visited the Middlebury Institute for a public seminar in 2009. Potter and Kislyak have known one another since shortly after the ambassador began his career in the Soviet diplomatic service.

(Additional reporting by CNS staff)

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