What Is the Most Important Issue Facing the U.S.-Russia Relationship?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 10, 2009
The Kremlin in Moscow

This week, Secretary Clinton travels to Europe. In Moscow, she will meet with President Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov to discuss bilateral and regional issues, such as cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East and North Korea. They will also review progress and provide guidance on a successor agreement to START and next steps for the Clinton-Lavrov Commission. These consultations are an integral part of our renewed partnership with Russia.

What is the most important issue facing the U.S.-Russia relationship?

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 9, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The List:

Narcotics and Arms Trafficking, AIDS

Money Laundering, Cybercrime, Terrorism,

Global Organized Crime, Nuclear Black Market,

Dual-Use Commodities, Human Trafficking,

Alternative Energy, Security Technologies.....

Jack
|
Virginia, USA
October 9, 2009

Jack in Virginia writes:

Its quid pro quo time for Russia. We pulled back on missile defense, and it's time for the Russians to start being far more cooperative on the Iran nuclear issue.

Russia has an opportunity to show responsible leadership on the world stage (we certainly can't count on China for that) by taking a stand on the Iran issue.

Best,

Jack
(formerly in New Hampshire)

bess
|
Alabama, USA
October 10, 2009

Bess in Alabama writes:

disclosure / trust

Syed A.
|
Pakistan
October 10, 2009

Syed in Pakistan writes:

In my humble and candid view,the most important issue remarkably and most significantly marking the futurity of U.S.-Russia relationship is the issue of Nato's eastward expansion that is being perceived by the Russian strategists as a major stumbling block in promoting bilateralism between Washington and Moscow (in the post cold war era).

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 10, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well, I think the bilateral issues are well known and there are deadlines and commitments to be met by the parties.

Now in order to pass through some of these "sticky wickets" in good form, and retaining a sense of humor throughout, I thought I'd offer my own incentive package for better bilateral relations.

Considering that the U.S. and Russia have been for the last 60 years been in some form of competition with each other on some very dysfunctional levels, and though the relationship has matured beyond mutually assured destruction at this point, the parties still need family counselling in my opinion.

So I'd like to propose a friendly little challenge to the Russian President, and it goes like this:

Win the Nobel Peace Prize next year.

I know he can do it if he wants it bad enough.

If our president was awarded it for initiating the revitilization of a process to create a better world, then this child of the nuclear era challenges the Russian President to win it for facilitating the proposed reality's successful manifestation after all these years.

As is my right to, if not a duty to mankind as a citizen of this planet.

(Respectfully submitted in the hopes this dip-note will make it into a dip-pouch for delivery.)

Logan M.
|
New York, USA
October 10, 2009

Logan M. in New York writes:

The most important issue, and there are many from which to choose, is probably obtaining their help in dealing with the Middle East. Their influence there is great, and Russians are not the only ones who still think in quasi-Cold War frames of mind. By showing a united front on certain issues, such as nuclear proliferation, the U.S. is able to avoid charges of being the Great Satan, and those spouting such drivel look more and more out of touch with reality. Dealing with Russia is not easy. You must show strength which they can respect while at the same time giving them concessions so they can "talk big" domestically.

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
October 10, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

HONESTY...What are Russia's long term intentions regarding the United State?

@ RON: The 'Dark side' of our world is not negotiable Ron and involves all countries.

What makes it so sad is the fact that our economic situation was not impacted as much by illegal activities as it was the overall greed by Legal means Ron. Russia had nothing to do with that situation. Combined with a lax Congressional oversight, we did it to our own people. You must also realize that U.S. is still the number one user of almost all illegal consignments; so, why blame Russia or anyone else?

Many of the things you mention are why Europeans and others hold the ill feelings against the United States: Hypocrisy. We use the products and services, protect their use legally by preferred parties or societies and then complain to the producers...it is a double standard.

NARCO dollars, etc. are an elaborate element not spoken of until it impacts us directly in an economic negitive manner.

Putin is still the leader for all intent...ask him.

Natasha
|
Russia
October 10, 2009

Natasha in Russia writes:

Loosen up the strict Entry Visa requirement for Russians. Especially the youth, so they don't have to use the services of Human Trafficker racketeers and ruin a life. Also the elders do have money saved and many like to visit America but most never make it to an interview for fear of not returning. What 50-60 years old Russians is going to do in America if kids liver back in Russia. Many professionals would like to receive work training, they do admire American work ethics and many try to emulate the style. So think of the People not just the Government.

mark
|
Arizona, USA
October 10, 2009

Mark in Arizona writes:

American-Russian issues: trust/glasnost, regional and worldwide security, and inflation/corruption.

skin c.
October 10, 2009

S.C. writes:

The situation with Iran must be pretty high on the list, isn't it? The whole ploy of holding talks while Iran continues to do what it does must be pretty obvious to everyone by now, right?

John
|
Greece
October 11, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Natasha in Russia -- Sure! Would you also like a masaz after your sauna? If you want a solution to your "trafficking" you better start work locally first.

I think that Mr. Putin and the "others" have the time and money to start working towards "resolving" Russian mafia. Difficult indeed, when you have to deal with ex-colleagues.

It becomes ridiculous to assume that U.S.A. visa request procedures -- especially from Russians -- creates a problem TO... actually YOUR PROBLEM! Because it's your problem, not a U.S. one! And you do nothing at all to make things better. They say, media say, that police corruption and criminality in your capital is worst than it used to be 20 or 30 years ago.

You say: "What 50-60 years old Russians is going to do in America if kids liver back in Russia."? This is the old school of Soviet thought. Remember? It was not easy for "people" (only party people were allowed to) to travel around the world, unless they had left their kids back "home" -- in order for the party to be sure they would get back. Family vacations right? (LOL)

Now the party is gone! You have no argument!

Would you like to visit my home? I want to know who are you. So, get a visa!

American Express is also accepted!

Robin
|
South Carolina, USA
October 10, 2009

Robin in South Carolina writes:

I would say the most important issue is the protection of individual and human rights.

The murders of Russian attorney Stanislov Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova in Moscow earlier this year put a spotlight on this issue. According to the news reports about these killings, Russia does not seem to be a safe place for anyone who disagrees with or criticizes the government.

There should be many advantages and opportunities in the U.S. and Russia strengthening their relationship and cooperating in business and world issues. But if the Russia does not respect the basic rights of its own citizens, how can we trust them?

Jack
|
Virginia, USA
October 11, 2009

Jack in Virginia writes:

@ Robin,

You're right. The Russian government's suppression of individual rights is critical. It's just such a difficult issue to pressure Russia on. But, I do agree with you. We need to find better ways to encourage the Russian government and support the nation's citizenry to achieve greater freedoms.

Best, Jack

Zharkov
|
United States
October 11, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Rather than nagging President Medvedev about U.S. problems with Russia, why not ask Medvedv if we can help Russia solve its problems with us?

Russia needs larger trading partners. Russia's efforts to reach out to other nations should be encouraged by a White House request to Congress to repeal the Jackson-Vanik Amendment because the Soviet Union no longer exists; Jackson-Vanik is a rule without a reason and is counter-productive to good Russian relations.

Our huge war machine needs to be scaled back so that other nations no longer feel pressure to arm themselves and compete for military power. We don't need military bases in every nation on earth unless we intend to conquer them.

As we expand the war front across Pakistan, we cause problems for other nations whose citizens, along with our own, begin to wonder about our claim of "good intentions".

Our government's routine use of torture devices including LRAD weapons, Taser weapons, and irritant chemical weapons on U.S. citizens protesting summit meetings displays a shocking lack of humanity toward our own citizens.

When we subject our own citizens to police state tactics as we did in Pennsylvania recently, it sends a signal to the rest of the world that there is something wrong in America.

The average Russian reads the same news and wonder why NATO still exists after the Soviet state was dissolved and why our government is attacking our own citizens for simply assembling and protesting our government's policies, a right guaranteed to our people by our Constitution.

And of course, we simply must stop lying about who started the war in Georgia. We should retract that lie and admit the EU investigation into the war reached the correct conclusion that Russia did not start the war.

In fact, if the federal government stopped lying about almost everything, it would set a grand example for the rest of the world. Wouldn't it be nice if other leaders could rely on us to do what we promised to do? Wouldn't it be nice to start acting like real Americans?

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 12, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The List (continued):

U.S. and Russia have a mutual responsibility to create a stable and secure geo-political reality in the lives of millions who were robbed of their economic and political freedoms during and following the cold war. In the context of the global economic crisis, and the ever-present threat of terrorism (nuclear), this may be job one for U.S.-Russia.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
October 13, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

This is a no brainer. The sale of Nuclear Power, technology and Nuclear Weapons. Russia stockpiles hundreds of Nuclear arms, and God knows how many of those have been sold to other countries around the world. The world needs answers as to who they have been selling these deadly weapons to? I believe Russia should provide a list of accontability and show how responsible they can be to the public at large, the truth of their actions. Denying this list would be considered grave concern, because then that would prove Russia was hiding something from the world. The United States should equally provide a list, that way everyone knows what has been going on. Then maybe we all would know where everyone truly stands with the Nuclear threats in future.

Godspeed and Godbless

ilia
|
Puerto Rico
October 13, 2009

Ilia in Puerto Rico writes:

Important? Trustworthy.

Russia should be steadfast and truthful in dealing with United States, cooperative and determined to cope with the United States in world issues. Both nations can better the present and the future of other nations,the world. Russia should mean what it says. Be sincere. Do not backstab.

palgye
|
South Korea
October 13, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Putin to China? About Russia the thought which is personal. Very the thought which is a nation which is masculin. very...The part which is opened to the public makes the world only of the themselves, with the outside completely the secret strife which is discontinued enjoys the distribution process of power the Communist party (?)Is a nation which is an enemy ....................... where

Is late too and the thought holds, but Anyhow the market turban shell which says the thought which is personal charge says to a thought without. ?

Until now relationship with the United States militarily opposition and restraint the world decides the scope of each one in base, maintenance (?)Does and comes but .......................................................
Is China and simply escapes the economic structure which depends in the underground resources a new role and with appearance of new influence and will be had and, thinks new role is who arrived to the location must allocate.

Removes the disruption of the economic development which is intentional and throws away and to solve a food problem, - in future in what kind of method [ten] is new and explosive the light industries field which Russia is retrogressive must seek the newly rising market which - supports, the sudden development blooms little by little the policy to rear a civil field, market and makes the consumption patterns simultaneously and developing with the restraint influence which is bypassing the method will not be.The market which is charming wins and but climate opens to the public a many part because of national policy, has a difficult circumstance and develops too and is not but is not developed not to be, stands but thinks the nation. Yet the military power is a nation which is world-wide,

Recognizes the political system which Russia is unique and restraint agriculture and the light industries in compliance with cooperation develops and the heavy industries which is their strong point and a basic science part to induce the contact with the world which leads thinks the method which the thing is good. (Expands the influence from eastern Europe to, recently like former times expanding an influence easily by interference of China which has the buffer zone which is an enormous alliance body and a Mongo which are EU thinks. that is difficult,)

There is an instance which succeeds from durable consumer goods market of some enterprise in compliance with the difference and the enormous black market of poor and rich arrived to which degree critical point, sees. When attempting the activation of the domestic demand market in compliance with the common people as, sees.

Dave
|
Kentucky, USA
October 14, 2009

Dave in Kentucky writes:

For those of you who believe that Russia had nothing to do with Georgia please take your blinders off. Russia is still trying to demonstrate that they have influence with countries all over the world. The point of Georgia is this - Russia can invade and NATO will do nothing about it - so why entertain the thought of Georgia joining NATO? Not to mention access to key Natural Gas supply lines to Europe.

Of real concern with Russia is their relationships with Iran, Venzeula, and North Korea. What are their intentions and what agenda are they fostering? They proclaim that they are contributing to the economic development of those countries but are involved in selling nuclear and military assets to those countries. They are not hammering swords into plows - they are selling the swords.

So, how do we counter such "economic development"? By working with Russia to develop alternative methods of energy production and working with Russian 'satellite countries' in becoming more self-sufficient.

Just a thought...

Evan
|
Massachusetts, USA
October 14, 2009

Evan in Massachusetts writes:

Russia's submarine reconnaisance missions off of America's east coast.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/05patrol.html

Russia extending its domination of the arctic by exerting military control and also invasion of Canadian arctic space

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Canada+Russia+tensions+Arctic+part+pol...

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0739-e.htm#possible

And of course Russia's relationship with Iran, but not to be neglected, their clandestine activities and connections as well as economic ties with Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, and a growing list of South American countries.

wake up call.

Brian C.
|
Massachusetts, USA
October 15, 2009

Ari in Massachusetts writes:

Dear Sec. Dr. Clinton et al,

ShALOHA from Harvard University & Massachuetts.

This is a very complex question and Russia is a highly important Global Partner. I will give 3 small ideas.

1) Iranian issues are easily solved with Russian & Chinese assistances, and therefore all nuclear related compliance points should involve the Russians at all levels, especially compliance requirements and military ideas.

2) Good Trade and warmer Relations with this Country should be a Maxim.

3) Cooperation in Space Programs for new Moon Base Defense Shield Issues and the Mars Colonies' projects is paramount for Exporation of the Solar System, sooner -AMEN.

Shantal
|
California, USA
October 15, 2009

Shantal in California writes:

There are several important issues facing the U.S. - Russia Relationship. There isn't just one. As far as cooperation on Afghanistan, I don't think that this will be much of an issue. Several other nations such as Greece and Germany have already pledged to continue sending troops. Though some countries be hesitant in backing U.S. completely in this conflict, they will have no problem back NATO.

Iran is an issue gaining strength everyday. I believe our people are misinformed concerning Iran and should do more research. First and foremost, Iran is not a country carrying WMD's or is a country in the process of gaining WMD's. The IAEA has not seen any evidence, therefore we have no reason to accuse Iran. I think the best thing for the U.S. do to in this situation is deal with Iran directly instead of using Russia as middle ground to pressure Iran.

Additionally, cross apply my analysis on Iran and blanket it across the Middle East. The Middle East should be dealt with directly, not indirectly through other countries. We should use diplomacy over force.

As far as the START agreement and Clinton-Lavrov comission goes, we should discuss these key issues with Russia and establish common ground to where reciprocity occurs with both parties. We should continue to push for nuclear disarmament, as this is something the U.S. has on their agenda.

Karl
|
Maryland, USA
October 15, 2009

Kari in Maryland writes:

For those caught "in the middle" in Central and Eastern Europe, it is important that the U.S. and Russia speak the same language.

However, this cannot be the rhetoric and policies of zero sum, revanchism, intimidation of the neighborhood and distrust of its own citizens and media, energy blackmail, etc. We can can only feel at ease when the Russian hierarchy comes to terms honestly with its country's past and acts responsibly and morally towards itself and others.

JOHN
|
Wisconsin, USA
October 15, 2009

John in Wisconsin writes:

An open dialogue with regards to diplomatic relations. And above all a genuine effort to understand one another by listening to what the other has to say. We need to find a way to develop a climate for harmony. No more noodling around. It is getting pretty serious out there on this earth of ours. And now is the time for us as nations to heed the warning signs. And take things seriously. God bless you all for the jobs that you do for both countries.

TMLutas
|
Indiana, USA
October 15, 2009

T.M. in Indiana writes:

Russia's impoverished political class is a key issue. The number of people who could drop into the big chair in the U.S. is actually quite large. A dozen people contend for the White House and others could fill the job but do not have an interest. The list in Russia is much smaller. It is not the United States' business who is in or out of power in Russia but having such a powerful country with such a narrow political class leaves Russia vulnerable and is a danger to the world.

Steve
|
Wisconsin, USA
October 15, 2009

Steve in Wisconsin writes:

The most important issue between Russia and the U.S. in this upcoming round is getting cooperation on Iran. A strong incentive needs to be built for Iran to abandon it's nuclear program. The economic leverage for that has to be broad without promoting the idea within Iran that they can get out from under sanctions by threatening or engaging in interference in Afganistan or Iraq. Russia's cooperation is critical for distributing the risks that heavy sanctions will bring about, and help those sanctions stay effective.

kamel
|
Tunisia
October 16, 2009

Kamel in Tunisia writes:

I think it's time to enter Russia in Europe community like Turkey this is one solution.

Sidney R.
|
United Kingdom
October 16, 2009

Sidney in U.K. writes:

@ Evan in Massachusetts: Evan may be on cue.

Sooner or later, as you peel the onion of deception from the world's events over the last decade and a half, perhaps the 'third' party involvements will reveal themselves... I believe that the Defector from the KGB, now in Florida, may be quite correct: "Who said that the cold war was ever over?" This on CSPAN ...some months ago.

America seems to have a great deal of difficulty in accepting the truth when it is so simple and Americans seem to finally realize that their leadership is more involved in political associations to proxy themselves into a false sense of power, both over their constituents and the world stage than in dealing with reality.

There is no relationship with Russia beyond what the U.S. can provide them with; after all, it seems that they have the entire free world fighting what should be their war in actuality. It is their country which is logistically in peril, not the U.S., not the UK, not Europe ...think about it and whom has profited the most, politically and economically.

John
|
Wisconsin, USA
October 16, 2009

John in Wisconsin writes:

I very much appreciate everyones comments/thoughts/beliefs, with regards to the relations between the U.S. & Russia.

We are all so lucky. We have a forum to discuss and express our feelings about our world around us...Please consider those poor souls whom do not have this freedom. Think of these people as you form your views as to how we (all of us), can do something for a better end. Be realistic, and not overly academic/opinionated. Real people are at stake, real lives. All with a purpose for living. If your sitting on you bottom talking smart for the fun of it. STOP, and consider those who have not our oppotunities for much of anything. I would encourage all of us to take a more active role in seeking realistic solutions. Like the rest of you..I don't know what those solutions would/should be. But I'm so very greatful for those who are making an effort. I'm sure that all of us must feel the same way. I am a carpenter. I do my level best to build something that will stand the test of time. I work with animate objects. Those who only have the human condition (emotions) to contend with. ...Well God Bless Them. Because it has to be about one of the most selfless, thankless job out there. I have to close. Others have equally important things to say. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all spend the week together and wrangle this all out. Peace and salutations to all of you. I'm "Carpenter John" Ain't no anoumninity here. I practise/adhere to the "Cowboy way." If I've been wrong about anything let me know, please. I'm still learning like all of you. ...Thanks for listening. I'll get-off my horse now. JOHN

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