News / Europe

Analysts: US, Russia Relations Are Good Despite Differences

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) gives U.S. President Barack Obama a thumbs up as they meet at the first plenary meeting during the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii November 13, 2011.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) gives U.S. President Barack Obama a thumbs up as they meet at the first plenary meeting during the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii November 13, 2011.

Most experts agree relations between the United States and Russia are good. The two countries still have differences, but they increasingly work together on a wide range of issues.  

President Barack Obama has made better relations with Russia a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Experts say the so-called “reset” in relations that Obama launched shortly after coming into office almost three years ago has generated important achievements.

Angela Stent, a Russia expert at Georgetown University, said the highlight was the ratification by both countries of the New START treaty reducing long-range nuclear weapons.

“We can still destroy each other - it makes no sense to have all those warheads. The Cold War is over, so we’ve drastically cut down the number of warheads and we are going to cut them down further. So I think it was very important to accomplish that,” said Stent.

Stent and others say another achievement was the agreement allowing U.S. military transports to transit through Russia into Afghanistan.  Given the frayed relationship between the United States and Pakistan, Stent says that supply route is crucial for the conduct of the war.

Moscow also has supported stronger United Nations sanctions against Iran and has canceled the delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran. In addition, the Russian government did not oppose a no-fly zone over Libya.

But Stent says the two sides still disagree on U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe.

“We have explained to them - our government [has], many, many times - this system has to do with concerns about the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons, about the North Koreans, about countries that could threaten us all. It’s not aimed at Russia,” said Stent.

She said the “reset” in relations has been built on the relationship between President Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.

“They’ve met many times, they’ve talked much more. They spent a lot time together either virtually or really. President Obama met with Prime Minister [Vladimir] Putin once in July 2009 and it was a difficult meeting. Putin has a lot of resentment against the United States, against what he sees as failed promises from the Bush administration, and he certainly discussed those.”

Former National Security Adviser General Brent Scowcroft looks at Putin’s criticism.

“Putin’s basic complaint was at the end of the Cold War, 'When we - the Russians - were flat on our backs, you took advantage of it. You pushed the borders of NATO right up to include parts of the old Soviet Union. You denounced the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] treaty. You did a lot of things because we were weak. And now we are strong and you can’t do that anymore,'” said Scowcroft.

In a few months, Russian citizens go to the polls to elect a new president to succeed Medvedev. The odds-on favorite to win is Putin. Many experts wonder whether the good relationship between Washington and Moscow will continue, or whether there will be a harsher tone from the Kremlin, given Putin’s previous history.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid