Episode 55: Russia’s War on Ukraine and Europe’s Response

Jeffrey Rathke

Jeff Rathke

President of AGI

Jeffrey Rathke is the President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining AICGS, Jeff was a senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS, where his work focused on transatlantic relations and U.S. security and defense policy. Jeff joined CSIS in 2015 from the State Department, after a 24-year career as a Foreign Service Officer, dedicated primarily to U.S. relations with Europe. He was director of the State Department Press Office from 2014 to 2015, briefing the State Department press corps and managing the Department's engagement with U.S. print and electronic media. Jeff led the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, he was deputy chief of staff to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels. He also served in Berlin as minister-counselor for political affairs (2006–2009), his second tour of duty in Germany. His Washington assignments have included deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs and duty officer in the White House Situation Room and State Department Operations Center.

Mr. Rathke was a Weinberg Fellow at Princeton University (2003–2004), winning the Master’s in Public Policy Prize. He also served at U.S. Embassies in Dublin, Moscow, and Riga, which he helped open after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Rathke has been awarded national honors by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as several State Department awards. He holds an M.P.P. degree from Princeton University and B.A. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University. He speaks German, Russian, and Latvian.



Peter S. Rashish

Vice President; Director, Geoeconomics Program

Peter S. Rashish, who counts over 25 years of experience counseling corporations, think tanks, foundations, and international organizations on transatlantic trade and economic strategy, is Vice President and Director of the Geoeconomics Program at AICGS. He also writes The Wider Atlantic blog.

Mr. Rashish has served as Vice President for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he spearheaded the Chamber’s advocacy ahead of the launch of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Previously, Mr. Rashish was a Senior Advisor for Europe at McLarty Associates, and has held positions as Executive Vice President of the European Institute, on the Paris-based staff of the International Energy Agency, and as a consultant to the World Bank, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Mr. Rashish has testified on the euro zone and U.S.-European economic relations before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia and has advised three U.S. presidential campaigns. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jean Monnet Institute in Paris and a Senior Advisor to the European Policy Centre in Brussels. His commentaries have been published in The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest, and he has appeared on PBS, CNBC, CNN, and NPR.

He earned a BA from Harvard College and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University. He speaks French, German, Italian, and Spanish.



Stavros Lambrinidis

Ambassador of the European Union to the United States

Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis has been the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States since March 1, 2019.

From 2012 to February 2019, he served as the EU Special Representative for Human Rights. In 2011, he was Foreign Affairs Minister of Greece. Between 2004-2011, he was twice elected as a Member of the European Parliament with the Greek Social Democratic Party (PASOK). He has also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament (2009-11), Vice-President of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (2004-09), and Head of the PASOK Delegation (2005-11).

Between 2000-2004, Ambassador Lambrinidis was Director-General of the International Olympic Truce Centre, an International Olympic Committee organization. His other roles include Ambassador ad personam of the Hellenic Republic (1999-2004); Secretary-General of the Greek Foreign Ministry, responsible for Expatriate Greeks (1996-99); and Chief of Staff to the Greek Foreign Minister (1996).

Ambassador Lambrinidis was born in Athens in 1962. He studied Economics and Political Science at Amherst College (Bachelor of Arts, 1984) and Law at Yale Law School (Juris Doctor, 1988).

On this episode of The Zeitgeist, Stavros Lambrinidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, joins AGI President Jeff Rathke and Peter Rashish, Director of AGI Geoeconomics Program. They discuss Europe’s response to the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as the close transatlantic partnership that has been at the center of the unprecedented sanctions on Russia. Has the EU been effective in projecting political power in this crisis? Will pressure from its own citizens and allies accelerate the EU’s plan to stop energy imports from Russia? How does Germany’s coalition government influence the EU’s policy priorities? Will the upcoming U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting focus on Russia or systemic strategic competitors more broadly? Has the crisis in Ukraine permanently changed the transatlantic relationship?


Jeff Rathke, President, AGI


Stavros Lambrinidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States
Peter Rashish, AGI Senior Fellow; Director, Geoeconomics Program

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.