Russia’s Interests in Relations with the United States of America!

russiaWithout a doubt you need a big cup of coffee for this report:

Russia-U.S. summit is scheduled for July 6-8, but prominent experts and political scientists from the Valdai International Discussion Club have already embarked on analyzing the current situation before and possible outcome of the approaching talks: This is a think tank of huge proportions and should never be taken lightly by people outside of Russia…

Report Title:
A RECONFIGURATION, NOT JUST A RESET:

Report for the meeting of the Russian-U.S. section
of the Valdai International Discussion Club:

Moscow, June 2009:
Authors:
SERGEI KARAGANOV — Professor, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Valdai Club meetings chairman; — chief of contributors, executive editor of the report.
DMITRY SUSLOV — Director for Research of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP).
TIMOFEI BORDACHEV — Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the State University Higher School of Economics.

The authors express gratitude to the participants of the case study “Russian Interests in Relations with the U.S.”: ANATOLY ADAMISHIN, President of the Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary; PAVEL ANDREYEV, Head of International Projects, RIA Novosti; ALEXANDER BELKIN, Deputy Executive Director of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy; ANDREI KOLOSOVSKY, Senior International Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Russia & CIS, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary; ANDREI KORTUNOV, President of the “New Eurasia” Foundation; VIKTOR KREMENYUK, Deputy Director of the Institute of the U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences; ALEXEI PUSHKOV, Anchor and author of the Post Scriptum political show, “TV-Center” Company; Director of the Institute of Topical International Problems at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; VIKTOR SUPYAN, Deputy Director of the Institute of the U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences; MIKHAIL TROITSKY, Deputy Dean of the Department of Political Sciences of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO-University), Associate Professor of the Chair of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia; ANATOLY UTKIN, Director of the Center of International Studies at the Institute of the U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences; IGOR YURGENS, Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development; Chairman of the Board of the Macquarie Renaissance; First Vice President, “Renaissance Capital” Investment Bank; PAVEL ZOLOTARYOV, President of the Interregional Public Fund for the Support of Military Reform, Deputy Director of the Institute of the U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Major-General (Ret.); as well as to the authors of written commentaries ANDREI BUGROV, Managing Director of the “Interros” Holding Company, DMITRY TRENIN, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and FYODOR LUK’YANOV, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Russia in Global Politics; and to ALEXEI ARBATOV, Head of the Center for International Security, Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, NIKOLAI SPASSKY, Deputy General Director of the “Rosatom” State Corporation for Atomic Energy, and other colleagues who participated in several rounds of discussion of the ideas expressed in the report.

A RECONFIGURATION – NOT JUST A RESET:
Russia’s Interests in Relations
with the United States of America:

CONTENTS:

INTRODUCTION BY THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR:

1. NEW GLOBAL CONTEXT
2. RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES IN THE MODERN WORLD
3. RUSSIAN-U.S. RELATIONS
4. A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
5. INTERESTS OF RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES
6. WHAT TO DO WITH THE BARACK OBAMA’S PROPOSAL?
7. THE “BIG DEAL”
8. ECONOMIC COOPERATION
9. APPENDIX: COMPARING RUSSIAN AND U.S. INTERESTS

INTRODUCTION BY THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR:
The idea for this report originated during preparations for the Russian-American section of the “Valdai” International Discussion Club meetings, a joint RIA Novosti and Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP) initiative. The Valdai Club is a series of meetings held regularly between specialists on Russia, prominent academics and journalists from all over the world, and their Russian colleagues representing a wide spectrum of the Russian political elite.

This report was inspired by a presentation of a project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences entitled “Rethinking U.S. Policy toward Russia” and written by a group of leading American experts on Russia and Russian-American relations led by Robert Legvold, Professor Emeritus of Columbia University.

On the basis of a systemic analysis of American interests vis-à-vis Russia, “Legvold’s document” calls for a substantial revision of the American policy in favor of intensifying cooperation with Russia. Reading this in-depth research immediately prompted an idea to prepare an analogous Russian document.

This report has two aims.

First. To compel the Russian political elite to have a systematic discussion over what they require from their relations with the U.S., as well as how those relations could be normalized after a quarter of a century of unprecedented deterioration.

Second. To use an appraisal of mutual interests as the basis for an open and pragmatic dialogue with the American expert community about what the relationship between the two countries could and should look like in the new era.

The report was prepared using a significantly modified traditional methodology of the CFDP. First the authors together with a number of outside experts held a series of brainstorming sessions. On their basis a broad comparative list (originally organized in a table) of Russian and U.S. interests toward to each other was assembled. Official and academic publications on closely related issues were taken into account in this work, as were the previous CFDP studies on this subject.

