Two grassroots American NGOs partner to promote U.S.-Russia relations

The Russian-American Cooperation Initiative and the Russian Public Affairs Committee will work together on a series of projects, including a joint media campaign.

This week, the Russian-American Cooperation Initiative (RACI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Public Affairs Committee (Ru-PAC) to partner and collaborate in the promotion of U.S.-Russia relations.

Ru-PAC, which has dubbed itself as "America’s one and only pro-Russia lobby," is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization dedicated to developing and strengthening the relationship between the United States and Russia through education, dialogue, and policy recommendations that promote the interests and security of both countries.

RACI, a Seattle-based NGO that started out as a student-led organization back in 2012 and now manages The Russian American (this website), specializes in building professional ties and promoting peer-to-peer dialogue between proactive citizens of both countries.

As noted in Ru-PAC's press release, "the Russian-American Cooperation Initiative has grown into a major player in “track two diplomacy” — by organizing internships and exchanges for young professionals, sponsoring events that promote Russian culture in the United States, and arranging speaking tours that feature experts and thought leaders in U.S.-Russia relations."

In speaking about the partnership with RACI, President of Ru-PAC Hunter Cawood, said, “This is a great opportunity for both of us and we’re incredibly excited to be working together. They share our values and are dedicated to the same mission that we are — to develop and strengthen the relationship between the United States and Russia. I think this is a step forward for both organizations, and more importantly, I believe it’s a step forward in building better U.S.-Russia relations.”

The President of RACI Vladimir Rodzianko concurred with that notion, adding that "RACI and Ru-PAC share a common vision for a world in which the United States and Russia are strategic partners, working shoulder to shoulder on solving bilateral issues and addressing global challenges."