Russia–United States relations
Russia–United States relations is the bilateral relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States of America and their predecessor states.
- 1 Country comparison
- 2 History
- 2.1 United States and the Soviet Union
- 2.2 United States and the Russian Federation
- 2.3 Putin and Bush
- 2.4 Post–Cold War increase of tensions
- 2.5 "Reset" of relations under Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev
- 2.6 Putin's third term
- 3 Russian intelligence operations
- 4 Perception of the United States within Russia
- 5 Timeline of peace between the United States and Russia
- 6 Space exploration
- 7 Economic ties
- 8 Military ties
- 9 Bering Strait crossing
- 10 Russian adoption ban
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
|Area||17,075,400 km² (6,592,800 sq mi)||9,526,468 km² (3,794,101 sq mi)|
|Population Density||8.3/km² (21.5/sq mi)||33.7/km² (87.4/sq mi)|
|Largest City||Moscow (11,503,501)||New York City (8,244,910)|
|Federal presidential constitutional republic
|First Leader||Boris Yeltsin||George Washington|
|Current Leader||Vladimir Putin||Barack Obama|
|Official languages||Russian||English (de facto)|
|GDP (nominal)||$2.501 trillion||$15.6 trillion|
|External debt (nominal)||$0.041 trillion (1.6% of GDP)||$16.7 trillion (108% of GDP)|
|GDP (PPP)||$3.1 trillion||$15.6 trillion|
|GDP (nominal) per capita||$12,993||$48,386|
|GDP (PPP) per capita||$16,736||$48,386|
|Human Development Index||0.788 (high)||0.937 (very high)|
|Foreign exchange reserves||570,550 (millions of Ruble)||128,878 (millions of USD)|
|Military expenditures||$71.9 billion||$711 billion|
United States and the Soviet Union
In the late 1980s, Eastern European nations took advantage of the relaxation of Soviet control under Mikhail Gorbachev and began to break away from communist rule. On July 31, 1991, the START I treaty cutting back Nuclear Warheads was signed by Gorbachev and U.S. President George H.W. Bush. In December 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and the Commonwealth of Independent States was formed. With the ending of Communism, relations between Russia and the United States warmed rapidly.
United States and the Russian Federation
The aggressive privatization/free market reforms implemented by Russian President Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s were strongly encouraged and supported by the U.S. administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and by American economists and corporations. However, the reforms, known as "shock therapy", produced a major economic crisis in Russia, resulting in skyrocketing poverty, and the rise of corrupt "oligarchs" who amassed power and tremendous wealth after acquiring control of the former Soviet Union state industries. Public order and stability deteriorated greatly.
In regard to international affairs, Russia largely stayed on the sidelines during this period but early signs of eventual tensions between the nations were visible during the late 1990s. Although lending tactical support to its historical ally, Serbia, Russia stood aside and did not attempt to block the 1999 Kosovo War in Serbia, even though both Russia and China had strongly condemned it. Yeltsin denounced the Clinton administration's support of Kosovo. Later that year Clinton and Yeltsin clashed over the war in Chechnya and Yeltsin stirred controversy by stating "Yesterday, Clinton permitted himself to put pressure on Russia. It seems he has for a minute, for a second, for half a minute, forgotten that Russia has a full arsenal of Nuclear weapons. He has forgotten about that." Clinton dismissed Yeltsin's comments stating: "I didn't think he'd forgotten that America was a great power when he disagreed with what I did in Kosovo."
Though both countries have overcome virtually everything that defined their Cold War confrontation, the United States and Russia have not been able to develop sustainable cooperative bilateral relations. The difficulty in making lasting improvements has less to do with intractable policy differences than it does with a legacy of mutual distrust. “This suspicion of one another’s motives may in fact be a greater obstacle to
Mutual suspicions have become more pronounced due to each country’s domestic politics: When U.S. and Russian leaders claim improvement in bilateral relations their political opponents have typically taken a contrary view. Additionally, U.S. leaders have held unrealistic expectations about the health of the bilateral relationship and the advancement of democratic developments in Russia. “This leads inevitably to disillusionment and frustration that weaken any administration’s ability to conduct a sustainable policy in service of U.S. national interests.” Since U.S. and Russian interests are not always aligned and their respective perspectives are often intractable, Washington and Moscow will, at best, make progress in some areas and experience setbacks in others.
