Over its sixty year history, the Aspen Institute has been devoted to advancing values-based leadership - to creating a safe, neutral space in a natural setting in which leaders can meet in order to discuss the complex challenges facing modern societies confidentially and in depth, with respect for differing points of view, in a search for common ground.
The 2009 Aspen European Strategy Forum was dedicated to the topic of integrating Russia into a new Euro-Atlantic security order. The Concluding Report, "Russia and the West: How to Restart a Constructive Relationship", was presented in a conference on November 5th by The Aspen Institute Germany in cooperation with the Aspen Institute Italia and the Aspen Institute Romania.
The 2009 forum was organized in cooperation with Aspen Italia under the aegis of five additional, outstanding international statesmen or "principals": AleksanderKwaśniewski, the former President of the Republic of Poland, Prof. Giuliano Amato, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy, Gary Hart former U.S. Senator from the State of Colorado, Dr. Dmitry OlegovichRogozin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Eckart von Klaeden, Foreign Policy Spokesman of the parliamentary party of the German CDU/CSU. The goals of the exercise were to answer three basic questions:
What were the sources of friction that caused the relationship between Russia and the "West" to go off track?
What common national interests do Russia and the West share?
How can a new Euro-Atlantic security order be built where Russia believes that it can advance its interests by acting within the system and from which both Russia and its neighbors do not perceive a threat to their security or national interests?
A first workshop was convened in Washington DCin June 2009 in cooperation with the American Institute for Contemporary Germany Studies and Aspen Italia; it was designed to solicit U.S. input on these issues and involved meetings with key U.S. policy makers and strategists in the areas of foreign policy, security policy, energy policy, nonproliferation and arms control. A second workshop was convened in Berlin in cooperation with Aspen Italia in August 2009; it was designed to solicit Russian and Central and East European views on the same questions and involved leading experts from the Russian Federation and governmental representatives from Central and East Europe.
Under the guidance of the statesmen listed above, the following document was written by Professor Joachim Krause (University of Kiel, Academic Director of AESF), Andrew Kuchins, PhD (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Alexander Rahr (German Council on Foreign Relations), Dr. Benjamin Schreer (Deputy Director, Aspen Institute Germany) and Charles King Mallory IV(Executive Director, Aspen Institute Germany) in an attempt to provide consensus answers to the three questions outlined above and to identify enduring areas where views diverge and consensus cannot be reached.
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, this report was presented at an international conference held at the Brandenburg Gate on Thursday, November 5th, 2009 by Prof. Mr. Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy. The document was then discussed by a number of high-level international participants at the conference, and was subsequently revised to reflect these deliberations before publication.