Russia–United States relations

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This page deals with the relations between Russia and the United States since 1992. For the relations between the Russian Empire and the United States (1776–1917), see Russian Empire–United States relations. For the relations between the Soviet Russia/Soviet Union and the United States (1917–1991), see Soviet Union–United States relations. For the late 20th century tensions, see Cold War.
Russian–American relations
Map indicating locations of Russia and USA

Russia

United States

Russia–United States relations is the bilateral relationship between Russia and the United States of America and their predecessor states. Relations between the United States and Russia has long been tense in the past. In recent years, the two countries have attempted to reset frosty relations and establish a growing partnership. However, as the two nations' conflicting ideologies became more prominent in the 2010s, hopes of a benevolent relationship between the two world powers have slowly deteriorated.[1] Despite this, Russia and the United States still agree on supporting a bilateral agenda to confront several problems, such as discarding stockpiles of nuclear weapons and combating the palpable threats of terrorism.[2]

Country comparison[edit]

Russia Russia United States United States
Area 17,075,400 km² (6,592,800 sq mi) 9,526,468 km² (3,794,101 sq mi)[3]
Population 143,657,134 317,552,000
Population Density 8.3/km² (21.5/sq mi) 33.7/km² (87.4/sq mi)
Capital Moscow Washington, D.C.
Largest City Moscow (11,503,501) New York City (8,244,910)
Government Federal semi-presidential
constitutional republic
Federal presidential constitutional republic
two-party system
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 $15,717 $54,609
GDP (PPP) per capita $18,996 $54,609
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 $87.8 billion $612 billion

History[edit]

United States and the Soviet Union[edit]

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.

Putin and Bush[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Post–Cold War increase of tensions[edit]

U.S. plan to place missiles in Poland[edit]

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.[4]

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."[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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,"[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] 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[11]

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.[12]

Russian-Georgian clash[edit]

Main article: Russia–Georgia war

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.[citation needed]

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."[13]

Russian-Venezuelan military cooperation[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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[edit]

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[14] 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.

Syrian uprising[edit]

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.[15]

"Reset" of relations under Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev[edit]

U.S. President Barack Obama with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009.

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.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]

Vigilant Eagle 2010[edit]

In August 2010, the United States and Russia conducted a joint anti-hijacking exercise.[19]

The vigilant eagle is protection against aircraft terrorism. It was planned to conduct joint anti terrorist exercises in 2008 but due to the war in South Ossettia when Russia protected the Ossetians from the Georgian Aggression the drill was postponed. Now the two years after the air maneuvers have taken place over the territory of Russia's Kamachatta and Alaska. According to Alexander Zelin it was an example of a successful cooperation on preventing a terrorist threat, Russian, Canadian and US fighter sets, along with airborne warning and control aircraft worked together to rescue a terrorist highjacked aircraft.

The chief of Russia's Air Force confessed that the maneuvers also revealed a number of problems in the interaction between the pilots of the 3 states.

What is important is that even under the current disagreements between Russia and the U.S. on the anti missile defense and other issues such joint exercises contribute to the growing of trust between Russia and the North Atlantic partners.

Putin's third term[edit]

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.[20]

Dispute on Twitter[edit]

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.[21]

Increased military tension[edit]

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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24][25]

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.[26][27] Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base were scrambled to intercept the aircraft.[26][27] The Russian aircraft reportedly "were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction."[26][27]

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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

North Korean threat 2013[edit]

Main article: 2013 Korean crisis

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.[citation needed]Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulo specifically told North Korea to stop causing tensions in the Korean peninsula.[citation needed] Both Russia and China have condemned North Korea's actions and support U.N. sanctions against North Korea.[citation needed]

Edward Snowden affair[edit]

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 Moscow, Russia.[31][32][33]

Crimea 2014[edit]

Main article: 2014 Crimean Crisis

Following the collapse of the pro Russian regime in the Ukraine, Russia began a military intervention of Ukraine by building up its forces already in Crimea, as well as on the Ukrainian borders. This action has been condemned by U.S. leaders as an invasion. The military support for secession in the Crimea by Russia is very similar to their actions vis-a-vis Georgia to support South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.

Russian intelligence operations[edit]

According to the 2007 reports referring to American sources, Russian espionage under Vladimir Putin had reached Cold War levels.[34]

Perception of the United States within Russia[edit]

President Obama greets attendees at the New Economic School graduation in Gostinny Dvor, Moscow, July 7, 2009

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.[35] 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.[36]

The Russian press expresses varying opinions of Russian-America relations.[37] Russian media treatment of America ranges from doctrinaire[38] and nationalistic[39] to very positive toward the United States and the West.[40][41][42][43]

As of 2013, 51% of Russians have a favorable view of the U.S., down from 57% in 2010.[44]

Timeline of peace between the United States and Russia[edit]

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.[45]
  • 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.[46]
  • 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.
    Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton share a laugh in October 1995.
  • 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.[47]
    Vladimir Putin and wife Lyudmila at service for victims of September 11 attacks, 16 November 2001
  • 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.
    Donald Rumsfeld with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov on March 13, 2002
  • 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.
    Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, July 7, 2009
  • 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.[48]
  • 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 in Munich, Germany by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov 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.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shake hands after signing the New START Treaty, Munich, Germany, on February 5, 2011
  • 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.
    Barack Obama at a bilateral meeting with Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit in Ireland, June 17, 2013.
  • 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.
    Putin and Obama shake hands at G8 summit, June 17, 2013
  • 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.
  • 2014: The United States and Russia along with the United Kingdom, France and China condemn the launch of two ballistic missiles by North Korea on March 27.
  • 2014: The United States and Russia along with the United Kingdom, France and China condemn the actions of North Korea for increased tensions in the Korean peninsula and for threatening to have new nuclear tests and threaten to have new sanctions on North Korea on March 31.
  • 2014: The United States and Russia along with the European Union and Ukraine meet at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland to have talks about the crisis happening in Ukraine and reach an agreement to end the crisis on April 17.
  • 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Colleville-sur-Mer, France with other world leaders to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy and agree to end the violence in Ukraine on June 6.
  • 2014: The United States and Russia along with NATO support Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko's peace plan in Ukraine and also agree to find ways to end the conflicts in Syria and Iraq on June 23.
  • 2014: The United States and Russia agree to continue with the terms of the New START treaty from 2010 on June 28.

Space exploration[edit]

The Planetary Society is known to have collaborated with Russia, especially Cosmos 1 and LIFE.

According to the Washington Post NASA recently renewed a contract that requires Russia to aid in transporting U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station. While adding additional support at the Russian launch site, this contract is costing the United States $457.9 million. Along with the renewal NASA has also announced that they will be cutting some contacts with Russia after the country annexed Crimea which includes meetings, and teleconferences. The funding the United States continues to borrow from Russia is due to the lack of funding NASA is receiving from congress. [49]

Economic ties[edit]

The U.S. Congress voted to repeal the Jackson–Vanik amendment on 16 November 2012.[50]


The economic relationship between Russia and the U.S. is unbalanced. Russia is the 20th largest trading partner for the U.S., with $27 billion worth of trade exported across the Atlantic. On the flip-side, the U.S. is Russia's fifth largest partner, with just $11 billion worth of trade.

Military ties[edit]

Following the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States and Russia signed a bilateral treaty called the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II). Signed by George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin on January 3, 1993, it banned the use of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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.[51] 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.[52] In 2008, in response to tensions over Georgia, the United States had cancelled its most recent joint NATO-Russia military exercises.[citation needed]

As of August 2012, the U.S. and Russia continue to hold joint military exercises like Northern Eagle (held since 2004, together with Norway)[53][54][55] and Vigilant/Watchful Eagle (with Canada)[56] among others, with the aim of improving joint cooperation against terrorism and piracy.

NATO–Russia relations[edit]

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,[57][58] which drew criticism from the Communist Party.[58]

Joint operations and mutual support[edit]

Presidents Bush and Putin, November 16, 2001

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The two nations support each other in combating piracy in the waters of Somalia.[citation needed]

Victory Day[edit]

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.[59] They were also joined by British, French, and Polish troops as well as detachments from the CIS member states.[59][60] 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.[60]


It also marks when Germany’s surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945. It became the end of the Great Patriotic War for the USSR, which lost about 25 million citizens in the four years of fighting. Interestingly, until its 20th anniversary (May 9, 1965), Victory Day was not a major holiday, unlike, for instance, May 1, and was considered a work day. Apart from the anniversaries in 1965 and 1985, Victory Day celebrations in the Soviet Union did not feature a military parade. This tradition started in 1995.

Bering Strait crossing[edit]

The Bering Strait crossing was authorized by Tsar Nicholas II as early as 1906.[61] The Bering Strait is 37 km wide; 3 km wider than the English Channel.[62]

Russian adoption ban[edit]

Overview[edit]

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.[63] 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.[64]

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.[65] 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.[64]

Speculative reasons behind the bill[edit]

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".[64] 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.[66]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

To 1945[edit]

  • Bolkhovitinov, Nikolai N., Elena Levin and L. H. Butterfield, eds. The Beginnings of Russian-American Relations, 1775-1815 (1976)

Cold War[edit]

  • Levering, Ralph B. et al. eds. Debating the Origins of the Cold War: American and Russian Perspectives (2013)

Since 1991[edit]

  • Ambrosio, Thomas, and Geoffrey Vandrovec. "Mapping the Geopolitics of the Russian Federation: The Federal Assembly Addresses of Putin and Medvedev." Geopolitics (2013) 18#2 pp 435–466.
  • Gvosdev, Nikolas K., and Christopher Marsh. Russian Foreign Policy: Interests, Vectors, and Sectors (Washington: CQ Press, 2013) excerpt and text search
  • Hopf, Ted, ed. Understandings of Russian Foreign Policy (1999)
  • Kanet, Roger E. Russian foreign policy in the 21st century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • Larson, Deborah Welch, and Alexei Shevchenko. "Status seekers: Chinese and Russian responses to US primacy." International Security (2010) 34#4 pp 63–95.
  • Legvold, Robert, ed. Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century and the Shadow of the Past (2007)
  • Stent, Angela E. The Limits of Partnership: U.S. Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton UP, 2014) 355 pages; excerpt and text search
  • Tsygankov, Andrei P. "The Russia-NATO mistrust: Ethnophobia and the double expansion to contain “the Russian Bear”." Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2013).

External links[edit]