Conclusions drawn from the analysis of these lists of interests were in many respects unexpected and noteworthy. Preliminary results were then discussed with a large group of experts at a “soft” situational analyses seminar.. Even before its official presentation in the run-up to the July meeting of the Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, the report was submitted to the Government officials and experts.

This report, like the one prepared under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is planned to be discussed in the end of June 2009 at the meeting of the Russian-American section of the Valdai Club. This work will continue not through separate tracks, but jointly, by the Russian-American expert group.

Indeed, this report’s assessment of Russian and American interests is the authors’ work and consciously does not claim to reflect the official point of view. The authors are open to criticism that will be taken into account in future works. The authors’ task was to identify the real interests as explicitly as possible, and to move away from an approach that conceals or deliberately blurs their interpretation.

The report in its current shape comprises a text containing analysis and recommendations, and additionally, in its Appendix, the final version of the list of Russian and American interests toward each other.

Comparative analysis of interests is by no means the only and absolute key to developing an adequate policy. Yet without it, reasonable policy proves to be impossible. Authors of the Reports in both Russia and the U.S. contributed their modest efforts to formulating such a policy. Responsibility for the final version of the text rests solely with the Executive Editor.

Sergei A. Karaganov

1. NEW GLOBAL CONTEXT:
1.1. Russian-U.S. relations are developing in an international environment that is crucially different from not only the Cold War times, but also from the subsequent transitional period. This new situation is distinguished, in particular, by the following factors:
• Decline of the governability of international relations and their growing re-nationalization, as well as an intensifying crisis of global political and economic governance. Key actors are unable to control many major transnational processes in the economy, policy, and security. The world financial and economic crisis is one of the elements of the general crisis of global governance;
• Emergence of new players, some of whom are fully-fledged centers of power, which are not controlled by the United States, and which are not part of and not willing to be part of the Western (American) international order;
• Rapid shift of the center of global politics and economy from the Euro-Atlantic region to the Asian-Pacific. The European Union (EU) is growing weaker as an actor in foreign politics. The EU common foreign and security policy is still at its infancy because of the diverging interests of the European Union member states, and their reluctance to increase defense spending and shoulder responsibility for keeping up international peace and security. For this reason, the EU cannot be viewed as significant player in the world’s political and especially military-political arena. At the same time, China is developing at an unprecedentedly fast pace. Its foreign economic expansion is widening, its political influence is growing. The vector of the U.S. main interests is also moving to the Asian-Pacific zone;
• Launch of the second round (after Israel, Pakistan, and India) of nuclear weapons proliferation. It seems that this process is no longer possible to stop. It is now a question of its restricting and regulating;
• Transformation of space encompassing the Gulf, Central Asia, and the Middle East into the world’s most problematic region, and the main source of threats to international security, such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, and degradation of state governance: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and the zone of the Arab-Israeli conflict are the main hotbeds of regional instability.

1.2. The most significant change is the failure of America’s attempt to use the post-Cold War “unipolar moment” for building an international system mostly favorable and beneficial for the U.S., one based on “soft” hegemony, on spreading of the U.S. model of democracy and the liberal market economy to the rest of the world. American attempts to control international processes and to respond to the new challenges and threats to international security unilaterally and relying on its own force have failed. Moreover, by the end of this decade, the U.S. international leadership itself turned out to be in crisis. The system of American alliances was weakened.

1.3. International relations have entered a new post-hegemonic, non-Western stage. Its nature so far remains unclear, and will depend on the quality and character of interaction between the key centers of power. As development of American-Chinese relations is essential for overcoming the world economic crisis and establishing a stable global economic order, surmounting the crisis in the security field and creating a stable political international order is impossible without Russia, or to be precise, without developing effective Russian-American and Russian-American-Chinese relations.

2. RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES IN THE MODERN WORLD:
2.1. The aforementioned changes have substantially weakened America’s global positions, which could be recovered only in part. In the foreseeable future, the U.S. will remain the world’s most powerful country, which will be considerably ahead of all other “poles” in the aggregate indicators of power. America will retain its ability to block any attempts to build an international order without it and against it. It remains the player without which the main threats to international stability cannot be repelled, and a steady international balance established. At the same time, however, America has largely lost its ability to implement its interests unilaterally.

2.2. After the collapse of the late 1990s, Russia restored its statehood and sovereignty, and used favorable economic and political conditions for increasing its power and influence in the world. However, it seems that it has reached the limit of such growth for the next few years.
A change in the world economic conjuncture and incomplete socio-economic reforms call into question Russia’s ability to retain even a modest share of 2.5% in the global GDP that it attained in 2008. Russia’s place in the world economy and politics will depend on the prospects of its comprehensive economic and social modernization, transition to the innovation-based development model, and formation of an effective system of political governance. Success in this direction will not only substantially strengthen Russia’s positions in the world as one of the rising poles, but will also make it more attractive as a center of economic and political gravity in the post-Soviet space.

3. RUSSIA-U.S. RELATIONS:
3.1. In the course of the last few years, the Russia-U.S. relations have been steadily deteriorating. In the past summer and fall, they reached their lowest point in the last quarter-century, risking to turn into systemic confrontation. A chance that had appeared after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and creation of a broad international anti-terrorist coalition, was not used. Moreover, the Russia-U.S. relations in 2008 were worse than during NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999, and in the subsequent 2000-2001 period.

3.2. The Cold War and Washington’s subsequent attempt to establish its dominance in the world (first through “soft” means and during George W. Bush presidency “hard” means) left both Russia and America mistrustful of each other, and the level of mistrust was particularly high on the Russian side. At one point, it became politically incorrect both in Russia and the United States to call for constructive cooperation, and to note that despite all contradictions in their interests and policies, common interests still prevail.
• The Russian political elite harbors a conviction that the United States has exploited Russia’s weakness of the 1990s and even has tried to protract this condition, while “advance of democracy” is nothing else than creating conditions for various countries to follow the subordinated development model in the wake of U.S. geopolitical interests. In addition, there exists a widespread belief that any manifestations of acquiescence, a constructive approach or goodwill towards the U.S. do not bring any benefits, but are taken by Washington for granted and only whet his appetite. The majority of Russia’s elite no longer sees any advantages in initiating rectified, constructive relations with the United States. Very few of them see explicit long-term advantages for Russia’s modernization and the strengthening of its geopolitical positions.
• The United States is clearly disappointed that Russia has not followed the American way. There is a hope — an illusionary one, most likely — that if Russia weakens again, the model of relations of the 1990s could be revived. America’s mistrust of the Russian political system is evident.

3.3. The main reason for the steady deterioration of the Russia-U.S. relations in the last few years lies in the United States’ reluctance to consider Russia’s vital interests. This primarily applies to the following issues:
• Evolution of the post-Soviet space, which is Russia’s main foreign policy priority. Russia is interested in reintegrating of this space. It wants the majority of CIS countries to take part in the Russia-oriented security system (CSTO), and its integration project (EurAsEC). It is also interested in a leading role in the CIS countries’ energy complex. The United States, on the contrary, is pursuing a policy of fragmentation of this space, of drawing CIS countries away from Russia by either involving them in the U.S.- and Western-oriented military-political alliances (NATO), or by building bilateral partnerships (with Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and in perspective with Kazakhstan). Washington is also actively resisting the consolidation of Russian positions in the CIS countries’ energy industry.
• Evolution of the European security system, Russia’s role and place in it. Overcoming the de facto unfinished Cold War in Europe is essential. NATO’s expansion, however, is a sign that the Cold War is by no means over.
Moscow wants to play an equal role in establishing European security order, and to have a decision-making right in resolving major European security issues. Moscow expects the West to recognize Russia and the Russian-oriented security system (today existing in the framework of the CSTO) as an equitable and integral geopolitical unit that forms, which forms together with NATO and on the basis of parity a common Euro-Atlantic security space.
Whereas the U.S. interest is to become the main guarantor of European security by turning NATO into the central organization of a Greater Europe, and the foundation of its security system. This is manifested in a course to expand NATO to the overwhelming majority of European countries. With the countries that are unable to join the Alliance for some or other reason (such as Russia or Central Asian states), the U.S. is expecting to establish relations as with “junior partners.”
• Russia’s and America’s place in the world in general. Russia views itself as a pole of a multipolar world, which conducts independent domestic and foreign policy based on its own interpretation of national interests and its own model of development. At the same time, Washington’s global strategy boils down to a search for ways of restoring unipolarity by this or that means.
Mutual disagreement — America’s refusal to accept Russia as an independent pole of a multipolar world, and Russia’s renunciation of U.S. as a global hegemon — is expressed in the following:
o Different attitude to the remaining bilateral nuclear arms parity. Russia views its preservation as the foundation of its military security, one of the main levers of influence in the world arena, and the most important argument in favor of equitable dialogue with the United States. America, on its turn, considers it to be an obstacle in the way of reaching overwhelming military preponderance over any other state or group of states. This explains the contradictions between the two countries over the U.S. plan to deploy a missile defense system. If the United States achieves invulnerability for the other countries’ nuclear weapons, the Russian nuclear arsenal may undermine or lose its deterrent function.
o Varying interpretations on the end of the Cold War. Russia does not consider itself a vanquished nation in this war. For this reason, it declares its right to take part in the formation of a “postwar” international order on a par with the West. The United States widely believes in their “victory” in the Cold War, and, thus, in a defeat of Russia. This is also related to a widespread opinion that this “victory” has proved that the values of American liberalism and democracy are universal, and should be therefore spread to all other countries.

