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US Foreign Policy in Russia

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1 US Foreign Policy in Russia

2 In December 1991, the SU ceased to exist as a geopolitical entity and fragmented into 15 new independent states. With its demise the post-WWII central organizing principle - containing the SU- no longer existed. "The US has found it exceedingly difficult to define its 'national interest' in the absence of Soviet power." (Condoleezza Rice, 2000) Would Russia become a friend/partner as a full/equal member of the community of democratic nations? Or would it slip back into a hostile power ?


4 Several Phases US-Russian relations since 1991
Fragile cooperation ( ) A sense of uncertainty ( ) A Renewal of Hope ( ) ‘A New Cold War’ ( ) Reset ? ( 2008-? )

5 1) Fragile Cooperation: Whether to build market democracy in Russia ?
YES: Russia had a good chance of becoming a stable market economy with democratic institutions. The US had responsibility to assist. NO: American interference in Russians domestic affairs bound to fail and cause a negative reaction.

6 1) Fragile Cooperation During the break-up of the Soviet empire, a revolutionary figure Boris Yeltsin came to the forefront of Russian politics. Yeltsin promised to lead his new country to a better and brighter future in cooperation with the West. The relationship forged by Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin was cemented by Yeltsin's commitment to reforms to modernize the Russian state and economy.


8 1) Fragile Cooperation – Crisis hit Russia
Bill and Boris thought American assistance and expertise could transform Russia into a "market democracy". The reforms failed, and as Russia's economy shrank the quality of life for many Russians plummeted. The economy was dealth a further blow by the August 1998 financial crash.


10 2) A Sense of Uncertainty : Whether to enlarge NATO ?
YES: NATO is a defensive alliance and Russia had nothing t fear from its enlargement into eastern Europe NO: By expanding NATO the Western powers were effectively excluding Russia from the most important international security institution of post-CW Europe.

11 2) A Sense of Uncertainty : NATO Enlargement/Interventions
The Russians were severely disappointed by the US decision to expand the NATO into former Warsaw Pact countries.   To placate Russia it was allowed to join the G7 group of leading democracies, and the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act created a Permanent Joint Council in Brussels.  The US decision to use military force against former Yugoslavia met strong opposition from Moscow, conidering it as an unjustified use of force in its sphere of influence, and felt embarrassment at its seemingly impotence in the face of US military might.




15 2) A Sense of Uncertainty : The ‘Great Game’ Revisited-1
The US was quick to establish a diplomatic and economic presence in the new states of the Caucasus and Central Asia. (Silk Road Strategy Act) Paid dividends in the form of lucrative commercial contracts to develop oil and gas fields in the region. ( BTC & BTE )   Russia resented the projection of US influence into what it regarded as its own sphere of influence and tried to block US initiatives. The rise of the SCO has dealt a blow to US influence in Central Asia.



18 Eurasian Balkans

19 “America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space (Eurasia) and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it.“ ( Z.Brzezinski,1997)




23 Hindrances for FSU to develop and export resources
Know-how Viable transport routes Energy politics as highly politicized issue


25 Aims of SRSA Energy supply diversification Breaking Russia’s monopoly
Bolstering independence of FSU






31 2) A Sense of Uncertainty : Pursue Good Relations with Putin ?
YES: Russia is a great power due to its geographical presence in Eurasia, its seat in the UNSC, and its role as an energy exporter. The US has to establish a good relations with whoever is in power. NO: Putin is a dictatorial leader whose authoritarian rule will only bring instability to Russia. He cannot be a reliable partner.





36 3) A Renewal of Hope: A Common Strategy for new world ?
The ailing economy, war in Chechnya, and the weakness of the state were the priorities on Vladimir Putin's agenda as he assumed power in 1999. President G.W.Bush saw Russia as in a weakened state, and relations with Moscow were not a priority for the new administration.  The US and Russia attempted to find common ground on arms control, Putin was opposed to the US national missile defense effort.




40 4) ‘A New Cold War’: A reversal course
The US led war in Iraq led to sharp deterioration in US-Russians relations. Putin's crackdown on political opposition, symbolized by the arrest of oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky in October 2003, cast a shadow over his acceptability as a trusted partner for the US. The ' color revolution' in Georgia, Ukraine , and Kyrgyzstan we seen by Moscow as a part of an America plot to undermine Russia influence in the post-Soviet region.










50 5) Reset ?




54 Thanks

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