Russia remains a priority for the United States because of its nuclear weapons arsenal, its strategic location bordering Europe and Asia and its ability to support—or thwart—American interests on issues such as the Syrian conflict. Recent U.S. presidents have attempted repeatedly to forge a strong and productive partnership with Russia only to be held hostage to the deep mistrust born of the Cold War. Why has it been so difficult to move the relationship forward and is there any prospect for change in the future?
In her new book, The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton University Press, 2014), Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow and Georgetown University Professor Angela Stent calls for a fundamental reassessment of the principles and practices that drive U.S.-Russian relations and offers a path forward to meet the urgent challenges facing both countries.
On February 18, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosted a discussion featuring Stent that explored U.S.-Russian relations since the Soviet collapse and the challenges ahead. CUSE Director Fiona Hill, co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings Press, 2013), and Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times and author of Days of Fire (Doubleday, 2013), also joined the panel.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott, who previously served as U.S. deputy secretary of State and U.S. ambassador-at-large for the former Soviet Union, provided introductory remarks.