The Conditions for U.S.–Russian Partnership

A U.S.–Russian partnership is now within reach, but it is still hindered. Impediments include the United States’ withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in December 2001, along with Russia’s antidemocratic and excessively militarized policies at home and in the CIS. Because a real partnership could transform today’s international problems—arms control, regional security across Eurasia, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and access to energy supplies—it is worth examining the conditions that could bring it about. The most important precondition to a lasting, genuine, and productive partnership would be for Russia to demonstrate commitment to economic-political democratization. As its top priority, therefore, the Bush administration must encourage Russia in transforming its internal conditions.

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