Sept. 29, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Russian International Affairs Council has reported that the Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution (NOREF) sponsored a meeting of Russian and U.S. “experts” on Sept. 16. NOREF, which played a key role in facilitating Palestinian-Israeli negotiations which concluded in the Oslo Accords, specializes in hosting both formal Norwegian or international negotiations (“Track One diplomacy”), and “Track Two diplomacy,” the name used for back-channel discussions between contending sides in the form of informal dialogue between unofficial representatives of the contending sides. The Russian-American talks were clearly of the Track 2 form, “a key characteristic of [which] is the need for discretion,” NOREF reports.
Thus, RIAC named the Russian participants, not the Americans. The NOREF site provides no public information on its meetings, appropriate to its “Track two” role. The RIAC note reads:
“On September 16, 2022, with the support of the Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution (NOREF), a remote meeting was held for a group of Russian and American experts to discuss the state and prospects for the development of bilateral relations between Russia and the United States in the context of the European security crisis and the Russian special military operation on the territory of Ukraine.
“In particular, the discussion focused on the risks of this conflict escalating and reaching the level of direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO, the impact of midterm elections to the U.S. Congress on American approaches towards the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the dynamics of interaction between the two countries on the conflict situations in the Middle East and other regions of the world, prospects for restoring dialogue on strategic arms control, and other issues.
“Russian side at the meeting was represented by Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General; Dmitry Suslov, RIAC Member, Deputy Director at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Senior Lecturer, Deputy Director, Council for Foreign and Defense Policy; and Nikolay Surkov, RIAC Expert, Senior Researcher at IMEMO RAS.”
Foto: chepté cormani, Pexels