The only winner in the recent energy standoff between Russia and the Ukraine was Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now viewed as having wrested the least-bad deal for Ukraine in her bargaining with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

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This meeting focused on Europe’s increasingly troubled energy relationship with Russia, with particular emphasis on Northern Europe. Against the backdrop of the Ukrainian gas crisis and renewed pledges on the Nord Stream gas pipeline project, participants assessed Russia's influence in European energy markets and the critical interplay between Russia's economic downturn and energy export policies, as well as the attendant implications for the transatlantic relationship. Participants included Pekka Sutela, Head of the Bank of Finland's Institute for Economies in Transition; Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Jaroslav Kurfürst, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Czech Republic; Dr. Phyllis Yoshida, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Energy Cooperation, U.S. Department of Energy; Tomas Gulbinas, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania and J. Robinson West, Chairman, Founder and CEO, PFC Energy. Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, former U.S. Special Envoy for European Union Affairs and Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy presented keynote luncheon remarks.

Michael ChertoffMichael Chertoff – who was the 2008 recipient of The European Institute’s annual Transatlantic Leader Award – was often a controversial figure in Europe during his four-year tenure heading the Department of Homeland Security. Those tensions were widely reported at the time and remain vividly in the public recollection of the period when the two sides of the Atlantic often seemed to be engaged in a tug of war over citizens’ rights, notably privacy and protection from unreasonable search.

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That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present
By Robert and Isabelle Tombs
Alfred A. Knopf Press, 2007, 816 pages

Reviewed by Avis Bohlen

The ancient rivalry between France and Britain is, as recent events remind us, the most enduring and influential relationship within Europe. Overshadowed during most of the cold war by the crucial Franco-German tie, the motor which drove European construction, the Anglo-French quarrel exploded with full force during the bitter run-up to Iraq in 2003. The enlargement of the European Union and the defeat of the Constitutional referendum in France in 2005 spelled the end, at least for now, of a certain idea of Europe which France supported and Britain opposed. At the heart of both debates are long-standing Franco-British differences about the relationship with the US and the future shape of Europe. But the bitterness and animosity of these debates are hard to explain without reference to the past.

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