Friday, March 10, 2017

Atlantic Council Chairman Jon Huntsman to be Envoy to Russia

Atlantic Council Chairman Jon Huntsman has been offered the position of US Ambassador to Russia and has apparently accepted it.

Many Russians seem to like Huntsman, but they don't have as much love for his think tank, Atlantic Council.  Here is more from the New York Times:
Most Russian officials reacted favorably, he [Dimitri Simes, President of the Center for the National Interest] said, though some expressed concern about Mr. Huntsman’s ties to the Atlantic Council, a think tank of which he is chairman of the board, because it is perceived in Moscow as anti-Russian.

Indeed, Russian senator Alexei Pushkov was quoted in Sputnik as saying that Huntman's recent work as head of Atlantic Council, "a think tank critical of Russia," suggested that as ambassador Huntsman would "be no dove."

Vox says there is no evidence that Huntsman has any expertise on Russia, noting that "the closest is a stint from 2014 to present, as chair of the Atlantic Council."

MarketWatch says that Atlantic Council is "deeply critical" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Politico notes that the think tank supports the expansion of NATO.

Here are all of Atlantic Council's writings on Russia.  A look through them shows recent articles such as one entitled "Here's Why You Should Worry About Russian Propaganda," and "Putin Learns the Hard Way that Crimean Crime Does Not Pay."

Here is Think Tank Watch's recent piece on US think tankers wooing Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.