Michael Žantovský is a Czech diplomat, politician, writer, and translator, former Spokesman, Press Secretary and Political Director to President Vaclav Havel, Ambassador to the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom, Senator, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security. In 1989 he was a founding member and spokesman of the Civic Forum, an umbrella organization that coordinated the overthrow of the Communist regime.
He is Honorary President and served as President of Aspen Institute Prague and as Vice-President of Aspen Institute Central Europe. Since 2015, he is Executive Director of Václav Havel Library in Prague. He is a member of the Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy. He is the recipient, along with the former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, of the 2016 Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award.
How can the EU recalibrate its policy towards Russia so it represents all member states voices? What else, beyond the already-existing sanctions format, can the EU use as leverage and deterrent for future attacks? What does the Russian policy by the new US administration, including a possible meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin mean for the EU? How can the EU work with the US on shaping their policies towards Russia? How can the Transatlantic community hold Russia accountable, while keeping the dialogue open and constructive?
Recent developments have strained EU-Russia relations further. Navalny’s poisoning, the unveiling of Russian involvement in a 2014 attack on a Czech munition depot, the blacklisting of EU diplomats by Russia in retaliation for EU sanctions, and the most recent alarming deployment of thousands of Russian troops towards Ukraine all indicate the Kremlin does not seek a constructive dialogue with the EU bloc.