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--> 1 The Political Context Dr. John Boright of the NRC opened the workshop. He welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of the discussion for U.S. cooperative S&T programs in general and for U.S.–Russian S&T relations in particular. Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones of OSTP characterized the workshop as an opportunity to take stock of where we, the United States, are and how to use the experience from our existing programs and other activities to clarify future strategic choices. Ms. Leslie Gerson of the State Department provided a foreign policy perspective of U.S.–Russian S&T relations. She noted that S&T is international by its nature and that international cooperation is necessary to advance S&T; the result is the growing role of S&T in our foreign policy. Moreover, a country's general security is tied to its economic security, which in turn is tied to innovation. Ms. Gerson also underscored the role of S&T in providing a forum for international cooperation. Even during the height of the Cold War, scientist-to-scientist exchanges took place and laid the foundation for much of the work that is being carried out today. Finally, she noted that in terms of U.S. foreign policy goals, cooperation in S&T assists in the evolution of civil societies. Ms. Ki Fort of the National Security Council outlined U.S. national security goals with Russia and suggested how S&T cooperation fits in. U.S. goals include ensuring that Russia is included in major international decisions and decision-making forums, if it chooses to be included. Many decisions made by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Paris Club, the World Trade Organization, and other international bodies have an impact on the scientific community and technological development, and the international ties developed by the scientific community are critical. Two other national security goals with Russia are promoting that country's democratization and economic reform agendas and reducing the
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--> risk of proliferation of weapons technology, which is a real and immediate danger. Finally, an important national security goal is to ensure that Russia believes that it is a full and legitimate player on regional issues. Mr. Mike Hamel of the Office of the Vice President emphasized a theme that was to be repeated throughout the day, namely, that the United States is at a crossroads in its S&T relations with Russia. For the first 5 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. assistance and cooperative activities were directed toward stabilization; now U.S. goals are shifting to integration of that country's S&T with the international scientific community. Whereas assistance had been the primary tool for stabilization, the United States now has a variety of tools and organizations for integration of S&T. Mr. Hamel noted that science and technology are a part of every committee of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, because of Russia's competency in many technical fields and because of the recognition that S&T is a powerful force for reform in Russia. Dr. Jones expanded on the premises and goals of the workshop. She noted that if the United States is pursuing the best science, Russia must be considered a partner in some areas. Also, many problems that require S&T solutions are global in nature. Finally, as had just been emphasized by the two preceding speakers, S&T contributes to U.S. foreign policy and security goals. The challenge for agencies and OSTP stemming from these considerations is to strike a balance between grassroots science programs that come up from mission agencies and science programs that are designed to serve U.S. foreign policy and security goals. To further illustrate this challenge in addressing competing interests, for example, between U.S. nonproliferation goals and economic goals, one participant proposed the following scenario: If Russia were to develop a revolutionary technology, and U.S. policy affecting cooperation (i.e., export control policy) bans joint efforts for commercialization in the United States or in Russia, would the United States be prepared to revise its policy to permit cooperation? Or would the United States permit a waiver to pursue its economic goals? The discussants suggested that in such a case short-term nonproliferation goals are compelling, but that in the longer term Russia could evolve as an economic power, and U.S. goals and policies would have to evolve accordingly.
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