The Task Force on Russia and U.S. National Interests Report identified five American vital national interests vis-à-vis Russia:
- Preventing the use and slowing the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, securing nuclear materials, and preventing proliferation of intermediate and long-range delivery systems for nuclear weapons;
- Maintaining a balance of power in Europe and Asia that promotes peace and stability with a continuing U.S. leadership role;
- Preventing large-scale or sustained terrorist attacks on the American Homeland;
- Ensuring energy security; and
- Assuring the stability of the international economy.
The United States acknowledges Russia as critical to preventing nuclear wars. Russia also plays a vital role in U.S.-led initiatives to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable materials and technologies, which have been sought by non-state actors. Without Russia’s cooperation, the United States would face serious problems in seeking to slow down the proliferation of nuclear material.
Russia is important to the current international distribution of power. Its vote in the United Nations Security Council and its influence elsewhere is consequential to the success of U.S. international diplomacy on a myriad of issues. It is the largest country on Earth by land area and the largest in Europe by population. Russia sits at a strategic crossroads between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and is America’s neighbor in the Arctic. Therefore, Russia is close to trouble-spots and a critical transit corridor for energy and other goods.
Russian National Interests
The Task Force on Russia and U.S. National Interests Report identified seven Russian vital national interests:
- Preventing the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against Russia and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons in the post-Soviet space;
- Maintaining Russia’s nuclear deterrent capability as a guarantor or Russia’s sovereignty and great power status;
- Preventing major terrorist attacks in Russia;
- Sustaining Russian influence in the post-Soviet space and denying competing powers the ability to dominate the post-Soviet space;
- Assuring continued revenue flows from Russia’s energy exports and ensuring other states are not able to exercise leverage over Russia’s energy exports;
- Protecting the security and stability of Russia’s current political system; and
- Protecting and advancing the economic interests of major political/business alliances.
U.S. and Russia have many national interests in common, such as avoiding nuclear war, preventing proliferation, and limiting terrorism. However, U.S. and Russian interests differ in important ways, particularly regarding the post-Soviet space, the commitment of Russia’s leaders in maintaining their country’s current system of government, and protecting the economic interests of the Russian elite. 
Russia’s determination to be treated like a great power contributes to tension with the United States. The Russian desire to maintain an unambiguous nuclear deterrent capability is at odds with Washington and NATO’s missile defense plans. Additionally, Russia’s participation in UN Security Council decisions often conflicts with America’s efforts to win Security Council resolutions that advance its foreign policy objectives. “Many of these differences are likely to endure as long as Russia’s current political arrangements remain in place and possibly beyond. Therefore, even a purposeful U.S. policy is in itself insufficient to ensure sustainable cooperation in the absence of Russian efforts to make a cooperative relationship succeed.”“Many of these differences are likely to endure as long as Russia’s current political arrangements remain in place and possibly beyond. Therefore, even a purposeful U.S. policy is in itself insufficient to ensure sustainable cooperation in the absence of Russian efforts to make a cooperative relationship succeed.” In other words, the United States can and should work to encourage those efforts of mutual cooperation but cannot guarantee them.
Putin and Bush
During the presidencies of Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush, the U.S. and Russia began to have more serious disagreements. Under Putin, Russia became more assertive in international affairs than it had been under his predecessor; under Bush, the U.S. took an increasingly unilateral course in its foreign policy in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In 2002, Bush withdrew the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to move forward with plans for a missile defense system. Putin called the decision a mistake. Russia strongly opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, though without exercising its veto in the United Nations Security Council. Russia has regarded the expansion of NATO into the old Eastern Bloc, and U.S. efforts to gain access to Central Asian oil and natural gas as a potentially hostile encroachment on Russia's sphere of influence.
Officials in the United States expressed concern over their perception of Putin's increasingly authoritarian rule and reversal of democratic reforms, human rights violations in Chechnya, suppression of free speech, alleged murder of political dissidents, attacks on journalists in Russia, and support for highly authoritarian regimes in other former Soviet republics.
Post–Cold War increase of tensions
U.S. plan to place missiles in Poland
In March 2007, the U.S. announced plans to build an anti-ballistic missile defense installation in Poland along with a radar station in the Czech Republic. Both nations were former Warsaw Pact members. American officials said that the system was intended to protect the United States and Europe from possible nuclear missile attacks by Iran or North Korea. Russia, however, viewed the new system as a potential threat and, in response, tested a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, the RS-24, which it claimed could defeat any defense system. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the U.S. that these new tensions could turn Europe into a "powder keg". On 3 June 2007, Putin warned that if the U.S. builds the missile defense system, Russia would consider targeting missiles at Poland and the Czech Republic.
On 16 October 2007, Vladimir Putin visited Iran to discuss Russia's aid to Iran's nuclear power program and "insisted that the use of force was unacceptable." On 17 October, Bush stated "if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," understood as a message to Putin. A week later Putin compared U.S. plans to put up a missile defense system near Russia's border as analogous to when the Soviet Union deployed missiles in Cuba, prompting the Cuban Missile Crisis.
On 14 February 2008, Vladimir Putin again announced that Russia might have to retarget some of its rockets towards the missile defense system, claiming that "If it appears, we will be forced to respond appropriately – we will have to retarget part of our systems against those missiles." He also said that missiles might be redirected towards Ukraine if they went ahead with plans to build NATO bases within their territory, saying that "We will be compelled to aim our missiles at facilities that we consider a threat to our national security, and I am putting this plainly now so that the blame for this is not shifted later,"
On 8 July 2008, Russia announced that if a U.S. anti-missile shield is deployed near the Russian border, they will react militarily. The statement from the Russian foreign ministry said "If a U.S. strategic anti-missile shield starts to be deployed near our borders, we will be forced to react not in a diplomatic fashion but with military-technical means." Later, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin stated that "military-technical means" does not mean military action, but more likely a change in Russia's strategic posture, perhaps by redeploying its own missiles.
On 14 August 2008, the United States and Poland agreed to have 10 two-stage missile interceptors – made by Orbital Sciences Corporation – placed in Poland, as part of a missile shield to defend Europe and the U.S. from a possible missile attack by Iran. In return, the U.S. agreed to move a battery of MIM-104 Patriot missiles to Poland. The missile battery would be staffed – at least temporarily – by U.S. Military personnel. The U.S. also pledged to defend Poland – a NATO member – quicker than NATO would in the event of an attack. Additionally, the Czech Republic recently agreed to allow the placement of a radar-tracking station in their country, despite public opinion polls showing that the majority of Czechs are against the plans and only 18% support it. The radar-tracking station in the Czech Republic would also be part of the missile defense shield. After the agreement was announced, Russian officials said defences on Russia's borders would be increased and that they foresee harm in bilateral relations with the United States
On November 5, 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in his first annual address to the Federal Assembly of Russia promised to deploy Iskander short-range missilies to Kaliningrad, near the border with American-backed Poland.
In August 2008, American-Russian relations were strained, when Georgia invaded South Ossetia, resulting in Russia intervening. Russia claimed that it was a mission to protect Georgian separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from a Georgian military offensive. The United States chose to support Georgia in the conflict, sending humanitarian aid to Georgia and assisted with the withdrawal of Georgian troops from Iraq. The United States also threatened Russia with military intervention.
After the conflict, in 2009, U.S. Vice President Biden visited Georgia then said that the Russians "have a shrinking population base, have a withering economy, have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years."
Russian-Venezuelan military cooperation
On November 25, 2008, a Russian naval fleet arrived in Venezuela, a nation the U.S. considers to be part of its sphere of influence. Russian war vessels- including the Battlecruiser Peter the Great, which is equipped with missiles- arrived in the port of La Guaira to conduct joint naval exercises with the Venezuelan navy. The incident is seen by many as an echo of the Cuban Missile Crisis of the Cold War Era, and has increased tensions between Russia and the United States. While Russia maintains that the exercises are nothing more than a method of strengthening ties with Venezuela, the United States believes that the placing of Russian war ships into the American sphere of influence is blatant provocation and a direct retaliation for both the American missile plan in Eastern Europe and interference with the Russia-Georgia situation of August 2008.
North Korean nuclear threat
On May 25, 2009, North Korea's new nuclear test shocked North Korea's bilateral relations with Russia and China. Russia responded to this new nuclear program by condemning North Korea's move and that it could lead to a nuclear war. North Korea later threatened to attack its neighboring rival South Korea after it joined a U.S. led plan to check vessels suspected of carrying equipment for weapons of mass destruction. Due to this, ambassadors from five permanent veto-wielding council members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States) were ready to have a meeting to make a new resolution to this nuclear strike. On June 15, 2009, Russia and China have both supported the new UN sanctions on North Korea.
While the U.S. favored sanctions and resolutions calling Assad to quit, Russia has refused to support such moves. In March 2012, a bipartisan group of 17 U.S. senators called on the Department of Defense to stop doing business with Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboroneksport over its arming of the Syrian regime. The group of senators included John Cornyn, R-TX, Dick Durbin, D-IL., Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY
"Reset" of relations under Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev
Despite U.S.-Russia relations becoming strained during the Bush administration, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama struck a warm tone at the 2009 G20 summit in London and released a joint statement that promised a "fresh start" in U.S.-Russia relations. The statement also called on Iran to abandon its nuclear program and to permit foreign inspectors into the country.
In March, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov symbolically pressed a "reset" button. The gag fell short as the Russian on the button was wrongly translated by the State Department as "overload" instead of "reset". After making a few jokes, they decided to press the button anyway.
On March 24, 2010 the United States and Russia reached an agreement to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The new nuclear arms reduction treaty (called New START) was signed by President Obama and President Medvedev on April 8, 2010 in Prague. The agreement cut the number of long-range nuclear weapons held by each side to about 1,500, down from the current 1,700 to 2,200 set by the Moscow Treaty of 2002. The New START replaced the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired in December 2009.
Vigilant Eagle 2010
In August 2010, the United States and Russia conducted a joint anti-hijacking exercise.
Putin's third term
In March 2012 with the election of Putin back to presidency, White House spokesman Jay Carney said U.S.-Russian cooperation is based on mutual interests. He also said it is a policy based on an approach based on U.S. national interests and the areas where the U.S can reach an agreement with Russia on things like Iran, on trade and other matters.
Dispute on Twitter
On May 28, 2012, following an address by Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador to Moscow, at National Research University - Higher School of Economics regarding the "Reset" of U.S.–Russian relations the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation launched an extended criticism of Ambassador McFaul on Twitter. McFaul replied a number of times and released a slideshow used during the talk.
Increased military tension
In May 2012, Russian General Nikolay Yegorovich Makarov said that there is a possibility of a preemptive strike on missile defense sites in Eastern Europe, to apply pressure to the United States regarding Russia's demands. In July 2012, two Tu-95 Bears were intercepted by NORAD fighters in the air defense zone off the U.S. coast of Alaska, where they may have been practicing the targeting of Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base. Later in August 2012, it was revealed that an Akula class submarine had conducted a patrol within the Gulf of Mexico without being detected, raising alarms of the U.S. Navy's anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
On 12 February 2013, just hours before the 2013 State of the Union Address, two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles circled the United States territory of Guam. Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base were scrambled to intercept the aircraft. The Russian aircraft reportedly "were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction."
There have been increasing concerns that Russia is violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987. Based on a classified briefing in 2012 with John Kerry, at the time acting as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, these compliance concerns have already been voiced. By the end of 2013, it was clear that a rearmament of the Novosibirsk and Tagil divisions with the mobile Yars missile system by solid-propelled intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) has been taking place. The silo-based RS-26 Rubezh missile system is based on upgraded RS-24 Yars rockets that can carry multiple independently-targetable nuclear warheads, and most importantly, they are equipped to evade the anti-ballistic missile defense installations in Poland. Rose Gottemoeller, the State Department’s senior arms control official, has discussed these possible threats with Russian officials in May 2013, but the White House has not yet clarified whether the deployment of these missile systems are indeed violating the aforementioned agreement.
North Korean Threat 2013
In April 2013, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered missiles to be ready to launch at U.S. military bases in South Korea, Japan and Guam. Russia immediately supported U.N. sanctions against North Korea.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulo specifically told North Korea to stop causing tensions in the Korean peninsula. Both Russia and China have condemned North Korea's actions and support U.N. sanctions against North Korea.
Edward Snowden affair
Granting political asylum in late July 2013 by the Russian government to the former NSA contactor Edward Snowden wanted by the U.S. prosecutors for theft government property and espionage, further aggravated relations between the countries at the top level that led to cancellation of a previously planned one-on-one meeting between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin scheduled for early September 2013 in St Petersburg, Russia.
Russian intelligence operations
According to the 2007 reports referring to American sources, Russian espionage under Vladimir Putin had reached Cold War levels.
Perception of the United States within Russia
A poll by the University of Maryland, College Park released early July 2009 found that only 2 percent of Russians had "a lot of confidence" that American President Barack Obama would do the right thing in world affairs. Russian media has criticized the United States over the past years for pursuing an anti-missile system in Europe, for favoring NATO expansion and for supporting Georgia in its armed conflict with Russia in 2008.
