News

    Will Putin Victory Affect US-Russia Relations?

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Feb. 27, 2012.
    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Feb. 27, 2012.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to win the upcoming presidential elections.  We examine whether his return to the presidency will affect U.S.-Russia relations.

    President Barack Obama has made better relations with Russia a cornerstone of his foreign policy . The so-called “reset” in relations with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev brought about a major arms-control agreement and increased cooperation on such issues as Afghanistan, Iran and Libya.

    Analysts say there is currently a chill in relations between Washington and Moscow, due to Russia joining China in vetoing a U.N. resolution calling for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step aside.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the vote “a travesty.”

    Russians go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president.  Current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to win.  He is no stranger to the post, having been president from 2000 to 2008.

    The presidential elections follow allegations of widespread fraud during December elections for parliament - the Duma.  Those charges sparked huge demonstrations in major Russian cities and have evolved into a direct challenge to Mr. Putin’s authority.

    Georgetown University Russia expert Angela Stent says Vladimir Putin is employing a familiar tool during his campaign.

    “He has really resorted to a tactic that, of course, has been used since he became president in 2000 - and that is to invoke the United States [as the] enemy, to blame the United States for a lot of Russian problems," said Stent. "And as you saw, in the Duma elections, he then blamed Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton for supporting the opposition and for trying to undermine Russian stability.”

    Russia expert Robert Legvold cites another example.

    “When the new [U.S.] ambassador, Michael McFaul, hosted opposition figures, even though it was a quiet meeting, the authorities knew about it, had camera people there to film it," said Legvold. "And then that led the media, certainly at Putin’s behest, or media knowing what Putin would want, to sharply attack McFaul for doing this kind of thing, interfering and then accusing the opposition party of, through that channel, receiving funding from the United States.”

    U.S. government officials have denied those allegations.

    Given this anti-American rhetoric, questions are being raised as to what impact a Putin presidency will have on U.S.-Russia relations.

    Russia expert Sergei Glebov, of Smith College in Massachusetts, says Mr. Putin has a history of inflammatory, anti-American rhetoric.

    “In many cases, this was probably rhetoric designed for domestic consumption, more than international politics," said Glebov. "But in any case, Putin appears as a politician who, at least in part, is driven by the desire to limit the power and the influence of the United States and appears as the obstacle on the path of American imaginary or real expansion, influence and power.”

    Glebov believes, despite Putin’s views, relations between Washington and Moscow will not get worse.

    Robert Legvold expects continuity in U.S.-Russia relations.

    “It is not to say that Putin does not have a grimmer view, a more suspicious view of the U.S. then Medvedev did," he said. "But on most of the key issues - cooperation on Afghanistan, whatever kind of arms control we did or did not achieve with [the] New START [treaty], whatever progress we may or may not achieve on missile defense - I do not think that Putin is out of step with Medvedev.”

    Analysts believe one thing is for sure: the U.S.-Russia relationship has grown over the years to such an extent that they say a return to the tension-filled Cold War days is virtually impossible.

    Vladimir Putin's Public Image:

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mikhail Zubkov
    March 24, 2012 10:19 AM
    Vincent, do you know that more than 1/3 of the USA electorate has no right to vote because of your voter registration rules, but more than 2 mln. have the registrations and do vote in two or even more states - and often are payed for their votes? Consult your elections experts, please, it's their judgment.

    by: andrewborovskikh@gmail.com
    March 06, 2012 8:28 AM
    Putin is obviously a good person. Why isn’t he doing anything to change the situation in Russia? Impunity, corruption are the consequences of his domestic policy of drift. He does nothing and sees what happens. He lets out undercover agents at gambling machines when heroin flows like water and traffic police is corrupted th and th. Maybe, he is spending all his energy for the ambitious foreign policy? Tidy home, national economy, that’s what made great powers, not the ridiculous presence in G8

    by: michael
    March 05, 2012 4:21 AM
    There seems to be a current of justice in these remarks about other nations in that he seems to strongly believe in fair and independent exchange for each faction with whatever problem is being dealt with

    by: Igor
    March 04, 2012 6:29 PM
    I am not sure how much all of you know about Putin. But to me Putin is a kind of person who has the capability of turning chaostic Russia into a democratic, orderly Russia. Let's see what he has done to Russia after the breaking of Soviet Union.

    by: NVOd
    March 04, 2012 3:10 PM
    The fraudulent sham election will more so effect Israel as the Gog of Magog (more than likely Putin) will attack Israel 1/2 way through the tribulation. The king of the North will come against Israel as a cloud that covers the land. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem=Psalm 122.6

    by: Jonathan Huang
    March 03, 2012 8:32 PM
    @Vincent, I doubt your vote can change anything in US, because all candidates are puppets and service only 1%. 99% just vote for the game called democracy, and surprisingly, you still feel good about that. Are you ignorant?

    by: Sasha
    March 01, 2012 9:24 PM
    The Russian friends I have that were at the protest said no mention of Putin was ever made. They were protesting the current President for lack of action not Putin. He is against all the wars in the Middle East like many Americans here and the corrupt American government and media here. Putin is popular with Russians for a good reason.

    by: Gennady
    March 01, 2012 2:50 PM
    The doubt expressed in the article looks rhetoric. Certainly the relations won’t be affected. The Russians never had any serious conflict with the USA and admire your great country. We are doomed to cooperation. Putin resided in anti-American rhetoric as long as he felt a threat to his Putin 3.0 ambition. In XXI century Russia isn’t that advanced & powerful to ignore & disrespect the USA in rough seas of the world politics under any president.

    by: Vincent
    March 01, 2012 10:54 AM
    Putin is simply an ego maniac cast in the mode of former Russian rulers who doles out the rubles to the people that support his dictatorship, Russia will never know real freedom of choice till the people wisen up, I thank god we have the right to vote out our bums here in the US.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora