California Governor Jerry Brown told reporters that he is hopeful Russia and the United States will find a way to boost business and academic dialogue.
“We have the sanctions so that creates problems but I would say within the legal framework of the United States I would certainly see business contacts and I would welcome people to come to California and discuss this,” Brown said on Monday. “I would hope that our two countries could find a way beyond the current disputes that would open up business, as well as scientific and academic dialogue and working together, investing together. I think that would be very productive.”
Brown spoke on the sidelines of the Fort Ross Dialogue Forum in San Francisco, California. Russian Ambassador to US Anatoly Antonov is also participating.
“I spoke with Ambassador Antonov about building up Fort Ross and making it a place more amenable to Dialogue, to visitors, expanding the physical capacity so that people can find… an opportunity for deeper dialogue that takes place in Washington or New York, or perhaps, Moscow,” Brown said. “This is a neutral territory with great historic memory, and I would like to see that as a positive basis for enlightened inquiry.”
The California governor said such dialogue is exactly what is needed because it is absent in much of the current US-Russian conversation. Brown also said that although the Fort Ross Dialogue gathering was small it represents a very important opportunity.
“I am very optimistic that the Fort Ross Dialogue will be much bigger next year and will be the basis for some important breakthroughs for Russia and the United States,” Brown said.
Although it will “take a little while,” Brown added, he is completely confident his views will prevail over Washington’s positions.
The Fort Ross dialogue is a biannual event hosted by Russia in the spring and by the United States in the fall. This year’s spring session was held in the city of Veliky Novgorod in May. The 19th century fort complex, located some 90 miles north of San Francisco in what is today Sonoma County, was built by Russian pioneers and is part of a state park registered as a US national historic landmark.