Russia–United States relations
|Russian Embassy, Washington, D.C.||United States Embassy, Moscow|
Russia–United States relations is the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Russian Federation, the successor state to the Soviet Union. Russia and the United States maintain diplomatic and trade relations. The relationship was generally warm under Russia's President Boris Yeltsin (1991–1999) until the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, and has since deteriorated significantly under Vladimir Putin. In 2014, relations greatly strained due to the crisis in Ukraine, Russia's annexation of Crimea, and, in 2015, by sharp differences regarding Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War. Mutual sanctions imposed in 2014 remain in place.
- 1 Country comparison
- 2 History
- 2.1 Background: the United States and the Soviet Union
- 2.2 Putin and George W. Bush (January 2001-January 2009)
- 2.3 Obama's tenure (2009–2017)
- 2.3.1 "Reset" under Obama and Medvedev (2009–2011)
- 2.3.2 Start of Putin's third term. Obama's Syria "red line"
- 2.3.3 Increased tension: Overview: 2012–2015
- 2.3.4 Edward Snowden affair
- 2.3.5 Ukraine crisis, sanctions: 2014-present
- 2.3.6 Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War: September 30, 2015–present
- 2.3.7 U.S. election of 2016
- 2.3.8 Post-U.S. election of 2016
- 3 Russian intelligence operations
- 4 Mutual perceptions by the countries' populations
- 5 Timeline of relations between the U.S. and Russia
- 6 Space exploration
- 7 Economic ties
- 8 Military ties
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
|Common name||Russia||United States|
|Official name||Russian Federation, or Russia||United States of America|
|Coat of Arms|
|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 metropolitan area||Moscow (16,800,000)||New York City (23,632,722)|
|Federal presidential constitutional republic
|First leader||Boris Yeltsin||George Washington|
|Current leader||Vladimir Putin||Barack Obama
Donald Trump (president-elect)
|Established||25 December 1991 (Russian Federation formed)
26 December 1991 (Soviet Union dissolved)
|4 July 1776 (independence declared)
|Official languages||Russian||None (English de facto)|
|GDP (nominal)||$1.857 trillion||$17.419 trillion|
|External debt (nominal)||$597.254 billion (2014 Q4)||$17.114 trillion (2014 Q4)|
|GDP (PPP)||$3.565 trillion||$17.419 trillion|
|GDP (nominal) per capita||$12,926||$54,597|
|GDP (PPP) per capita||$24,805||$55,608|
|Human Development Index||0.788 (high)||0.915 (very high)|
|Foreign exchange reserves||465,228 (millions of USD)||142,898 (millions of USD)|
|Military expenditures||$87.8 billion||$612 billion|
|Army size||Russian Army (2016)
||US Army (2016)
|Navy size||Russian Navy (2016)
Total Naval Strength: 352 ships
|US Navy (2016)
Total Naval Strength: 415 ships
|Air Force size||Russian Air Force (2016)
||US Air Force (2016)
|2500 / 8000 (2015)||1900 / 4760 (2015)|
Leaders of Russia and the United States from 1992
Background: the United States and the Soviet Union
On 3 December 1989, Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush declared the Cold War over at the Malta Summit. 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 greatly improved in the final years of the USSR.
Putin and George W. Bush (January 2001-January 2009)
During the presidencies of Vladimir Putin, who assumed the top office, first as acting president, on the last day of 1999, and U.S. president George W. Bush, the U.S. and Russia began to have serious disagreements. Under Putin, Russia became more assertive in international affairs; under Bush, the U.S. took an increasingly unilateral course in its foreign policy in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The Russian leadership blamed U.S. officials for encouraging anti-Russian revolts during the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine a year later that were seen by the Putin administration as intrusions into Russia's geographic sphere of interest.
In 2002, the U.S. withdrew 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.
Controversy over U.S. plan to station 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. U.S. 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. Vladimir Putin warned the U.S. that these new tensions could turn Europe into a "powder keg". On June 3, 2007, Putin warned that if the U.S. built the missile defense system, Russia would consider targeting missiles at Poland and the Czech Republic.
In 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 October 17, 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.
In February 2008, Vladimir Putin said Russia might have to retarget some of its missiles towards the missile defense system: "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,"
In July 2008, Russia announced that if a U.S. anti-missile shield was deployed near the Russian border, it would have to 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 said that "military-technical means" did not mean military action, but more likely a change in Russia's strategic posture, perhaps by redeploying its own missiles.
