Reset? Russian Perspectives on US–Russian Relations

Authored by: Carol R. Saivetz

Routledge Handbook of Russian Politics and Society

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415576277
eBook ISBN: 9780203804490
Adobe ISBN: 9781136641022

10.4324/9780203804490.ch38

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Abstract

Throughout what we might call the Putin–Bush era, questions persisted about the direction of Russian foreign policy. Would Russia engage with the United States or would it pursue an anti-Western foreign policy. As Putin acceded to power, relations between the United States and Russia were at a low point. Although things began to improve in early 2001, when former President George W. Bush looked into then Russian President Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, it was only after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States that Russian–US relations took a major turn for the better. Putin was the first world leader to call Bush after the attacks and he offered Russia’s support for the war effort against the Taliban in Afghanistan. As Putin himself made clear, he was determined to restore Russia’s superpower status; moreover, arguably he saw the offer to help the United States after 9/11 as a way of gaining influence (Saivetz 2006).

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