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The Briefing: Shuttle Diplomacy

U.S. special envoy Kurt Volker visiting Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine in July
U.S. special envoy Kurt Volker visiting Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine in July

Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for the Ukraine conflict, is set to meet with a top Russian official -- most likely Vladislav Surkov, but the Kremlin hasn't confirmed that yet -- in Minsk today.

From the Belarusian capital, Volker will travel to Vilnius to discuss "the way forward in Ukraine" with Lithuanian officials.

And from there, he will join U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis for high-level meetings with Ukrainian officials.

On this week's Power Vertical Briefing, we discuss Volker's shuttle diplomacy and what it signifies.

Joining me is RFE/RL's News Editor Steve Gutterman.


The Briefing: Shuttle Diplomacy
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NOTE: The Power Vertical Briefing is a short look ahead to the stories expected to make news in Russia in the coming week. It is hosted by Brian Whitmore, author of The Power Vertical blog, and appears on Mondays.

About This Blog

The Power Vertical
The Power Vertical

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or


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