U.S.–Russia Relations in the Second Obama Administration

Editor’s note: This article was originally published by Survival: Global Politics and Strategy.


The US–Russian relationship is a limited partnership where cooperation and competition co-exist. The new administration will work to maintain the post-reset status quo over the next four years.

Since the Soviet collapse, Russia has been an issue in every US presidential election campaign. In 2008, Democrats accused the George W. Bush administration of endangering US security by needlessly antagonising Vladimir Putin’s Russia and raising the level of tension between the two countries, especially during and after the Russo-Georgia war. Four years later, in 2012, the Barack Obama re-election campaign showcased the accomplishments of the reset policy. For its part, Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign faulted the administration for treating the Kremlin with kid gloves when Russia was, according to Romney, the United States’ ‘number one geopolitical foe’ because it ‘fights every cause for the world’s worst actors’.1

Two Presidential Elections

This is a two-way street. The US–Russia relationship also emerged as a contentious issue in the run-up to Putin’s re-election as president; in fact it loomed considerably larger in Russia than in the United States. AntiAmericanism became a central theme of Putin’s campaign in reaction to the rise of an unexpected opposition protest movement after the contested December 2011 Duma elections; the movement continued during and after the March presidential elections. Clearly caught unawares by the size and strength of a heterogeneous opposition movement that included everything from communists to liberals to nationalists, the Putin team pointed a finger at nefarious foreign influences out to weaken Russia. It blamed the United States for financing the protests, an accusation that found resonance with Putin’s provincial working-class base. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had spoken out against vote fraud in the Duma elections, came in for special criticism. Putin accused her of ‘giving a signal’ to opposition leaders, claiming that the US State Department paid protesters to go out into the streets.2

During the presidential campaign, Putin’s dualistic view of the United States was on full display. In a lengthy article on foreign policy published shortly before his election, very much in the vein of his 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference, he accused Americans of being ‘obsessed with the idea of becoming absolutely invulnerable’ and warning that ‘absolute invulnerability for one country would in theory require absolute vulnerability for all others’.3 Nevertheless, he held out the prospect of improved relations if Washington could rid itself of its Cold War stereotypes.

Even after the election, criticism of alleged fomenting of opposition groups by the United States continued. The Kremlin introduced legal measures both to clamp down on domestic groups and to restrict the ability of foreign governments and non-governmental organisations to support civil society in Russia. Russians receiving money from abroad may now have to register as foreign agents irrespective of who their sponsors are. When the Foreign Ministry announced that USAID, the foreign-aid branch of the State Department that has been active in Russia since the early 1990s, would have to leave by 1 October, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that Russia was no longer in need of assistance. Putin himself emphasised the primacy of sovereignty and the illegitimacy of attempts by foreign countries to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs. Similarly, Russian officials justified the non-renewal of the 20-year-old Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction programme by stressing that Russia had recovered its international influence and would no longer be party to programmes whose agendas were set in the United States and which treated Russia as a country in need of assistance. Altogether, public antiAmericanism has increased since Putin’s return to the Kremlin, although the Russian president insists that he is willing to work with the United States, describing Obama as an ‘honest person who really wants to change much for the better.’4

In turn, the level of anti-American rhetoric and action in Russia reinforced Republican rhetoric criticising Obama’s reset policy with Moscow, which Democrats had cited as one of the major foreign-policy successes of his presidency. The Republican attack was multi-faceted. In a 2011 speech, Speaker of the House John Boehner called into question the wisdom of the New START treaty, assailed cutbacks in military spending and asserted that the Obama administration had been too timid both in its response to the domestic crackdown in Russia and to Russia’s attempts to pressure its neighbours.5 In the presidential and vice-presidential debates, this criticism extended to the failure to change Russian policy on the Syrian uprising. The administration’s response was to reiterate that US–Russian relations had improved considerably over where they were four years ago and that it was imperative to continue to engage Russia on all these contentious domestic and international issues.

The Republican attack was multi-faceted

Moreover, during the two election campaigns, all the contradictions in US–Russia relations were on display. On one hand, NATO opened a transit hub in Ulyanovsk (the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin) to assist the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the first such facility on Russian soil. Indeed, Putin defended the NATO facility against criticism from communists and other left-wing groups that NATO was out to ‘colonise’ Russia. On the other hand, Russia blocked tougher measures in the United Nations Security Council against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and continued to criticise the United States for interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs.

Though even after two decades the tone of the Cold War is often invoked, Russia no longer represents the bilateral foreign-policy preoccupation for US policymakers that the USSR once did. Nevertheless, Russia’s geostrategic position as the world’s largest continental power, its nuclear-weapons arsenal and its permanent seat on the UN Security Council will ensure that it remains a key partner for the United States. Its continuing importance also lies in its ability to cooperate on, or obstruct, major decisions about issues of foreign-policy interest to Washington, such as Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East writ large.

The persistence of US policy toward Russia and its neighbours as an issue of contention between the two main US political parties underlines the unfinished business of creating an effective post-Cold War security system and of the constant challenge for Washington that dealing with Moscow presents. Nevertheless, despite heated electoral polemics, there has in fact been more continuity between Republican and Democratic policies toward Russia than either side might admit, simply because the issues confronting US policymakers have not changed that much over the past two decades. Are Washington and Moscow’s interests increasingly diverging as Russia continues to recover its international clout, or could there be a basis for a more productive partnership? In short, what should be on the US–Russia agenda?

The Reset

US Vice President Joe Biden announced Obama’s new policy at the February 2009 Munich Security Conference: ‘It’s time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.’6 At the heart of this reset was prudent expectations management, using moderate rhetoric to create a set of achievable goals. The focus was interest-based pragmatism and a restrained policy toward Russia’s neighbours and toward Russia’s internal politics.

From the outset, however, the Russians emphasised that reset was an American construct. ‘“Reset” as a term is not our style, not our language, not our word’, announced Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov just before Putin’s return to the Kremlin, ‘We prefer to talk about continuing the positive trend of recent times.’7 Nevertheless, Moscow responded to Washington’s renewed feelers for two reasons: the change in American policy and the 2008 global financial crisis, which affected Russia far more than its leaders had originally anticipated.

From Washington’s point of view, the reset produced a number of concrete achievements: the New START treaty; unprecedented cooperation with Russia on Afghanistan, especially via the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) facilitating transportation of military personnel and lethal and non-lethal material to and from Afghanistan as Pakistan became an increasingly difficult partner; securing Russian support for UN Security Council Resolution 1929 imposing tougher sanctions on Iran and Moscow’s cancellation of its contract to sell S-300 air-defence systems to Iran; the 123 Agreement promoting civilian nuclear cooperation between the two countries; the establishment of a bilateral Presidential Commission; and Russian membership of the WTO after 19 years of negotiation. There remain two major items of unfinished business: the failure to reach an agreement on cooperation on missile defence and Congress’s refusal to rescind the 1974 Jackson–Vanik Amendment and grant Russia permanent normal trading status as WTO rules demand.

From Moscow’s point of view, New START and cooperation on the NDN were viewed as successes, as was Russia’s entry into the WTO, although there is a sizeable protectionist constituency in Russia that opposed WTO accession. However, Russia remains resentful that the United States never took seriously the need to redesign Euro-Atlantic security structures after the Georgia War and largely ignored President Dmitry Medvedev’s 2009 proposal to create a new, legally binding Euro-Atlantic super-treaty, one that American and European officials believe would have restricted NATO’s ability to operate effectively.8 Moreover, Washington’s attempts to improve NATO–Russia cooperation via the NATO–Russia Council found limited support in Moscow. Tensions over the post-Soviet space diminished, but that was largely because of events on the ground, particularly the 2010 election in Ukraine that brought Viktor Yanukovych to power. He moved Ukraine closer to Russia and declared that Kyiv was no longer interested in NATO membership. The Obama administration, unlike the Clinton and Bush administrations, did not prioritise enlarging NATO, particularly to the post-Soviet space. Thus the Kremlin by and large viewed the results of the reset as a necessary American course correction rather than the beginning of a new phase in relations, raising the question of how much Moscow had bought into the reset.

Personal relations played an important part in the reset. In the absence of broad-based institutional ties between the two countries and given the limited number of stakeholders in the bilateral relationship, ties between the two presidents have played a disproportionate role in the relationship over the past two decades. Obama saw an opportunity to engage Russia in a more productive way by appealing to Medvedev as a tech-savvy fellow lawyer from a new generation less burdened by Cold War stereotypes. The personal relationship was crucial on several occasions, including during the most difficult phase of the New START negotiations and in securing Russian agreement to abstain on UNSCR 1973 authorising the use of airpower to establish a no-fly zone over Libya. Russia also became an important player in the G20, when that grouping became a key instrument for dealing with the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010. Although the White House was fully aware that no major foreign-policy decision could be taken without the approval of both Putin and Medvedev, having Medvedev as Obama’s interlocutor did make a difference, especially when it became clear soon after the Libya vote that Putin disapproved. He described the UN resolution as a ‘mediaeval call for a crusade, when someone would call someone to go to a particular place and liberate something’.9 Once Medvedev left the Kremlin for the Russian White House, relationship dynamics were bound to change.

Obama saw an opportunity

After the 24 September 2011 castling announcement that the tandem would switch jobs and Putin would return to the Kremlin, the Obama administration began to adjust. Obama and Putin had had one testy meeting in July 2009 during which the then prime minister enumerated the ways in which he believed that the United States had reneged on previous promises made to Russia. Despite several American attempts to arrange a subsequent meeting between the two, none had taken place. Nevertheless, the administration understood that Putin was above all a pragmatic leader who was willing to make deals with the United States if he believed that they were in Russia’s interest.

The Arab Uprisings

US–Russian relations have become increasingly strained by the ferment in the Arab world that has deposed long-standing authoritarian leaders and brought Islamist groups to power. Syria has been the most contested issue and has highlighted two opposing ideological approaches toward dealing with international crises. The United States and its NATO allies, partly based on the experience of the two Balkan wars in the 1990s, emphasise the primacy of two core principles: the responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention. Russia, by contrast, stresses the primacy of state sovereignty and non-interference in the affairs of other states. Although Russia originally abstained from vetoing the no-fly zone in Libya, a month after the UN resolution, Lavrov claimed that the United Nations had overstepped its mission in Libya.10 Russian officials criticised the way in which Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi was killed and are wary of the government that succeeded him.

The Libyan experience reinforced the Kremlin’s reluctance to support popular uprisings in the Arab world. Russia’s refusal to take action against the Assad regime also had pragmatic roots: Syria is Russia’s last remaining client state in the Middle East and a destination for Russian arms exports. The Russian naval base at Tartu, while far from state-of-the art, provides the only warm-water foreign port for the Russian navy. Moreover, the domestic implications of the Arab revolts for Russia are disturbing. Given Russia’s own problem with Sunni Islamist groups in the North Caucasus and on its southern borders, and the reality of a Russian Muslim population that is becoming more religious and whose population growth rates are well above those of the Slavic population, the potential fall of the secular Alawite regime and the coming to power of radical Sunnis is viewed with great concern. The spectre of disgruntled citizens rising up against corrupt, authoritarian leaders (as countless Russians bloggers have framed it) reinforces the Kremlin’s resolve to continue supporting the Assad regime. Russian officials appear to believe that the Assad regime will eventually prevail, and they show no sign of being willing to support UN actions against it, despite appeals from both the West and the Arab League.

Currently, Washington depends on Moscow for the continuing smooth functioning of the NDN, and this situation will continue until the United States has completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan. It also needs continued Russian cooperation on the existing UN sanctions against Iran. Although it seems unlikely that Russia will change its stance on Syria, it is in the US interest that Russia not create more obstacles to Western attempts to bolster the anti-Assad forces.

On the face of it, therefore, Russia has considerable leverage with the United States and senses a chance to promote, together with China, an alternative model to that of the West. The old ideological divide between East and West may have disappeared, but in its place has come a determination to present Russia as a champion of the right of states to absolute sovereignty in a world that has newly emerging power centres that can compete with the United States. Russia views itself as one of these new centres. Putin’s major goal has been to ensure that no major international decision can be taken without Russian participation and that Russia’s views should be taken into account and respected. He is determined that the United States can no longer set the agenda in its dealings with Russia, as it did for much of the past two decades. Hence the announcement about the non-renewal of the Nunn–Lugar programme, even though it is quite possible that another cooperative threat reduction agreement could be worked out on terms that Russia considers more acceptable.

Agenda for the Next Administration

Where does this newly assertive Russia that defines itself as an ‘independent centre of power’ leave US–Russian relations? The reset may have run its course, but there are still unresolved issues that have to be tackled. Beyond the Syria crisis, a priority for Washington will be to return to the missile-defence issue. In Obama’s first term, his administration expended considerable energy trying to complete an agreement with Russia to cooperate on missile defence. In a gesture aimed at reducing Russian opposition, in 2009 it shelved the G.W. Bush administration’s plans for deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic, replacing them with the Phased Adaptive Approach that deferred any deployments to former Warsaw Pact members until 2018, when interceptors would be deployed in Romania and Poland.