The Russian press expresses varying opinions of Russian-America relations. Russian media treatment of America ranges from doctrinaire and nationalistic to very positive toward the United States and the West.
As of 2013, 51% of Russians have a favorable view of the U.S.
Timeline of peace between the United States and Russia
This timeline of peace shows the growing relations between the United States and Russia following the end of the Cold War.
- 1992: Russian President Boris Yeltsin visits the United States on January 26.
- 1992: Russia attends the Washington Summit on June 16.
- 1992: The United States and Russia sign an Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes on June 17.
- 1993: U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign the START II treaty in Moscow on January 3.
- 1993: First summit meeting between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin on April 4 in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss a new and expanded $1 billion aid package intended to support Russian democrats and to fund medical supplies, food and grain assistance as well as loans to Russian entrepreneurs.
- 1993: The United States announces a bilateral aid program of $1.8 billion for Russia and the former Soviet republics on July 9 to 10.
- 1993: The U.S.-Russian Commission on technical cooperation in energy and space has its first meeting in Washington, D.C. on August 31 to September 2.
- 1994: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin sign the Kremlin accords on January 14 in Moscow.
- 1994: First joint U.S.-Russian Space Shuttle mission on February 3.
- 1994: The United States and Russia move to end the practice of aiming their strategic nuclear missiles at each other on May 30.
- 1994: Russia joins the Partnership for Peace program on June 22.
- 1995: Russia gives condolences to the United States in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 20.
- 1995: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin meet in Moscow to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe on May 9.
- 1995: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin hold a summit on European Security in Moscow on May 9 to May 10.
- 1995: U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully docks with Russian space station Mir on June 29.
- 1995: Russia joins the NATO-led IFOR in the aftermath of the Bosnian War on December 20.
- 1996: Ratification of START II treaty on January 26.
- 1996: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin attend the Summit of the Peacemakers in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt to condemn the terrorist attacks in Israel and to declare their support for the Middle East peace process on March 14.
- 1996: U.S. President Bill Clinton attends a Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow on April 20.
- 1997: Russia joins the NATO-led Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council to cooperate on political and security issues on January 1.
- 1997: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin hold another summit on European Security in Helsinki, Finland on March 21.
- 1997: Russia attends the NATO summit in Paris, France on May 27.
- 1997: The NATO-Russia Founding Act provides the formal basis of bilateral cooperation between the United States, Russia and NATO is signed on May 27.
- 1997: Russia joins the G8 at the 23rd G8 summit in Denver, Colorado on June 20 to June 22.
- 1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin agree to exchange information on missile launchings and to remove 50 metric tons of plutonium from their countries' nuclear weapons stocks in a summit in Moscow on September 1 to 2.
- 1998: Launch of the International Space Station on November 20.
- 1999: Russia joins the NATO-led KFOR in the aftermath of the Kosovo War on June 12.
- 1999: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin meet at an Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe Summit Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, from November 18-19, to discuss arms control, Chechnya and events in Europe. Clinton remarks that the international community does not dispute Russia's right to defend its territorial integrity and to fight terrorism.
- 2000: U.S. President Bill Clinton visits Moscow to meet with newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 3 to 5.
- 2000: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York City to call a plea for world peace on September 6.
- 2000: The United States and Russia occupy the International Space Station for the first time November 2.
- 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet for the first time at the Slovenia summit on June 16.
- 2001: Russia supports the U.S. in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on September 12.
- 2001: Russia opens a military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan to help the U.S. Military, NATO military forces and Afghan civilians on December 2.
- 2002: U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow and sign the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and declaration on a new strategic relationship between the United States and Russia on May 24.
- 2002: NATO and Russia create the NATO-Russia Council during Rome summit on May 28.
- 2002: The United States gives condolences to Russia in the aftermath of the Moscow theater hostage crisis on October 29.
- 2003: The Roadmap for Peace treaty, developed by the United States in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations (the Quartet), was presented to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on April 30.
- 2004: U.S. President George W. Bush gives condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of the Beslan school hostage crisis on September 21.
- 2005: U.S. airmen take part in the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon from August 17 to August 21.
- 2006: U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly announced the organization of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism on July 16
- 2006: The United States and Russia condemn North Korea's first nuclear launch test on October 6.
- 2007: Russia offers the United States to put a joint missile defence system in Azerbaijan on June 8.
- 2008: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits the United States for the first time at the 2008 G-20 summit in Washington D.C. from November 14 to November 15.
- 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet for the first time at the G-20 Summit in London on April 1.
- 2009: The United States and Russia disapprove the nuclear test by North Korea on May 25.
- 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announce the Obama–Medvedev Commission to improve communication and cooperation between the United States and Russia in Moscow on July 6.
- 2009: U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen and Russian Chief of the General Staff Nikolay Makarov sign a new strategic framework for military-to-military engagement between the United States and Russia on July 7.
- 2009: Russia agrees to allow U.S. and NATO troops and supplies to pass through Russia on route to Afghanistan on December 16.
- 2010: The United States and Russia agree to have a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on March 26.
- 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama gives condolences to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the aftermath of the Moscow Metro bombings on March 29.
- 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign New START treaty in Prague, Czech Republic to replace the START I and it will eventually see the reduction of both nations' nuclear arsenals to 1,500 warheads for both the United States and Russia on April 8.
- 2010: American soldiers participate in the 2010 Moscow Victory Day Parade alongside its European allies and members of the CIS, marking the first time American soldiers have ever participated in the annual event on May 9.
- 2010: The United States and Russia call for Iran to give up on its nuclear weapons program along with the United Kingdom, France and China on June 9.
- 2010: The United States and Russia conduct a joint anti-hijacking exercise called Vigilant Eagle-2010 on August 14.
- 2010: Foreign ministers from the United States, Russia and NATO meet in New York City, New York to discuss areas of cooperation like Afghanistan, fighting piracy and combatting terrorism as well as ways of enhancing security within Europe on September 22.
- 2010: American and Russian special forces conduct their first joint operation in Afghanistan and destroy four drug-producing labs that make heroin on October 31.
- 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal from November 19 to November 20.
- 2010: The United States, Russia and NATO agree to cooperate on missile defense and other security issues as well as allowing more supplies for the United States and NATO to pass through Russia on route to Afghanistan as well as supplying Afghan armed forces with helicopters on November 20.
- 2011: U.S. President Barack Obama gives condolences to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the aftermath of the Domodedovo International Airport bombing on January 24.
- 2011: The New START treaty is ratified on February 5.
- 2011: Ministers from the United States, Russia and NATO meet in Berlin, Germany to discuss the situation in Libya and Afghanistan, as well as ongoing work on outlining the future framework for missile defence cooperation between the United States, Russia and NATO on April 15.
- 2011: The United States, Russia and NATO send tools to the Afghan Air Force to help them operate their helicopter fleet more effectively on April 21.
- 2011: Russia congratulates the United States on the Killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO Military Chiefs of Defence meet to discuss military operations and cooperation in Brussels, Belgium on May 4.
- 2011: The United States, Russia and NATO have their first joint submarine exercise on May 30 to June 10.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels, Belgium to discuss defense issues on June 8.
- 2011: The United States, Russia and NATO have their first joint fighter jet exercise called Vigilant Skies 2011 from June 6 to June 10.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO ambassadors meet in Sochi, Russia to restate their commitment to pursuing cooperation on missile defence as well as cooperation in other security areas of common interest on July 4.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO diplomates meet in New York City, New York to announce they have made progress in combating terrorism and enhancing Afghan transit on September 22.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO experts discuss nuclear doctrine and strategy in Oberammergau, Germany from October 27 to October 28.
- 2011: Russia announces it will join the leaders of the United States and NATO at the Chicago Summit in 2012 on November 14.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO militaries discuss communication between the militaries in Moscow on November 30.
- 2011: American and NATO delegations meet with officials and military staff of the Russian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence in Moscow to discuss military cooperation between the United States, Russia and NATO on December 2.
- 2012: Russian Chief of the General Staff Nikolay Makarov visits American and NATO Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium on January 17.
- 2012: Russia agrees to host a U.S. and NATO transit hub at Ulyanovsk airport to help the U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 on March 21.
- 2012: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea to discuss the increase economic trade between the United States and Russia on March 26.
- 2012: The United States, Russia and NATO hold missile defense exercises in Ottobrunn, Germany from March 26 to March 30.
- 2012: American, Russian and NATO military forces agree to strengthen cooperation to counter piracy in the Horn of Africa on March 27.
- 2012: American, Russian and NATO ministers discuss bilateral cooperation between the United States, Russia and NATO on April 19.
