Obstacles and Opportunities

Jan 23, 2019

A close and constructive US-Russia relationship is difficult to imagine in the near future, but a careful look reveals a more nuanced landscape of obstacles and opportunity.

One of the biggest challenges is mutual suspicion. Some 68 percent of Russians view the US as their country’s main enemy, according to the Levada Center, and in the United States, 32 percent of Americans hold the same view towards Russia. Another is that there is little economic interdependence between the two countries that can anchor the relationship—Russia ranks just 30th among US trade partners.

But there are important areas where the two countries could cooperate more closely, such as counter-terrorism, maintaining nuclear security, or stabilizing the Middle East. How can the United States and Russia work more closely on these issues, and what’s stopping them?

Professor Joshua Tucker (Director of Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia, NYU) discusses Russian interference in US elections. What he sees as the real threat might surprise you.
What has changed in US-Russia relations post-Helsinki and what does the future hold for the two countries and the world? Thoughts from Ian Bremmer (IGA Board President).
Another view on Russian election meddling and the frustrations of the US-Russia relationship from Celeste Wallander (President & CEO, US-Russia Foundation).
The snowballing, negative effects of all that Russia has done is about us and not about them even a little bit. Matthew Rojansky, Director of the Wilson Center’s Kenan Institute, discusses US-Russia relations in the Trump-Putin era.
“This is the worst period in US-Russia relations I can not only remember but imagine,” says Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov.

Russia polling data: https://www.levada.ru/en/2018/02/02/enemies/

US polling data: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/goahsdjgxl/econToplines.pdf

US-Russia security challenges: https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/report_ccs2017-russia-us-opinion-on-syria_180115.pdf

A brighter future for all