Obstacles and Opportunities
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?
Russia polling data: https://www.levada.ru/en/2018/02/02/enemies/
US-Russia security challenges: https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/report_ccs2017-russia-us-opinion-on-syria_180115.pdf