On August 14, 2008, the U.S. 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 was to 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 were against the plans and only 18% supported 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 foresaw harm in bilateral relations with the United States.
In November 2008, a day after Obama was elected president, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in his first annual address to the Federal Assembly of Russia announced plans to deploy Iskander short-range missilies to Kaliningrad, near the border with Poland, if the U.S. went ahead with its European Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Obama's tenure (2009–2017)
"Reset" under Obama and Medvedev (2009–2011)
Despite U.S.-Russia relations becoming strained during the Bush administration, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev (president from May 2008 until May 2012, with Vladimir Putin as head of government) 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 translation on the button was misspelt by the State Department and actually meant "overload" instead of "reset". After making a few jokes, they decided to press the button anyway.
In early July 2009, Obama visited Moscow where he had meetings with president Medvedev and prime minister Putin. Speaking at the New Economic School Obama told a large gathering, "America wants a strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia. This belief is rooted in our respect for the Russian people, and a shared history between our nations that goes beyond competition." Days after president Obama's visit to Moscow, U.S. vice president Joe Biden, noting that the U.S. was "vastly underestimat[ing] the hand that [it] h[e]ld", told an American newspaper that Russia, with its population base shrinking and the economy "withering", would have to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of national-security issues. Biden's words, published shortly after his visit to Ukraine and Georgia, were interpreted by George Friedman of Stratfor as "reaffirm[ing] the U.S. commitment to the principle that Russia does not have the right to a sphere of influence in these countries or anywhere in the former Soviet Union"; Friedman pointed up a fundamental error in the analysis that underlay such thinking and predicted, "We suspect the Russians will squeeze back hard before they move off the stage of history".
In March 2010, the U.S. 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. 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.
On a visit to Moscow in March 2011, U.S. vice president Joe Biden reiterated Washington's support for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization; he also had a meeting with Russia's leading human rights and opposition leaders where he reportedly told the gathering at the U.S. ambassador's Spaso House residence that it would be better for Russia if Putin did not run for re-election in 2012.
At the start of the mass protests that began in Russia after the legislative election in early December 2011, prime minister Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of interference and inciting unrest, specifically saying that secretary of state Hillary Clinton had sent "a signal" to "some actors in our country"; his comments were seen as indication of a breakdown in the Obama administration's effort to "reset" the relationship.
By 2012, it was clear that a genuine reset never happened and relations remained sour. Factors in the West included traditional mistrust and fear, an increasing drift away from democracy by Russia, and a demand in Eastern Europe for closer political, economic and military integration with the West. From Russia factors included a move away from democracy by Putin, expectations of regaining superpower status and the tactic of manipulating trade policies and encouraging divisions within NATO.
Start of Putin's third term. Obama's Syria "red line"
In mid-September 2013, the U.S. and Russia made a deal whereby Syria's chemical weapons would be placed under international control and eventually destroyed; president Obama welcomed the agreement that was shortly after enshrined in the UNSC Resolution 2118. The Obama administration was criticised for having used the chemical weapons deal as an ineffectual substitute for military action that Obama had promised in the event of use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. In George Robertson's view, as well as many others', the failure of Obama to follow through on his 2013 "red line" and take promised military action badly hurt his credibility and that of the U.S. with Putin and other world leaders.
On a personal level, the relationship between Obama and Putin went on to be characterised by an observer in 2015 the following way: "There can rarely have been two world leaders so obviously physically uncomfortable in one another's presence."
Increased tension: Overview: 2012–2015
In May 2012, Russian general Nikolay Yegorovich Makarov said that there was 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 December 14, 2012, U.S. president Barack Obama signed the Magnitsky Act, which "[imposed] U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia". On December 28, 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill, widely seen as retaliatory, that banned any United States citizen from adopting children from Russia.
On February 12, 2013, hours before the 2013 State of the Union Address by U.S. president Obama, two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers, reportedly equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, circled the U.S. 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."
In July 2014, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of having violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by testing a prohibited medium-range ground-launched cruise missile (presumably R-500, a modification of Iskander) and threatened to retaliate accordingly. Concern in the U.S. was also caused by the test-firing in 2014 of the Russian RS-26 Rubezh Intercontinental Ballistic Missile capable of evading the existing anti-ballistic missile defenses.
In early June 2015, the U.S. State Department reported that Russia had failed to correct the violation of the I.N.F. Treaty; the U.S. government was said to have made no discernible headway in making Russia so much as acknowledge the compliance problem.
Edward Snowden affair
Edward Snowden, a contractor for the United States government, copied and released hundreds of thousands of pages of secret American government documents. He fled to Hong Kong, and then to Russia where in July 2013 he was granted political asylum. He was wanted on a criminal warrant by U.S. prosecutors for theft of government property and espionage.
The granting of asylum further aggravated relations between the two countries and led to the cancellation of a meeting between Obama and Putin that was scheduled for early September 2013 in Moscow. Snowden remains in Russia as of 2016.
Ukraine crisis, sanctions: 2014-present
Following the collapse of the Viktor Yanukovych government in Ukraine in February 2014, Russia annexed Crimea on the basis of a controversial referendum held on March 16, 2014. The U.S. had submitted a UN Security Council resolution declaring the referendum illegal; it was vetoed by Russia on March 15 with China abstaining and the other 13 Security Council members voting for the resolution. In 2016, in a court in Moscow, former top Ukrainian officials of the Yanukovich administration testified that the collapse of the government was, in their opinion, a coup d'état organized and sponsored by the U.S. government. Russian newspaper Kommersant alleges George Friedman (chairman of Stratfor] had agreed this was the "most blatant coup in history', which George Friedman says was taken out of context.  
U.S. secretary of state John Kerry in early March 2014 answering the press questions about the Russia's moves in Crimea said, "This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It's really 19th century behavior in the 21st century, and there is no way, to start with, that if Russia persists in this, that the G8 countries are going to assemble in Sochi. That's a starter." On March 24, 2014, the U.S. and its allies in the G8 political forum suspended Russia's membership thereof. The decision was dismissed by Russia as inconsequential.
At the end of March 2014, U.S. president Obama ruled out any Western military intervention in Ukraine and admitted that Russia's annexation of Crimea would be hard to reverse; however, he dismissed Russia as a "regional power" that did not pose a major security threat to the U.S. In January 2016, when asked for his opinion of Obama's statement, Putin said, "I think that speculations about other countries, an attempt to speak disrespectfully about other countries is an attempt to prove one's exceptionalism by contrast. In my view, that is a misguided position." In November 2016, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said this of the statement of Obama: "We have a lot to learn about the depths of Russia, we are very ignorant about it at the moment. I would like to have discussions on a level footing with Russia. Russia is not, as President Obama said, 'a regional power'. This was a big error in assessment."
As unrest spread into eastern Ukraine in the spring of 2014, relations between the U.S. and Russia further worsened. The U.S. government imposed punitive sanctions for Russia's activity in Ukraine. After one bout of sanctions announced by President Obama in July 2014 targeting Russia's major energy, financial and defence companies, Russia said the sanctions would seriously harm the bilateral ties relegating them to the 1980s Cold War era.
From March 2014 to 2016, six rounds of sanctions were imposed by the US, as well as by the EU, and some other countries allied to the U.S. The first three rounds targeted individuals close to Putin by freezing their assets and denying leave to enter. Russia responded by banning import of certain food products as well as by banning entry for certain government officials from the countries that imposed sanctions against Russia.
The end of 2014 saw the passage by the US of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, aimed at depriving certain Russian state firms of Western financing and technology while also providing $350 million in arms and military equipment to Ukraine, and the imposition by the US President's executive order of yet another round of sanctions.
Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War: September 30, 2015–present
Shortly after the start of the Syrian Civil War in the spring of 2011, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Syria's government and urged president Bashar al-Assad to resign; meanwhile, Russia, a long-standing ally of Syria, continued and increased its support for the Syrian government against rebels backed up by the U.S. and its regional allies.
On September 30, 2015, Russia began the air campaign in Syria on the side of the Syrian government headed by president Bashar al-Assad of Syria. According to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's statement made in mid-October 2015, Russia had invited the U.S. to join the Baghdad-based information center set up by Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia to coordinate their military efforts, but received what he called an "unconstructive" response; Putin's proposal that the U.S. receive a high-level Russian delegation and that a U.S. delegation arrive in Moscow to discuss co-operation in Syria was likewise declined by the U.S.
