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The Moscow Intellectual Exchange Program

Sponsored by American Foreign Policy Council
August 1, 1990

On September 23rd, an AFPC contingent will arrive in Moscow for three days of talks with Soviet intellectuals.  This group will include Former Undersecretary of State Bill Schneider, Sven Kraemer, a sixteen-year veteran of the NSC senior staff, and Herman Pirchner, Jr., the President of the AFPC.  The meetings will consist of talks with the intellectual advisors to both President Gorbachev and President Yeltsin, as well as specialists or members of the brain trust behind some of the independence movements of the non-Russian Republics.  This occasion will mark the first of four meetings to occur within the coming year; two American visits to the Soviet Union, and two Soviet visits to the United States.

 Over the past year, the American Foreign Policy Council has sponsored meetings involving major Soviet figures in both Washington and Moscow:  These have included Politburo member and Glasnost architect Aleksandr Yakovlev; Pravda Editor Ivan Frolow; world chess champion and founder of the Democratic Party of the Russian Federation, Gary Kasparov; and Sergie Krasavchenko, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation’s Committee on Economic Reform and Privatization, just to name a few.  Working under the assumption that a very small number of people start ideas in the corridors of power in any society, it is extremely important that those who occupy such positions in Soviet and American society have an opportunity to talk – without agenda – for some hours.

 Earlier in the year, on April 26, the first intellectual exchange was held as a dinner in honor of Ivan Frolov, the Editor of Pravda.  Among those attending the event were former Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, and world strategist Dr. Fritz Kraemar.  This forum produced exceedingly penetrating discussions, off the record, over a broad range of topics.

 Such meetings can lead to a greater understanding of our respective societies and those policies which are firmly based in the national interest of each country.  The aim of the meetings is to encourage the full development of democratic institutions and a free market economy in the Soviet Union.  We believe these meetings can, at a minimum, reduce the chances of policy miscalculation and provide the foundation that will encourage the movement toward democracy.

Related Categories: Russia; Democracy & Governance

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