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Key Challenges in the Post-Soviet Era: 30 Years On (Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc.)

  • 27 Jan 2022
  • 12:00 PM
  • Online


Key Challenges in the Post-Soviet Era:

30 Years On (Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc.)

A Conversation with Ambassador George Krol and David Merkel

The Cold War and Soviet era seemingly ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, giving independence to 15 countries. The recent violence in Kazakhstan, continuing Ukraine crises, and Russian President Putin’s vision of an authoritarian regional order led by Russia highlight only some of the turmoil in the former Soviet Union.

Ambassador George Krol will discuss the implications of these events and trends for the countries of the region and their relations with the U.S. and Europe. He has over thirty years of professional diplomatic expertise in the region, including as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Belarus and Uzbekistan.

David A. Merkel has decades of experience in the region, having served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House. He is a founding board member of Nazarbayev University in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.



Free for PCFR Members

$10 for Non-members


Thursday, January 27, 2022

12 pm MST | 2 pm EST


Zoom Meeting

The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


George A. Krol

U.S. Ambassador, retired

Ambassador George Krol retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in November 2018, concluding a 36-year diplomatic career with his final assignment as U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan. He has spent the last 30 years dealing with and serving in states that emerged from the former Soviet Union such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Krol also held ambassadorships to Uzbekistan (2011-2014) and Belarus (2003-2006,) and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Central Asia (2008-2010). Earlier in his career, Krol served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (1999-2002,) Director of the Office of Russian Affairs (1997-99) and Special Assistant to the Ambassador-at- Large for the New Independent States (1995-97) at the State Department. As an officer serving in Leningrad/St Petersburg (1990-92) Krol reported from the Baltic republics and covered the collapse of the USSR there and in Northwest Russia. Krol has received numerous State Department awards, including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award as well as decorations from the governments of Lithuania, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

Ambassador Krol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in Clifton, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. 1978) and Oxford University (B.A., M.A. 1980.) He resides in Middletown, Rhode Island and currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Krol lectures on foreign policy topics to local audiences and is also an Associate Fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies where he gives talks, writes and participates in Davis Center activities.

David A. Merkel

Associate Fellow,

International Institute for Strategic Studies

David A. Merkel is the managing director of Summit International Advisors, LLC. His expertise includes United States foreign policy, the geopolitics of energy, the Belt and Road Initiative, Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

David A. Merkel has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House, Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. He also served as international counsellor to the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and senior foreign and defense policy adviser to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations.

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