In early October 2015, U.S. president Obama called the way Russia was conducting its military campaign in Syria a "recipe for disaster"; top U.S. military officials ruled out military cooperation with Russia in Syria. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and other senior U.S. officials said Russia's campaign was primarily aimed at propping up Assad, whom U.S. president Barack Obama had repeatedly called upon to leave power.
Three weeks into the Russian campaign in Syria, on October 20, 2015, Russian president Vladimir Putin met Bashar Assad in Moscow to discuss their joint military campaign and a future political settlement in Syria, according to the Kremlin report of the event. The meeting provoked a sharp condemnation from the White House.
While one of the original aims of the Russian leadership may have been normalisation of the relationship with the U.S. and the West at large, the resultant situation in Syria was said in October 2015 to be a proxy war between Russia and the U.S. The two rounds of the Syria peace talks held in Vienna in October and November 2015, with Iran participating for the first time, highlighted yet again the deep disagreement over the Syrian settlement between the U.S. and Russia, primarily on the issue of Bashar Assad's political future. The talks in Vienna were followed by a bilateral meeting of Obama and Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Turkey, during which a certain consensus between the two leaders on Syria was reported to have been reached.
Bilateral negotiations over Syria were unilaterally suspended by the U.S on October 3, 2016, which was presented as the U.S. government's reaction to a re-newed offensive on Alleppo by Syrian and Russian troops. On the same day Putin signed a decree that suspended the 2000 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the U.S. (the relevant law was signed on 31 October 2016), citing the failure by the U.S. to comply with the provisions thereof as well as the U.S.' unfriendly actions that posed a "threat to strategic stability." In mid-October 2016, Russia's U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin, referring to the international situation during the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, said that tensions with the U.S. are "probably the worst since 1973". After two rounds of fruitless talks on Syria in Lausanne and London, the foreign ministers of the U.S. and the UK said that additional sanctions against both Russia and Syria were imminent unless Russia and the "Assad regime" stopped their air campaign in Aleppo.
U.S. election of 2016
The U.S. presidential election campaign of 2016 saw the U.S. security officials accuse the Russian government of being behind massive cyber-hackings and leaks that aimed at influencing the election and discrediting the U.S. political system. The allegations were dismissed by Putin who said the idea that Russia was favouring Donald Trump was a myth created by the Hillary Clinton campaign. The background of tense relationship between Putin and Hillary Clinton was highlighted by U.S. press during the election campaign. Later, in mid-December 2016, Hillary Clinton suggested that Putin had a personal grudge against her due to her criticism of the 2011 Russian legislative election and his opinion that she was responsible for fomenting the anti-Putin protests in Russia that began in December 2011. She partially attributed her loss in the 2016 election to Russian meddling organized by Putin.
Trump had been widely seen as a pro-Russia candidate, with the FBI investigating alleged connections between Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort as well as Carter Page and pro-Russian interests.
Post-U.S. election of 2016
In mid-November 2016, shortly after the election of Donald Trump as the U.S. president, the Kremlin accused president Barack Obama's administration of trying to damage the U.S.' relationship with Russia to a degree that would render normalization thereof impossible for the incoming administration of Donald Trump.
Speaking on a visit to Germany on November 17, President Obama said that his "view on Russia ha[d] not changed since [his] first day in office. Russia is an important superpower, a military superpower, it has influence in the region as well as worldwide."
In his address to the Russian parliament delivered on December 1, 2016, Russian president Putin said this of U.S.—Russia relations: "We are prepared to cooperate with the new American administration. It's important to normalize and begin to develop bilateral relations on an equal and mutually beneficial basis. Mutual efforts by Russia and the United States in solving global and regional problems are in the interest of the entire world."
In early December 2016, the White House said that President Obama had ordered the intelligence agencies to review evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign; Eric Schultz, the deputy White House press secretary, denied the review to be led by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper was meant to be "an effort to challenge the outcome of the election". Simultaneously, the U.S. press published reports, with reference to senior administration officials, that U.S. intelligence agencies, specifically the CIA, had concluded with "high confidence" that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton's chances and promote Donald Trump. President-elect Donald Trump rejected the CIA assessment that Russia was behind the hackers' efforts to sway the campaign in his favour as "ridiculous".
While in mid-December president Obama publicly pledged to retaliate for Russian cyberattacks during the U.S. presidential election in order to "send a clear message to Russia" as both a punishment and a deterrent, the press reported that his actionable options were limited, with many of those having been rejected as either ineffective or too risky; The New York Times, citing a catalogue of U.S.-engineered coups in foreign countries, opined, "There is not much new in tampering with elections, except for the technical sophistication of the tools. For all the outrage voiced by Democrats and Republicans in the past week about the Russian action — with the notable exception of Mr. Trump, who has dismissed the intelligence findings as politically motivated — it is worth remembering that trying to manipulate elections is a well-honed American art form."
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 signed into law by president Obama on 23 December 2016, was criticised by the Russian foreign ministry as yet another attempt to "create problems for the incoming Trump administration and complicate its relations on the international stage, as well as to force it to adopt an anti-Russia policy."
At the end of 2016, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump praised Russian president Vladimir Putin for not expelling American diplomats in response to Washington′s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats as well as other punitive measures taken by the Obama administration in retaliation for what U.S. officials had characterized as interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Russian intelligence operations
According to the 2007 reports referring to American sources, Russian espionage under Vladimir Putin had reached Cold War levels.
In April 2015, CNN reported that "Russian hackers" had "penetrated sensitive parts of the White House" computers in "recent months." It was said that the FBI, the Secret Service, and other U.S. intelligence agencies categorized the attacks "among the most sophisticated attacks ever launched against U.S. government systems."
Mutual perceptions by the countries' populations
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 U.S. 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.
Prior to 2014, the Russian press expressed varying opinions of Russian-America relations. Russian media treatment of America ranged from doctrinaire and nationalistic to very positive toward the United States and the West. In 2013, 51 percent of Russians had a favorable view of the U.S., down from 57 percent in 2010.
The opinion polls taken by the independent Levada Center in January 2015, showed 81 percent of Russians tended to hold negative views of the U.S., a number that had nearly doubled over the previous 12 months and that was by far the highest negative rating since the center started tracking those views in 1988, as well as surpassing any time since the Stalin era, according to observers. This contrasts with only 7 percent of Russians in April 1990 who said they had bad or somewhat bad attitudes towards the U.S. Likewise, the figures published by Gallup in February 2015 showed a significant rise in anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S.: the proportion of Americans who considered Russia as a "critical military threat" had over the 12 months increased from 32 to 49 percent, and, for the first time in many years, Russia topped the list of America's perceived external enemies, ahead of North Korea, China and Iran, with 18 percent of U.S. residents putting Russia at the top of the list of the "United States' greatest enemy today". Public opinion polls taken by the Pew Research Center showed that favorable U.S. public opinion of Russia was at 22 percent in 2015. The most negative view of Russia was at 19 percent in 2014, and the most positive view at 49 percent in 2010 and 2011. The most negative view of the United States was at 15 percent in 2015, while the most positive view was at 61 percent in 2002.
- The U.S. government funds Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that broadcasts in Russian, Chechen and several other languages used in Russia. The radio′s broadcasting is viewed by Russian researchers as an instrument of American propaganda targeting Russia as a state.
- Russia funds RT (TV network) ($307 million planned for 2016 for all channels), and Sputnik news, both of which are cited by the European Parliament′s resolution of November 23, 2016, as the Russian government′s tools of "propaganda against EU". The RT network employs Americans, including prominent TV hosts and political commentators such as Larry King and Ed Schultz; it has RT America based in Washington, D.C.
Timeline of relations between the U.S. and Russia
Yeltsin era, 1991–2000
- 1991: U.S. President George H. W. Bush and USSR President Gorbachev sign START I treaty, July 31.
- 1991: August: Soviet hardliners stage a coup against Gorbachev; they fail because of defiance by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Communism collapses overnight in the USSR.
- 1991: Gorbachev announces the dissolution of the USSR into 15 independent republics; Russia is the successor state to USSR.
- 1992: Russian President Yeltsin visits the U.S. on January 26. He and Bush set up the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on P.O.W./M.I.A.'s. Its mission is to discover what happened to POWs and those missing in action during the Cold War, as well as planes shot down, missing submarines. The committee had access to classified archives from the FBI and the KGB.
- 1992: The Lisbon Protocol calls for the denuclearization of Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan. May 23.
