Fort Ross
Fort Ross Dialogue 2014

Fort Ross Dialogue 2014

DIALOGUESessions Framework: The Importance of ‘Second Track’

The ‘second track’ of non-governmental relations is of increasing importance between Russia and the United States. While governmental representatives are invited to participate, this second track focuses on engagement of business, academics, NGOs, and others outside government. Gatherings such as the Dartmouth Conference have long played this role in the Atlantic dimension, and Fort Ross Dialogue can and should play a similar role in the Pacific dimension of US-Russian relations. Principal benefits are two-fold. First, these conversations can generate new, creative ideas to be implemented by government and society. Second, they can reinforce the upswings and mitigate the downswings in the US-Russia relationship.


How best can the Fort Ross Dialogue create a “second track” for trans-Pacific relations between Russia and the U.S.? How can it engage new “thought leaders” including young scholars, entrepreneurs and rising regional leaders on both sides? What can it do to help place US-Russian relations on a more positive footing?

Fort Ross Dialogue 2014


Photos from Fort Ross Dialogue 2014 

Fort Ross Dialogue 2014
Vintner’s Inn, Santa Rosa California

Introduction (video) and Welcome
Sarah Sweedler, Fort Ross Conservancy President, and Senator Noreen Evans

Reorienting U.S.- Russia Relations

Matt Rojansky, Director, Kennan Institute, will provide the framework and introduce the keynote speaker,
Honorable Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States.

The U.S. and Russia have a long, complicated, and predominately peaceful history that has profoundly shaped world events. Since the end of the Cold War, relations have been oriented primarily towards the geopolitics of the Atlantic, as exemplified by current tensions over Ukraine. Fort Ross, however, is a reminder that the U.S. and Russia are both Pacific powers and that some of their earliest encounters were on the California coastline between traders and businessmen. Fort Ross’s unique history and mutually positive symbolism demonstrates the significance of people-to-people interactions that take place far from each country’s capital city.

During this time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, D.C., what is the role for the business community and civil society in enhancing the orientation to the Pacific? How could this reorientation help to change the dynamic of U.S.-Russia relations?

Pacific Energy Future

Jay Pryor, Corporate Vice President, Business Development, Chevron;
Nikolai Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice President, Sovcomflot;
Maxim S. Grishanin, First Vice-President, JSC Transneft;
Nikolay Platonov, Deputy Head of the Foreign Economic Relations Department of JSC Transneft.

The world economy is growing, driving increased demand for all forms of energy. Much of this growth is occurring in the Asia-Pacific region: by 2030, the region will be the largest consumer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Demand for LNG (liquefied natural gas) in particular is expected to more than double by 2025. To meet this demand, there have been major LNG developments on both sides of the Pacific, notably in Sakhalin and in British Columbia, in addition to key production from Australia. The landmark Russia-China gas deal demonstrates the importance of the growing Asia-Pacific energy market.

What does the growth in energy demand, particularly in the Pacific, mean for the U.S. and Russia? How can the thriving energy industries in the U.S. and Russia rise to meet this challenge? How can energy transportation links be enhanced between the two countries? What are the major obstacles, opportunities, and areas for potential partnership on energy issues?

U.S.- Russia Shared Cultural Heritage

E. Breck Parkman (Moderator), Senior State Archaeologist, California State Parks;
Ambassador Alexander Kuznetsov, Director of History & Records Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation;
Dr Alexander Molodin, Ph.D, Dean of Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture and Fine Arts;
Sarah Sweedler, President, Fort Ross Conservancy.

The United States has several historic and cultural sites that are important to Russians and Russian – American history, and many of these sites are located along the Pacific Rim. Fort Ross State Historic Park is a prime example, as is Fort Elizabeth on Kauai, Hawaii, and the Chkalov Museum in Fort Vancouver, Seattle, Washington.

How can cultural and historical sites build common ground between Russians and Americans, and how can we foster opportunities for cultural, historical, and educational exchanges at these sites to promote productive interactions between Americans and Russians?

Fort Ross Dialogue and Harvest Festival 2014 generously sponsored by Chevron and Russian companies Transneft and Sovcomflot.