Nevertheless, despite numerous American statements that missile defence is aimed at states such as Iran, and in no way threatens Russia, Moscow insists that these deployments in their later stages could threaten Russian strategic forces. Russian rhetoric has sharpened, with key officials asserting that they know that the real target of missile defence is Russia and warning that, if the United States goes ahead with deployment, US–Russian relations could return to the ‘ice age’.11 At a May 2012 missile-defence conference in Moscow, Chief of the General Staff General Nikolai Makarov reiterated a threat made by Medvedev the day after Obama’s election in 2008: Russia could deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad that ‘could inflict a pre-emptive strike on missile defence’ to counter US deployments.12 Putin, after meeting with Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico in June 2012, said ‘I think the problem of the missile shield will not be solved regardless of whether Obama is re-elected or not’.13

Current and former US officials from both parties agree that the technical outlines for a deal on missile defence have been there for some time, but that politics remain the key obstacle. Moscow has insisted that Washington provide written legal guarantees that missile defence is not directed against Russian strategic forces. The United States has offered verbal assurances but cannot give written, legally binding guarantees. In March 2012, Obama was caught on an open microphone at the Seoul nuclear summit confiding to Medvedev that, after his re-election ‘I will have more flexibility’ on the missile-defence issue. The Russian president promised that he would ‘transmit this to Vladimir’, leading to much mirth in the Russian blogosphere. But it is unclear how much flexibility the American president has on the question of written legal guarantees.

In September 2012, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow reiterated that ‘the system’s infrastructure is specially configured and optimized to protect against missile threats from outside the EuroAtlantic area – not from Russia’, adding that ‘if the Russians were to work with us on missile defence, they wouldn’t have to take my word for it; they would see it with their own eyes’.14 If the impasse over written guarantees could be overcome, the next steps would be to cooperate on greater transparency, conduct joint NATO–Russia missile-defence exercises, create a jointly manned NATO–Russia data-fusion centre to share warning data and create a planning and operations centre to explore further integration.15 But this scenario would only be possible under two conditions: if the new US administration is willing to focus its energies on finding new solutions to the missile-defence impasse, and if Putin decides that there is a deal that is advantageous enough to Russian interests for it to abandon his depiction of missile defence as an American scheme aimed at undermining Russia’s security, thereby moderating the Kremlin’s current narrative about US– Russian relations.

The Stakeholder Problem

The first Obama administration, like its predecessors, understood that one continuing problem in US–Russian relations is the lack on both sides of stakeholders with a commitment to sustaining and nurturing the bilateral relationship. This is partly a product of the unique structural features of the relationship. As the world’s two major nuclear powers, the United States and Russia continue to operate partly within a Cold War framework where nuclear and security issues dominate the relationship, and these inevitably involve a limited number of players. The United States and Russia are not natural economic partners. This contrasts sharply with the European– Russian relationship and its deep economic roots. The Russian economy is natural-resource based and its major exports (oil and gas) are important for Europe, but not for America. Nor is Russia’s other major export, arms, of interest to US importers. The principal but limited support in the US business community for bilateral relations comes from resource companies and firms seeking to participate in the growing BRIC-style consumer market. This adds up to a relatively narrow segment. A significant group of stakeholders from the business sector in both Europe and Russia are dedicated to promoting commercial and political ties. No similarly robust broadly based groups exist either in Russia or the United States to advocate for the relationship. In contrast, there are vocal critics of Russia and of the US–Russian reset in the United States, whereas such groups are generally more muted in Europe. Anti-Americanism has also been on the rise in Russia and critics of the US–Russian relationship abound.

In 2009, the Obama administration created the Bilateral Presidential Commission, a revamped version of the Clinton-era Gore–Chernomyrdin Commission, to tackle the stakeholder problem. With roughly two dozen working groups dedicated to everything from energy and science to civil society and prison reform, the commission has continued to operate actively even after the momentum of the reset slowed. It will, however, be a long time before this commission succeeds in creating an effective group of stakeholders on both sides. In the meantime, the Obama administration, like its two predecessors, has sought to support closer economic ties with Russia.

The most notable advance was the signing in April 2012 of a major deal between ExxonMobil and Rosneft for joint exploration of the Arctic, cooperation in the Black Sea and participation by Rosneft in ExxonMobil projects in the United States and Canada. The Arctic arrangement is the most prominent part of the deal. The technical challenges of exploring the vast energy resources of the Arctic are daunting, but the potential for revenues is immense. Igor Sechin, president of Rosneft and known as Russia’s oil czar, went to the heart of the Cold War legacy when he declared that the deal had overcome the ‘overpoliticisation and historic stereotypes that hampered the US– Russian relationship’.16

Congress remains reluctant

The new US administration will continue to encourage the development of a stronger US–Russian commercial relationship, but any increase in trade and investment will be incremental. Trade with Russia currently comprises less than 1% of total US international trade.

Prospects for a significant increase in bilateral economic ties will also hinge on whether Congress moves to grant Russia Permanent Normal Trading Relations. The United States is the only WTO member that has not granted this status to Russia. As a result, now that Russia is in the WTO, American business is at a disadvantage and Russia can discriminate against US business in favour of other WTO members who have granted them such status. For political reasons, and despite active lobbying by the White House, Congress remains reluctant to lift the anachronistic Jackson–Vanik restrictions that tied normalised trade relations to Soviet laws on Jewish emigration. It has also added a new dimension: the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act, a bill introduced in response to the death in prison of a 37-year-old Russian lawyer who had uncovered large-scale corruption in Moscow’s law-enforcement and tax-collection structures. This legislation would deny visas to Russian officials involved in the case and freeze their US assets. Congress has agreed that permanent normalised trade relations will be granted only if the Magnitsky bill is also passed. Russia has strongly criticised the bill and has threatened to retaliate with its own list of American officials who will be barred from Russia.

Interests vs. Values

The new US administration, like its predecessors, will have to address the continuing debate about how best to engage with Russia, an issue that cuts across party lines. Those favouring a pragmatic, interest-based approach attribute many of the problems in US–Russian relations to what they view as misplaced emphasis by successive US administrations and Congress on trying to re-engineer Russian society. They believe that the relationship is most productive when Washington focuses on the resolution of common problems with Moscow, such as counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and nuclear security, and eschews public criticism of Russia’s domestic developments. Critics of an interest-based policy (on both the right and the left) argue that the United States should link its foreign-policy cooperation with Moscow to Russia’s internal system and to its treatment of its neighbours. The United States, they believe, must base its policies on the promotion of democratic values. Of course, interests and values cannot be neatly separated, since one defines one’s interests based on one’s values.

At the heart of these debates is the difficult question of how far the United States should allow its policies to be shaped by an acknowledgement of Russia’s unique post-Soviet preoccupations and continuing suspicion of American intentions. Does the United States, in the words on one German official, have ‘empathy deficit disorder’ when it comes to dealing with Russia?17 These debates sometimes exaggerate the amount of influence that the United States actually has over Russia’s internal situation and tend to downplay such strategic interests as Iran or Afghanistan. But they were on display at the 2012 Republican convention, when Romney, criticising the reset policy, declared that ‘Under my administration friends will see more loyalty and Mr Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone’.18

The United States’ ability to influence Russia’s domestic situation will likely not be increased but rather curtailed over the next four years. When Putin returned to the Kremlin, there was speculation about whether there would be a ‘Putin 2:0’. So far, there have been few signs either in domestic or foreign policy. Indeed, the recent spate of laws clamping down on protesters and on foreign involvement in Russian civil society and tightening laws on treason and libel indicate that the Kremlin is determined to restrict the ability of Western governments and NGOs to operate in Russia. On the other hand, proposed laws liberalising the ability of foreign energy companies to operate in Russia suggest that Putin is open to greater Western involvement in some sectors of the economy.

Cooperation on Afghanistan will continue; indeed, Putin has warned that the United States should not withdraw prematurely, before the situation becomes more stable. Issues that created tensions in previous administrations, particularly Ukraine and Georgia’s Euroatlantic aspirations, are no longer contentious because EU and NATO membership are, in reality, off the table. It remains to be seen how the foreign policy of Georgia’s new ‘cohabitation’ government under President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will develop, but there is enough uncertainty to question Tbilisi’s future direction. Russia’s neighbours are less likely to become issues of contention in US–Russian relations in the next few years. The longer-term question is how much attention the United States will pay to Central Asia after the Afghan withdrawal, given Washington’s other foreign-policy preoccupations.

It is unlikely that there will be another reset in US–Russian relations in the foreseeable future. The new Obama administration will work to maintain the post-reset status quo, especially vis-à-vis Afghanistan and Iran, and try to elicit a more cooperative Russian stance on Syria. It will focus on issues that fall below the geopolitical radar, modest steps such as adoption and visa rules and promoting more educational and cultural exchanges. It will seek continuing engagement with Russian civil society against a more restrictive background. It will also try to push the nuclear-arms limitation agenda forward, although there appears to be limited Russian interest in further reductions of strategic or tactical nuclear weapons. As long as attitudes on both sides toward the other range from ambivalent to antagonistic, avenues for qualitative improvement in relations will be constrained. The US–Russian relationship is a limited partnership where cooperation and competition co-exist on a fluid continuum.

There are, however, a number of uncertainties that could affect the relationship. Both the United States and Russia face continuing economic problems. Although Russia’s growth rates are considerably higher than those of the United States, the EU’s ongoing economic crisis has already had an impact on Russia, since the EU is a major trade partner. Moreover, declining European demand for Russian gas, in part a result of a weak European economy and the shale-gas revolution in the United States that has freed up liquefied natural gas exports to Europe, could have a significant impact on Russia’s economy. Russia faces a challenging domestic economic agenda that includes pension reform and dealing with deteriorating infrastructure. The current protest movement will not bring down the government, but these economic challenges have already revealed disagreements over economic policy between the Kremlin and the Russian White House, seat of Medvedev’s government. In a time of constrained economic choices, the Kremlin may well decide that it would be better to invite more Western participation in Russia’s apparently dormant modernisation project. Both sides should move to define clearly the future basis for cooperation in terms both of their own interests and where these interests coincide.

Developments in the Middle East and beyond could also impact the bilateral relationship in a number of ways. Russia will remain an important interlocutor for the United States as the consequences of the Arab Spring play themselves out and as the question of Iran’s nuclear programme continues to unfold. China’s rise is another issue that both countries face, although until now Moscow has emphasised the cooperative nature of its ties to Beijing, eschewing public discussion of the potential problems of dealing with its populous and increasingly powerful eastern neighbour. In any event, Russia will remain an important US partner, albeit a challenging one, over the next four years.

  1. Jonathan Earle, ‘Romney: Russia Is America’s “No. 1 Foe”’, Moscow Times, 28 March 2012,
  2. Miriam Elder, ‘Vladimir Putin Accuses Hillary Clinton of Encouraging Russian Protests’, Guardian, 8 December 2011.
  3. Vladimir Putin’s 27 February 2012 article in Moskovskiye Novosti translated as ‘Vladimir Putin on Foreign Policy: Russia and the Changing World’,
  4. ‘Putin: Using Al-Qaeda in Syria Like Sending Gitmo Inmates to fight’, RT, 6 September 2012,
  5. ‘Speaker Boehner on Reasserting American Exceptionalism in the U.S.-Russia Relationship’, 25 October 2011,
  6. ‘Remarks by Vice President Biden at the 45th Munich Security Conference’, United States Diplomatic Mission to Germany, 7 February 2009,
  7. Sergei Ryabkov interview with Ekho Moskvy, 12 January 2012.
  8. ‘The Draft of the Treaty on European Security’, President of Russia, 29 November 2009,
  9., 22 March 2011.
  10. Yevgeny Shestakov, ‘Russia: Nato has Overstepped UN Mandate on Libya’, Telegraph, 21 April 2011.
  11. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov quoted in Interfax, 21 December 2011.
  12. ‘Russia Failed to Convince the U.S.’, Interfax, 3 May 2012,
  13. ‘Putin Voices Pessimism on Missile Defense’, Moscow Times, 21 June 2012,
  14. ‘Remarks by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow at the Security and Defence Agenda Roundtable ‘Next steps in Missile Defence’, NATO, 27 September 2012,
  15. Steven Pifer, Nuclear Arms Control in 2012 (Washington: The Brookings Institution, July 2012.)
  16. Daniel Yergin, The Quest (New York: Penguin 2012), p. 42.
  17. General Klaus Naumann has used this phrase in describing US policy.
  18. ‘RNC 2012: Mitt Romney Speech to GOP Convention’, Washington Post, 30 August 2012.