- 1992: Russia attends the Washington Summit on June 16.
- 1992: The U.S. and Russia sign an Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes on June 17.
- 1993: Bush and Yeltsin sign the START II treaty in Moscow on January 3.
- 1993: First summit meeting between U.S. President Bill Clinton and 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 U.S. 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: Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin sign the Kremlin accords on January 14 in Moscow.
- 1994: First joint U.S.-Russian Space Shuttle mission on February 3.
- 1994: The U.S. 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: Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin hold a summit on European Security in Moscow on May 9 to May 10.
- 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: Clinton and 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: Clinton attends a Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security with 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: Clinton and Yeltsin hold another summit on European Security in Helsinki, Finland, on March 21. They reach some economic agreements, but there is continued disagreement on NATO expansion.
- 1997: April. Moscow summit with Chinese president Jiang Zemin disapproves of American world domination; agree to reduce troops along Russia-China border.
- 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 U.S., Russia and NATO is signed on May 27. Allows participation in NATO decision making; Russia agrees to drop opposition to NATO expansion in Central Europe.
- 1997: Russia joins the G8 at the 23rd G8 summit in Denver, Colorado, on June 20 to June 22.
- 1998: Clinton and 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.
- 1999: Russia joins the NATO-led KFOR in the aftermath of the Kosovo War on June 12.
- 1999: March: Operation Allied Force: NATO bombing of Yugoslavia to force it out of Kosovo. Moscow attacked it as a breach of international law and a challenge to Russia's status in the Balkans.
- 1999: Clinton and 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.
Putin era, 2000 to present
- 2000: Clinton visits Moscow to meet with newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 3 to 5.
- 2000: Clinton and Putin meet at the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York City to call a plea for world peace on September 6.
- 2001: Newly elected President George W. Bush has a very friendly meeting with Putin at the Slovenia summit on June 16. At the closing press conference, Bush said: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straight-forward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul." Bush's top security aide Condoleezza Rice realized that Bush's phrasing had been a serious mistake. "We were never able to escape the perception that the president had naïvely trusted Putin and then been betrayed."
- 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 NATO military forces and Afghan civilians on December 2.
- 2002: Bush and Putin meet in Moscow and sign the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and declaration on a new strategic relationship between the U.S. and Russia on May 24.
- 2002: NATO and Russia create the NATO-Russia Council during Rome summit on May 28.
- 2003: The "Roadmap for Peace" proposal developed by the U.S. 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: Bush gives condolences to Putin in the aftermath of the Beslan school hostage crisis on September 21.
- 2006: Bush and Putin jointly announced the organization of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism on July 16.
- 2006: The U.S. and Russia condemn North Korea's first nuclear launch test on October 6.
- 2008: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits the U.S. for the first time at the 2008 G-20 summit in Washington D.C. from November 14 to November 15.
- 2009: February: US Vice President Joe Biden suggests the new Obama administration would like to "reset" America's relationship with Russia, which had deteriorated to its lowest point since the Cold War after Russia's war with Georgia in 2008.
- 2009: Newly elected President Barack Obama and Medvedev meet for the first time at the G-20 Summit in London on April 1; they pledge to "deepen cooperation" on issues like nuclear terrorism.
- 2009: The U.S. and Russia disapprove the nuclear test by North Korea on May 25.
- 2009: Obama and Medvedev announce the Obama–Medvedev Commission to improve communication and cooperation between the U.S. 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 U.S. and Russia on July 7.
- 2009: Obama administration cancels the eastern European missile defense program denounced by Russian.
- 2009: Russia agrees to allow U.S. and NATO troops and supplies to pass through Russia on route to Afghanistan on December 16.
- 2010: Obama and 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 U.S. and Russia on April 8.
- 2010: The U.S. 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. Obama and Medvedev sign the "New START" (New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty". Goal is to reduce the deployed nuclear warheads on both sides by roughly 30 percent, down to 1,550. The treaty also limits the number of nuclear-armed submarines and bombers. New START went into force on February 2011.
- 2010: The U.S. and Russia conduct a joint anti-hijacking exercise called Vigilant Eagle-2010 on August 14.
- 2010: Foreign ministers from the U.S., Russia and NATO meet in 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: Medvedev attends the 2010 NATO summit in Portugal, from November 19 to November 20. The U.S., Russia and NATO agree to cooperate on missile defense and other security issues as well as allowing more supplies for the U.S. and NATO to pass through Russia on route to Afghanistan as well as supplying Afghan armed forces with helicopters.
- 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 U.S., 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 U.S., Russia and NATO on April 15.
- 2011: Russia congratulates the U.S. on the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2.
- 2011–present: Syrian Civil War; the government receives technical, financial, military and political support from Russia, while the U.S. favors some of the rebels. Russia provides diplomatic support in the United Nations as well. Russia has an interest in a military presence in the region, and in suppressing its own Muslim militants. It also rejects regime change imposed by the Best.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO ambassadors meet in Sochi, Russia, to restate their commitment to pursuing cooperation on missile defense as well as cooperation in other security areas of common interest on July 4.
- 2011: American, Russian and NATO diplomats meet in New York to announce they have made progress in combating terrorism and enhancing Afghan transit on September 22.
- 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: Obama and Medvedev meet at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul to discuss the increase economic trade on March 26.
- 2012: The U.S., Russia and NATO hold missile defense exercises in 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: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attends the 38th G8 summit in Maryland, from May 18 to May 19.
- 2012: Russia joins the U.S. and NATO at the Chicago Summit on May 20.
- 2012: Obama and Putin meet 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: Russia joins the WTO and begins trade with the U.S. on August 22.
- 2013: Russia supports the U.S. against North Korea for North Korea building up tensions in the Korean peninsula and for threatening the U.S. during the crisis with North Korea on April 8.
- 2013: The U.S. 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: Obama and 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 August 7. President Obama cancels an upcoming summit with Putin; journalists call it "a rare, deliberate snub that reflects the fresh damage done by the Edward Snowden case to an important relationship already in decline."
- 2013: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet in Geneva, Switzerland, and agree to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons on September 14.
- 2013: The U.S. 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.
- 2014: The Geneva II Conference
- 2014: The U.S. Olympics team arrives in Sochi, Russia, to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics on January 30.
- 2014 - Continuing. see Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present)
- 2014: The U.S. and Russia along with the European Union and Ukraine talk in Geneva about the crisis in Ukraine and reach an agreement to end the crisis on April 17.
- 2014: The U.S. and Russia start sending aid to Iraq to help fight ISIS on June 5.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia along with members of the European Union and Ukraine welcome the new Minsk agreement to stop the War in Donbass on February 12.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia agree to build a new space station to replace the International Space Station and to make a joint project to travel to Mars on March 28.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia along with the United Kingdom, France, China, Germany, the European Union and Iran sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to regulate Iran's nuclear program in Vienna, Austria on July 14.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia reach an agreement on a UN resolution that would designate accountability for use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 6.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia resume military relations to increase fighting against the Islamic State on September 18.
- 2015: Obama and Putin meet in New York to discuss ways to combat the Islamic State on September 28–29.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia sign a deal to avoid air incidents over Syria on October 20.
- 2015: Obama and Putin have an informal bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Turkey to discuss the situation in Syria and the ramifications of the Paris attacks on November 15.
- 2015: The U.S., Russia and the United Nations hold three way talks on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland on December 11.
- 2015: The U.S. and Russia, along with the United Nations approve a resolution that supports international efforts to seek a solution to end the Syrian Civil War and provide a new government in Syria in Vienna, Austria on December 18.
- 2016 June: A debate opens inside the Republican Party on future American policy toward Russia. The presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump has suggested that US and Russia might work together in areas such as Syria. Meanwhile, on June 9, Republican leaders in Congress urged confronting Putin, alleging that he is exhibiting "burgeoning militarism" and calling for "standing up to Russian aggression and bolstering countries such as Ukraine." 
- 2016 November: Donald Trump wins the US Presidential Election.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2012)|
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.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2012)|
"Last year  was not particularly favorable for trade between Russia and the U.S. Our overall 2015 turnover was $21 billion, a decline of 27.9 percent," said a senior Russian official in April 2016.
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. 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, Russias war campaign against Ukraine and other controversies, relations deteriorated significantly.
Joint operations and mutual support
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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.
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- Russian influence operations in the United States
- U.S.-Russia Business Council
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Russia–United States relations.|
- A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Russia
- 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)[dead link]
- 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[dead link]
- 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