A key diplomatic office within the US Department of State, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is responsible for implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The bureau promotes US political and economic interests in the region on issues ranging from NATO enlargement to energy supplies to the war on terrorism.
The bureau was created in May 2001, when Secretary of State Colin Powell merged the Bureau of European Affairs with the Office of the Special Adviser for the New Independent States.
A key diplomatic office within the State Department, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is responsible for implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia. The bureau promotes US political and economic interests in the region on issues ranging from NATO enlargement to energy supplies to the war on terrorism. Bureau diplomats work with representatives from the governments of 53 countries and entities.
When discussing the bureau’s third main objective, Russia, American diplomats seem to be aiming for a “cold non-war” in their attempts to counter Russia’s economic pressures on Europe. Russia’s intimidation of Europe through energy supplies is “growing and convincing the Putin regime that it can ignore calls to curb its authoritarian domestic trends and uncompromising diplomacy,” according to
The Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs conducts diplomatic affairs with more than 50 foreign governments. It also has numerous economic stakeholders, including governments outside the region and private companies that are involved in the natural gas industry. One of the bureau’s top objectives is to reduce Russia’s supply of natural gas to Europe, and thus reduce the one-time superpower’s influence in the region. Currently, Russia provides Europe with one-third of its natural gas supplies. Those supplies arrive via two major pipeline routes constructed in the 1980s over the objections of the Reagan administration. The bureau is trying to convince several European and Eurasian governments to diversify their natural gas supplies by building pipelines that would bypass Russia. Such a move would have serious ramifications for Russia, which exports 80% of its natural gas to Europe.
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Philip H. Gordon, who was confirmed as Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs on May i4, 2009, is no stranger to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, having served on Bill Clinton’s National Security Council staff during the former president’s first term in office. Gordon has spent his career studying Europe as an academic and think tank researcher, and is considered a specialist on France and Turkey.
A native of Washington, DC, Daniel Fried served as assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs from May 2005 until March 2009. Fried began his career with the Foreign Service in 1977, serving in the Economic Bureau of the State Department until 1979. He then served at the US Consulate General in then-Leningrad from 1980 to 1981; as political officer in the US Embassy in Belgrade from 1982 to 1985; and in the Office of Soviet Affairs at the State Department from 1985 to 1987.