At the Atlantic Council, a well-known US think tank, a scandal arose over a publication about Russia posted on the center's official website by two of its employees.
As the American publication, Politico writes in the article вЂњThe Atlantic Council is at war over Russia,вЂќ вЂњtwo dozen Atlantic Council workers and staff issued a statement denouncing two of their colleagues for publishing an article on the think tank's website. Which is considered pro-Russian вЂќ.
Emma Ashford and Matthew Burroughs, two senior Atlantic Council experts, published an article on Friday stating that вЂњthe United States should not focus on human rights in its relationship with RussiaвЂќ and that вЂњdemocratization in Russia will not necessarily benefit US foreign policyвЂќ, reports Politico.
According to the publication, the article by Ashford and Burroughs prompted 22 think tank employees to issue a statement on Tuesday in which they distanced themselves from the authors, saying that the article вЂњhits by.вЂќ Among the signatories are three former US ambassadors John Herbst, Alexander Vershbow, and Daniel Fried, who have worked at the State Department for almost 40 years.
вЂњTheir article is based on the erroneous assumption that human rights and national interests are separate and that US policy towards Russia has been and remains predominantly linked to human rights issues,вЂќ the statement said.
According to the assumptions of one of the signatories, the position of one of the donors of the Atlantic Council, Charles Koch, who provided $4.5 million over five years, could have influenced the wording of the authors of the article. However, Atlantic Council CEO Fred Kempe denied these reproaches.
The article вЂњcaused a lot of buzz in this usually low-key centrist think tank,вЂќ Politico notes. вЂњThis does not reflect American interests,вЂќ one of the signatories told the publication.
Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson, while not signing the statement, noted that he personally disagrees with Ashford and Burroughs and вЂњstrongly believes that human rights are an integral part of US national security interests.вЂќ At the same time, he stressed that he respects вЂњtheir right to express their arguments.вЂќ