- 2012: Russian troops are allowed into the United States for the first time to participate in a joint U.S.-Russia military drill in Colorado on April 25.
- 2012: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attends the 38th G8 summit at Camp David, Maryland from May 18 to May 19.
- 2012: Russia joins the United States and NATO at the Chicago Summit on May 20.
- 2012: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet for the first time at the 7th G-20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico and call for an end to the Syrian civil war on June 18 to 19.
- 2012: American and Russian navies participate in the RIMPAC 2012 naval exercises from June 29 to August 3.
- 2012: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives condolences to U.S. President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting on July 21.
- 2012: Russia joins the WTO and begins trade with the United States on August 22.
- 2012: The United States and Russia hold joint naval exercises in the Norwegian Sea on August 22.
- 2012: Russia sends aid to the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on November 11.
- 2012: The NATO-Russia Council agrees to increase cooperation between the United States, Russia and NATO on December 4.
- 2012: American, Russian and NATO military chiefs hold talks on Afghanistan, Ballistic Missile Defence and Syria in Moscow on December 14.
- 2012: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives condolences to U.S. President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 15.
- 2013: American, Russian and NATO military forces perform a counter piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden on February 26.
- 2013: Russia supports the United States against North Korea for North Korea building up tensions in the Korean peninsula and for threatening the United States during the crisis with North Korea on April 8.
- 2013: Russia supports the United States in the investigation and the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 16.
- 2013: The United States and Russia agree to have an international conference to help end the Syrian civil war on May 8.
- 2013: The United States and Russia agree to intensify their cooperation in countering terrorism, including information exchange between intelligence organizations and conduct joint counter-terrorist operations as well as signing a cyber security pact to reduce the risk of conflict in cyberspace and signing the New Anti-Proliferation Deal in order to protect, control and account for nuclear materials on June 17 during the 39th G8 summit.
- 2013: The United States and Russia along with the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany call for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities to reassure the rest of the world that Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons on June 18.
- 2013: The United States and Russia support each other to reduce each other's nuclear weapons by a third and both the United States and Russia call for other countries like the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea on June 19.
- 2013: The FBI and the FSB agencies meet to find a solution on NSA leaker Edward Snowden on July 26.
- 2013: Russia invites the United States to a tank biathlon championship in 2014 and the United States accepts the invitation from Russia on August 10.
- 2013: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin make progress on the discussion of Syria at the end of the 2013 G-20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia on September 6.
- 2013: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland and agree to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons on September 14.
- 2013: The United States, Russia and NATO start the Stand-off Detection of Explosives programme, known as STANDEX to prevent suicide terrorist attacks on October 30.
- 2013: The United States and Russia along with the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany sign a deal with Iran about their nuclear program in Geneva, Switzerland on November 27.
- 2013: The United States and NATO give condolences and support to Russia in the fight against terrorism in response to the bombings in Volgograd on December 29 and 30.
- 2014: The United States offers full military support to Russia for the Winter Olympics in Sochi on January 20.
- 2014: The Geneva II Conference is started by the United States and Russia in Montreux, Switzerland in an attempt to end the Syrian Civil War on January 22 and is continued at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland from January 23 to January 31.
- 2014: The U.S. Olympics team arrives in Sochi, Russia to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics on January 30.
- 2014: The United States, Russia and NATO announce plans to conduct a joint naval operation in the Mediterranean to protect a U.S. ship that will destroy Syria's chemical weapons on February 14.
- 2014: American, Russian and NATO commanders agree to closely monitor the situation in the Ukraine on February 24.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
|This section requires expansion. (November 2012)|
The United States and Russia have conducted joint military maneuvers, training and counter-terrorist exercises in Germany. This was done in hopes to strengthen relations with the United States and Russia. The Russian president has also proposed that the United States and Russia put a joint missile defense system in Azerbaijan, a proposal being considered by the United States. In 2008, in response to tensions over Georgia, the United States had cancelled its most recent joint NATO-Russia military exercises.
As of August 2012, the U.S. and Russia continue to hold joint military exercises like Northern Eagle (held since 2004, together with Norway) and Vigilant/Watchful Eagle (with Canada) among others, with the aim of improving joint cooperation against terrorism and piracy.
Russian-American relations are heavily influenced by the United States' deep involvement with NATO and its policies. NATO and Russia agreed to cooperate on security issues at the 2002 Rome summit and have been gradually improving relations ever since. However, due to the expansion of the alliance, the Russian intervention in Georgia and other controversies, relations deteriorated significantly.
