Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2009

Repairing US-Russian Relations: A Long Road Ahead

Eugene B. Rumer, Angela E. Stent

April 2009

Academy of Political Science


At the end of the Bush administration, relations between the United States and Russia had reached their lowest point since the Cold War. The promise of a new direction in U.S.-Russian relations since President Barak Obama's London meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev has led to expectations on both sides of the Atlantic that bilateral ties will improve substantially. Such a change would be highly desirable, for it would enhance the odds of success for many U.S. initiatives from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the Far East and the Pacific. But that improvement will not come easily or quickly. It took years to reach the current nadir in the relationship between Washington and Moscow, and there are still questions remaining on their diverging values and competing interests that have to be resolved.