Closer ties between the US and the European Union are being forged with the visit of the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, to the Washington-based think-tank, the Atlantic Council.
He is due to address the forum on his first visit to the US since the Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership, a joint initiative of the EU and its Eastern European partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Hahn is due to brief the Atlantic Council on the EU's efforts to deepen the EU's relationship with its southern and eastern neighbors. In his first visit to the United States after the Eastern Partnership summit in the Latvian capital of Riga, he will brief his transatlantic counterparts on the situation in Ukraine as well as efforts to expand the EU.
Hahn will also meet representatives of the American administration and Congress to discuss the latest developments in the enlargement and neighborhood countries, as well as the situation in the western Balkans.
Atlantic Council and Ukraine
The visit by Commissioner Hahn is significant, in that it comes on the back of the appointment to the Atlantic Council of Anders Åslund, one of the world's most renowned experts on Ukrainian and Russian political economy, as a Senior Fellow in its Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center with a dual appointment in its Global Business and Economics program.
Dr Åslund is a leading specialist on East European economies, and has served as an economic adviser to several European governments. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently appointed Dr Åslund to his International Advisory Council for Reforms.
Appointment of M Saakashvili as governor in Odessa perfectly sensible. He can wield effective executive power fighting corruption, FSB & GRU— Anders Aslund (@anders_aslund) June 1, 2015
In a statement, the Atlantic Council said: "His appointment strengthens the Council's extensive work on Ukraine, expands the Council's work to include Russian political economy, and reinforces the Council's focus on the growth crisis in Europe."