Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2013

Russia Still Matters: Strategic Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration

John W. Parker, Michael Kofman

March 2013

Institute for National Strategic Studies


Bilateral relations will assume a lower priority for Washington and Moscow in the next 4 years, but there are important areas where cooperation is possible, and may prove necessary, despite the growing “values gap.” Pressing developments, interests, and disagreements will necessitate U.S.-Russian coordination on Syria, Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear file, and missile defense in Europe in the near term. Each country’s “pivot” toward the Asia-Pacific region, interests in security and development of the Arctic, and desire to stimulate bilateral trade and investment will be on a longer fuse. Allaying Russian concerns over the European Phased Adaptive Approach through transparency measures and technical cooperation will influence any future negotiations on strategic weapons reductions.