Gregory Bovt writes that Russia is a low priority on the list of foreign policy issues for both Democratic and Republican candidates and advises avoiding excessive anti-Russian or anti-U.S. rhetoric from both sides.
During every U.S. presidential election campaign, there is a debate in Russia over whether the Republican or Democratic candidate would be more beneficial for the Kremlin. Russian analysts and politicians always fail to understand that Americans have shown little interest in foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Even when foreign policy is mentioned in the campaign, Russia is far down the list as a priority item.
The volume of U.S-Russian trade remains small. The recent Exxon-Rosneft deal notwithstanding, U.S. interest in Russia's energy projects has fallen, particularly as the Kremlin has increased its role in this sector. To make matters worse, the United States is determined to establish clean energy and energy independence, while Russia's gas exports are feeling the pinch from stiff competition with the U.S. development of shale gas production.