U.S.-Russia Business Council Hopes Diplomacy Could Resolve Strained Relations

Effects from a recent flurry of diplomacy between Moscow and Washington cannot be expected immediately but may yield results in the long run, the CEO of the U.S.-Russia Business Council Daniel Russell told pro-Kremlin news outlet Sputnik.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier in May, while senior U.S. and Russian experts held consultations on North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, Russia Business Today reported.

“This is all good. It doesn’t mean there is any agreement on any of these issues, but the fact that the two governments are talking, I think, is a positive development. I think that in the long run this will probably yield results, but I think in the short term we are not going to see anything that different,” Russell said.

He confirmed that U.S. business was comfortable in Russia and continued to work productively. It has been encouraged, he said, by the Russian government’s interest in “regulatory guillotine” to streamline bureaucratic processes and its push for digital economy in areas that are more immediate for business than politics.

Russel announced that the Russian-American conference “Dialogue Fort Ross – Meetings in Russia” will be held in Vologda in early June.

The conference will be attended by leading Russian and American experts, scientists, businessmen and diplomats. Traditionally, the forum is held with the sponsorship of Transneft, Chevron Neftegaz Inc. and Sovcomflot. On the American side, the Fort Ross Museum in California is a partner of the conference.

“Dialogue Fort Ross” annually (since 2012) gathers cultural figures, politicians, businessmen and experts. This is the third year that meetings are held on the Russian side.

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