News / Europe

    Relations Between Washington and Moscow on the Mend

    President Barack Obama meets with President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Yokohama,  Japan, 14 Nov 2010
    President Barack Obama meets with President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, 14 Nov 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Most experts agree that relations between the United States and Moscow are better now than they've been for several years.

    President Barack Obama has made better relations with Russia a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Soon after he was sworn in as president two years ago, he vowed to "reset" relations with Moscow that were strained during the last few years of the Bush administration. Many experts say relations between the two countries are certainly on a better footing.

    Retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni takes a more cautious approach, saying relations between the two countries have to be managed carefully.

    "Russia is going to be a significant power. I think [the Russians] are resurgent in some ways. They are looking for their place in the world," said Zinni.  "They are still blistered from the loss of influence in Eastern Europe and even in the southern parts of their borders that they blame us for. I think it's a relationship that needs a lot of work."

    For his part, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft says Moscow and Washington are beginning to work together.

    "And it's going to be a long, slow process, because there is still a lot of suspicion and they don't do things the way we like," said Scowcroft.  "And they have an innate hostility to us. We don't think that anybody lost the Cold War, but they certainly do. So they are still suffering from the fact that we came out of it well and their whole way of life was destroyed. So we've got a long way to go, but I think we're on the right track."

    Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger sees Russia playing a much greater role internationally.

    "The Russians right now are in the process of trying to become more aggressive on the world scene," said Eagleburger.  "And you have to understand as well that Moscow now, Russia now, is not in any position equal to that of the former Soviet Union. It is much weaker, much less influential on the world scene. And some of that influence on the world scene and a stronger economic and political position in the world is what Russia is driving hard for. And that has and will continue to make for some differences between the two of us."

    Experts say both sides bridged differences as they agreed last year to a new treaty reducing strategic/long-range nuclear weapons.

    Brent Scowcroft says Senate ratification of the treaty was essential in keeping the momentum going in the Washington/Moscow relationship.

    "It was critical to this 'reset' because had we rejected that treaty, we would have been rejecting a closer relationship with Russia," added Scowcroft.  "Now all the treaty really does is open the door to further progress between the two on nuclear arms control, should we decide to go that way. The U.S. and Russia still possess 95 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. Making the nuclear balance more stable, making progress whether you are a fan of zero nuclear weapons or not, making progress so that nuclear weapons are never used, is very important."

    Experts say the next logical step would be for Washington and Moscow to focus their attention on reducing short-range/tactical nuclear weapons.

    Analysts say another example of better relations between Russia and the United States is that Moscow toughened its position on Iran. It cancelled the delivery to Tehran of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, a deal dating back to 2007. Russia also voted in favor of a United Nations Security Council resolution imposing new, tougher sanctions on Tehran, although the text was apparently watered down by Russia and China.

    Once again, retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni.

    "The more we can get the Security Council to be united in how we handle Iran, the better it is," noted retired Marine Corps General Zinni.  "And obviously, the two parties that we are most concerned with are Russia and China, showing Iran that there is international cooperation and an international sense of what their behavior should be. Getting Russia to participate in that is critically important. I would like to see China more cooperative in that sense too."

    Looking ahead, many experts say Washington and Moscow should build on the progress made in 2010.  Possible new arms control talks and Russia's application to become a member of the World Trade Organization are two key issues facing Washington and Moscow in the months ahead.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    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.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora