With the Winter Olympics at Sochi set to begin in a matter of days, former ambassador John Beyrle, Angela Stent of Georgetown University, and CFR's Stephen Sestanovich discuss the current state and recent history of U.S.-Russia relations with Andrew Guff.
"The megaproject has returned — another Soviet legacy pursued by the singular will of Vladimir Putin, who seems incapable of escaping the ideas that nurtured him from youth. The Olympics in Sochi are often called Putin's games, a profligate investment to prove to the world Russia's resurrection, a personal validation of his 14 years — and counting — as the country's paramount ruler."
The Kremlin source told Reuters that for Putin, Khodorkovsky would have been much more of a headache if he served his sentence and was released as scheduled. If he were to stay in Russia, he would attract more attention for longer, which could empower him, the source said, adding that this way, Putin had closed his way back to Russia.
"[Putin's] worldview is that the world is in such a chaotic, incomprehensible state, that all attempts to influence it with direct action are counterproductive and only bring the opposite of the intended result,' says Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of Russia in Global Affairs, who is seen as a good decoder of the Kremlin's thinking. Furthermore, the trope of U.S. obligation to do this or enforce that is more than galling to Putin, Lukyanov says. It is incomprehensible."
Carla Robbins argues that ignoring the Kremlin and putting current U.S.-Russia relations on pause is not an option worth pursuing. She stresses the importance of publicly warning Russia of the damage done to its global reputation through current policies, and the need to engage with Russia in areas of common interest, such as Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu met in Washington, D.C. on August 9, 2013, to discuss trade, nuclear threat reduction, and strategies to address crises in Syria and Egypt.
Asked by Ihorran Caldeira, from University of Sao Paulo
The so-called "BRICS"—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—are a group of countries that have enjoyed relatively fast economic growth and increased political influence. Russia's economy used to occupy the middle tier of the BRICS, but today many Russians worry that it is dropping to the bottom of the group.
Syria, arms control, and economic ties are likely to be the focus of the Putin-Obama meeting in Northern Ireland, where both sides are hoping to set a new tone for the relationship, says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »