Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Only days after Russian President Dmitri Medvedev met in Washington with President Obama, the FBI accused 11 people of being Russian agents. The charges include money laundering, conspiracy and failing to register as agents of a foreign government, but do not include espionage. The FBI has been tracking the alleged spies since 2003, though many of the spies have been in the US since the 1990s.

The need for increased vigilance towards Russia’s spy program was brought up at Monday night’s Council program with Georgia’s Ambassador to the US, Batu Kutelia. He noted the weekend’s 11 arrests and said, “This same case happened in Georgia five or six years ago and at that time I was head of our foreign intelligence service and when we intercepted and arrested this, most of the world accused us, Georgia, of being too provocative towards Russia. But now it appears that the same activities are happening in a different part of the world and the intention of modernizing Russia is really good, but if they continue with business as usual, there could very different consequences for them as well.” To listen to the entire program with Ambassador Kutelia, please visit our online audio archive.

To learn more about Russia’s history of espionage the US, read this article from the New York Times. For more information about the relationship between Russia and the Caucasus, read this article from the current issue of Foreign Affairs.

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This Monday, June 28, the Council is honored to host His Excellency Batu Kutelia, Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, for a discussion of the state of bilateral relations and importance of Georgia as an ally in the Caucasus. The visit follows the Council of Europe’s Parliament overwhelming approval of a draft resolution condemning Russia’s policy in the North Caucasus, the same week that the Russian president is touring the United States. To register for the program with Ambassador Kutelia, visit the Council’s website.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, at the invitation of President Obama, traveled to the US on Tuesday to meet with business and political leaders in California and Washington, DC. Medvedev, who hopes to create a new technology mecca in Russia, made stops in San Francisco and Silicon Valley where he met with industry executives. Tomorrow he will travel to Washington to discuss the expansion of the economic relationship between Russia and the United States, which has largely been on hold since Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008. To learn more about Medvedev’s trip to Washington, read this article in the New York Times.

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Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has announced that he will be attending the upcoming nuclear summit in Washington, DC. Therefore, H.E. Batu Kutelia, Georgian Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico, has had to cancel his scheduled visit to the World Affairs Council on April 7. The World Affairs Council hopes to reschedule for late June.

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Yesterday’s bombing in the Moscow subway brought renewed focus to the Caucasus, in the southern part of the Russian Federation, as officials expressed suspicions that the suicide bombers were from the area. While Georgia is not implicated, it shares a border with the area of the Russian Federation from where many militants have come in the past, including Abkhazia, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Ossetia. Learn more about Georgia, the state of bilateral relations and the importance of Georgia as an ally in the Caucasus in June, when the World Affairs Council hosts H.E. Batu Kutelia, Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Canada and Mexico.

For more information on Russian concern of spreading guerrilla warfare, read this article from the New York Times.

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