University of Pittsburgh
October 11, 1999

PITT TO HOST DISTINGUISHED RUSSIAN DELEGATION Hopes Focus on "Building Bridges" with U.S., Europe


PITTSBURGH, October 11 -- While some foresee a new "Cold War" emerging between the United States and Russia, a delegation of prominent Russian civic leaders committed to building lasting links between their country, the United States and Europe will visit the University of Pittsburgh, Oct. 19 and 20.

The trip to this country, which begins in Washington, D.C., is part of an effort to create a network of trilateral relations promoted by several distinguished civic organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. Sponsors are "Atlantik Brücke," the major civic organization in Germany maintaining strong transatlantic ties to America; its counterpart in the U.S., the American Council on Germany, and the American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS), the major American exchange organizations with Russia.

The visiting delegation represents the groups who founded the Russian component of this trilateral network promoting international goodwill. Those expected to make the trip include:

• Aleksandr Dorovskikh (Father Daniil), Archimandrite,

Monastery of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergei

• Leonid Kholod, head of the Department of Agro-Industrial

Reform, Government of Russian Federation

• Elena Kholod, deputy chief, Medical, Physical Therapy

Center, Ministry of Public Health, Russian Federation

• Mikhail Shmakov, chairman, Independent Trade Unions

of the Russian Federation

• Svetlana Shmakov, economic consultant, RM Partners

Investment Company

• Iuri Kosarev, chairman, Social Security Foundation of the

Russian Federation

• Konstantin Shmachkov, director, Moscow office, GLOBUS

Consulting and Contracting GmbH

The delegation will be accompanied by Heinrich Bonnenberg, a Pitt trustee and prominent figure in Germany, and his wife, Elena.

"This visit is important not only because our visitors are each persons of stature and distinction, but because they are pioneers of civic society in their country," said Burkart Holzner, director of Pitt's University Center for International Studies (UCIS) which is organizing and hosting the visit. "The creation of an office to strengthen transatlantic and trans-European ties in Moscow, professionally staffed, is a considerable achievement and a courageous initiative of the group visiting us."

Atlantik Brücke was founded in 1952 to "build a bridge" between post-war Germany and the United States. Activities also have included Canada, Japan and Israel. In a meeting in Pittsburgh in 1997, Walter Leisler Kiep, president of Atlantik Brücke and senior councilor to UCIS, spoke about the experience of building links between Germany and America and about the need for extending this concept to Russia. The goal of the extension is to create a trilateral civic network of Russian, German/European and American representatives from business, finance, academe and journalism. Since 1997, a number of bilateral and trilateral meetings have taken place in Germany, Russia and the United States, culminating in the establishment of the Atlantik Brücke office in Moscow.

The American Council on Germany has sponsored many programs in dialogue between American and German leaders. Its Pittsburgh chapter is headed by David Murdoch.

The Russian delegation comes to Pittsburgh from Washington, D.C., where the visit includes a reception hosted by the Library of Congress and Pennsylvania Congressman William Coyne. The Washington part of the journey is sponsored by Dan Davidson, executive director for International Editors of the American Councils ACTR/ACCELS.

While in Pittsburgh, the visitors will tour the University and the city, attend a dinner cosponsored by Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and the American Council on Germany's Warburg Chapter in Pittsburgh, and participate in a "Focus on Russia" discussion with UCIS faculty. The group also will meet with other civic organizations in Pittsburgh.

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