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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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16 июля 2014

The Expertise Round Table – a presentation by Mark Kramer themed “Reagan, Bush and Gorbachev: Talks between the Superpowers and the End of the Cold War”



On June 24, 2014, well-known historian, Mark Kramer, Director of the Cold War Studies Program at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, appeared as a guest speaker at the Gorbachev Foundation and delivered a presentation themed “Reagan, Bush and Gorbachev: Talks between the Superpowers and the End of the Cold War”.
Professor Mark Kramer based his research, which was at the core of his presentation, on a wide range of sources including declassified CIA files, materials from President Reagan’s personal archives, archival holdings of the Gorbachev Foundation, and other archives and research holdings.
The speaker focused mostly on the evolution of the US foreign policy in the closing stages of the Cold War. Professor Mark Kramer looked into the various approaches towards relations with the Soviet Union that dominated the US political circles in that period and how the US foreign policy’s approaches and objectives shifted as a dialogue between Washington and Moscow evolved.
The speaker particularly emphasized the significance of trust-building between the leaders of the superpowers in ending the Cold War – this factor served as a ground for subsequent agreements.  Professor Mark Kramer, in particular noted that when researching the Reagan Presidential Archives he was amazed to discover that the US President, known for his hard-line approaches, had shown trust towards the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, from the very start.

Professor Mark Kramer expressed his skepticism over the attempts by many contemporary historians and commentators to draw parallels between the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and the current soured relations between the United States and Russia. In his view, the world was different then, being divided along ideological lines: there was a real threat of a major nuclear conflict between the two opposing superpowers. Today, there is no conflict of ideology; however, there are risks of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of aggressive third world regimes and of nuclear strikes between countries like India and Pakistan.


Participants in the round table discussion that followed the presentation included, among others, Vasily Zharkov (the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration), Viktoriya Zhuravleva (Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU)), Dmitry Petrov (The Petropavlovsk Foundation for Socially-Oriented Projects and Programmes Support), Pilar Bonet (El Pais), Olga ZdravomyslovaAleksandr Veber, Georgy Ostroumov and Boris Slavin (the Gorbachev Foundation), RGGU’sstudents and the faculty.
After the discussion, Dmitry Petrov presented to the audience his new book “John Kennedy: The Red-Headed Prince of America” (Moscow, AST, 2013).

Hosting the round table was  Andrey Ryabov.

Mark Kramer's presentation at the roundable Reagan, Bush, and Gorbachev: Ending the Cold War



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