As part of the NATO-Russia cooperation the Russian government offered and recently agreed to host a NATO transit hub at Ulyanovsk airport to facilitate the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, which drew criticism from the Communist Party.
Joint operations and mutual support
Russia has expressed support for the United States' War on Terror by deploying a military hospital and a small number of military personnel (for the military hospital) to Afghanistan in order to aid the U.S. Military, NATO military forces and Afghan civilians. Russia has also agreed to provide logistic support for the United States forces in Afghanistan to aid in anti-terrorist operations. Russia has also allowed U.S. and NATO forces to pass through its territory to go to Afghanistan. Russian Spetsnaz have also assisted U.S., NATO and Afghan forces in operations in Afghanistan, by helping with intel and studying the lay of the land. The two nations support each other in combating piracy in the waters of Somalia.
On May 9, 2010, the 2nd Battalion of the 18th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army marched across Red Square in Russia's Victory Day Parade. They were also joined by British, French, and Polish troops as well as detachments from the CIS member states. Labeled by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev as the "Anti-Hitler Coalition," it marked the first time in history that NATO troops joined the Russian military in the Victory Parade.
Bering Strait crossing
Russian adoption ban
In December 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill that completely banned any United States citizen from adopting children from Russia. Russia's lower house of Parliament, the State Duma, passed the new legislation in a landslide 420-7 vote, sparking protests and outrage from Russian citizens. The so-called "March Against Scoundrels" protest, in which an estimated 20,000 people participated, aimed to shame lawmakers into retracting the bill. Although a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) reported that 56% of the Russian public was in support of the bill, 100,000 signatures have already been collected in a petition against the new legislation, which is scheduled to go into effect as of January 2014.
In 2012, U.S. parents adopted around 1,000 orphans from Russia. Many parents in the process of adopting children from Russia as of the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013, 46 families in total, were left in a 'limbo' state. These families had been approved for the adoption of particular children, whom they had met and bonded with, but were unable to finish the adoption process upon the signing of the new legislature. Families wishing to adopt Russian children with disabilities may still be able to do so in the future however. As of December 29, 2012, Robert Shlegel, a member of Russia's Parliament, sought to propose an amendment to the bill that would still allow the adoption of Russian orphans who had physical or mental disabilities. Currently, however, no such option exists for prospective U.S. parents.
Speculative reasons behind the bill
Some speculate that the event that galvanized the new Russian law was in fact a bill signed by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2012, called the Magnitsky Act. The purpose of the act was to "[impose] U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia". However, the name of the act itself likely angered Russian officials. Sergei Magnitsky, the namesake of this new U.S. bill, was a Russian lawyer who discovered an enormous tax fraud wherein certain Russian government officials were stealing money from the state via rebates. In 2009, Magnitsky died in a Moscow detention center "apparently beaten to death". Hence, the title of the U.S. bill in and of itself had the potential to be offensive to some Russian officials.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave another reason behind the Russian rationale. "Unfortunately, in our country we know a lot of cases when children adopted by American parents died or were tortured or lost their health in the U.S." he cited as one of the primary reasons behind the bill in an interview with CNN in January 2013. In the past two decades, around 60,000 Russian children have been adopted into the U.S. and out of those, 20 children have died. The U.S. State Department empathized with the concerns of the Russia government in this respect, saying, "We do not disagree this is unacceptable" in regards to the 20 deaths.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Russia–United States relations.|
- History of Russia - U.S. relations
- Report from the Commission on U.S. Policy Toward Russia Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center
- US-EU-Russia: New Strategic Dynamics after Bush, ACDIS Swords and Ploughshares, ed. by Matthew A. Rosenstein, published by the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS), University of Illinois (winter 2008-9).
- From Cooperation to Confrontation: Russia and the United States since 9/11, ACDIS Occasional Paper, by Roger E. Kanet, published by the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS), University of Illinois (May 2009).
- Back to the Future? US-Russia Relations after Georgia, by Marcin Zaborowski, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Analysis, September 2008.
- translations of foreign newspaper articles about Russian-American relations from nonprofit WorldMeets.US
- link to PDF slideshow, 'The “Reset”: Theory, Results, Future' released by Michael McFaul U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation during the Twitter War of May 28, 2012
- U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission: Spring 2012 Joint Report