Relations between Russia and the United States have always been on the verge of aggravation, because of the fact that both world powers want to dominate in all issues.
They say that there's a thin line between love and hate. The reverse process would have been possible if the US President would improve the relations between the two countries. During his election campaign, Donald Trump openly expressed his sympathy for Russia and the desire to help strengthen relations between the two.
Even during the personal meeting of the heads of state, Donald Trump seemed more eager to the union than President Putin. However, everything is quite different now. The fact is that the political elites of the United States and Russia do not consist only of presidents, but also other personalities, or bodies, that control both the domestic and foreign policies of the two countries.
The United States of America cannot concentrate only on Russia, because the interests of the countries cross in terms of Crimea and Syria. In addition, there is the question of North Korea, which continues to frighten the world, and in particular the United States, with its missile warheads, threatening to destroy any country who will try to intervene.
One should not forget China, which every day strengthens its economic power and, in addition, maintains ties with Iran in order to implement new economic projects. Having so many topics for discussion, the United States occasionally changes the direction of its foreign policy towards Russia.
Paul A. Goble (born 1949) - American analyst, writer, and columnist with expertise on Russia, shared his opinion on the topic of US-Russia relations.
How has the policy of the USA towards Russia changed since the election of Donald Trump?
Trump wanted a better relationship because he believes in a world of greater powers, and the use of force as the decisive measure of power.
But because he was so obviously pro-Russian, he has been forced by the Congress and Americans, more generally, to adopt an ever tougher approach that will continue in the absence of a major terrorist incident in the US, or a major war in the Koreas or elsewhere.
Do we have a new cold war between the USA and Russia?
The cold war is not a good model for what is happening now. That was a worldwide and ideological competition. Russia is no longer capable, or interested, in conducting that kind of competition, and neither, at present, is Trump’s Washington.
The US and Russia will always have a prickly relationship, sometimes better, sometimes worse. But it is a mistake to think that the only possibilities are a cold war or warm relations.
Which is better: China's strong economy or US military power?
For better or worse—and I, for one, think it is for better—the US is the only country on earth that has all three attributes of a super power: a strong army, a powerful economy, and an attractive model that people want to come to be part of.
Neither Russia nor China has all three. Putin is trying and, with Trump’s help, is succeeding, more than is a good thing, to destroy what makes the US attractive.
What are your thoughts on the future events in Syria and Crimea?
Syria will recede into more general Middle East conflicts and won’t get much attention once Russia and the US pull back. Crimea will probably remain under Russian control for a long time, but American and EU non-recognition of that occupation will be a serious problem for relations, just as US non-recognition of the annexation of the Baltic countries was.
In conclusion, the expert noted that the world is moving back, not to the period of the cold war, but to that of the late pre-World War I period when powers acted without much thought and stumbled into a general war. That, unfortunately, can happen again.