POLICY BRIEF 09-6

Pressing the "Reset Button" on US-Russia Relations

by Anders Aslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics
and Andrew Kuchins, Center for Strategic and International Studies

March 2009

The global financial crisis offers all world leaders an opportunity to think big and reach out to international cooperation. President Barack Obama should seize this opportunity to dramatically turn around US-Russia relations by establishing a positive interaction with President Dmitri Medvedev based on an early formulation of a Russia policy. Aslund and Kuchins recommend that integration, as opposed to isolation, is the best way to "manage Russia's rise." They identify six key areas of desired cooperation: Iran and missile defense, European and regional security including Afghanistan, arms control, commercial relations, energy policy, and democracy and human rights. The US approach to Russia should foster an environment of mutual trust in which Russians are likely to make choices that will both promote global security and enhance their own prosperity. A Russia with a mature market economy and robust democratic institutions will be the most constructive and effective partner for the United States.

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