3.4 Other reasons for the deterioration of bilateral relations in the last 10 to 15 years are as follows:
• America’s unilateralism in foreign policy (particularly under the George W. Bush administration);
• Washington’s attempts to usurp decision-making rights on issues of war and peace, and to weaken international institutions (primarily the UN Security Council) in taking major international decisions;
• U.S. attempts to revise international law on the use of force and on state sovereignty;
• America’s efforts to spread democracy in the world at large, and particularly in the former Soviet Union, which usually took a form of supporting the most anti-Russian forces in CIS countries;
• Russia’s political and military-political cooperation with anti-American regimes (Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba);
• U.S. attempts to prevent the growth of Russia’s role and influence on the world energy market, and the elaboration of more equitable rules for its regulation;
• Attacks on Yugoslavia and Iraq, which compelled the Russian political elite to address the need for military-political deterrence in the new environment.

3.5. By the summer and fall of 2008, the Russia-U.S. cooperation has been seriously undermined, including in directions that were of significant for both sides, such as prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan, as well as countering international terrorism. The sides also have differing approaches to settling a number of international issues, such as those linked with Iran, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Kosovo, and the Middle East.

3.6. The negative agenda has dramatically expanded. In 2007 and 2008, elements of military-political confrontation began to surface in the Russia-U.S. relations. For the most part, they were linked with Washington’s policy towards deploying elements of the third ABM site in Europe, and the subsequent response measures from Moscow (threats to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and to deploy its theater ballistic missile system “Iskander” in Kaliningrad region and target it on future U.S. anti-missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic). Russia’s moratorium on the implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) in response to NATO’s expansion and U.S. attempts to use the CFE Treaty as an instrument for exerting pressure on Russia regarding the CIS “frozen” conflicts, caused serious apprehensions across Europe and triggered discussions over the risk of a new round of the arms race on this continent.

3.7. The bearing skeleton of Russia-U.S. relations has been severely decayed. In effect, political dialogue has been reduced to personal communication between the heads of state during bilateral and multilateral summits. While mechanisms of continuous bureaucratic interaction between officials at the working level are either absent or limited to official diplomatic channels. Thus, outside the foreign ministries, bureaucracies of the two countries have lost the skills of interaction, and, moreover, have not felt and significant necessity to interact.

3.8. Thus, by now the sides have accumulated a considerable potential of mistrust and suspicion that is difficult to eliminate. What will be required to overcome these problems is an extraordinary political will, and the development of effective channels of cooperation.

4. A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY:
4.1. Qualitative changes in international relations (primarily, the crisis of the U.S. global leadership and consolidation of the new centers of political and economic influence), as well as the election of the President Barack Obama on the wave of the crisis have created a new window of opportunity in Russia-U.S. relations. President Obama is demonstrating innovative approaches in relations with the Muslim world, Iran, and to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Despite the all inertia, there is an attempt to revise many obsolete or failed aspects of American policy.

4.2. America has taken a pause in implementing a number of foreign policy projects that are the most sensitive and painful for Russia.
• NATO’s expansion towards ex-Soviet countries, primarily Ukraine and Georgia, has stopped de facto. Formally speaking, this issue has not been removed from the agenda but in reality the Obama Administration does not pressure its allies into expediting NATO’s expansion, as was the case under his predecessor George W. Bush. After the military conflict in August 2008, and recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence by Russia, Georgia’s NATO entry has been postponed for a long-term perspective. Ukraine’s accession has also been suspended for an indefinite period.
• The United States has created a situation of uncertainty around the prospects of deploying its third ABM site in Poland and the Czech Republic. The President Obama and the key officials of his Administration have questioned the expediency of this project (and of the missile defense system as a whole), although, without making an official decision to discontinue it.

4.3. Early this year, the United States offered Russia an agenda to invigorate cooperation, calling its implementation “resetting” relations. For the time being, this program mainly consists of two parts:
• Elaboration and adoption of a new big agreement on the reduction and limitation of offensive nuclear arms to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), which expires this December. The sides are expected to make deep cuts in their nuclear arsenals to bring them below the level of the 2002 Moscow Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) (1,700-2,200 warheads on each side). Moreover, President Obama has given a new lease of life to the idea of full renunciation of nuclear weapons (the so-called “nuclear zero” option) as one of the long-term goals.
• Striking a private deal: the United States stops the deployment of its missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic in exchange for Russia’s full support of U.S. policy on Iran’s nuclear program. In this scenario, Moscow would give up its political and diplomatic cooperation with Tehran, stop supporting it in the IAEA and the UN Security Council, agree to the imposition of much tougher sanctions against Iran than exist now, and subject Iran to powerful political and diplomatic pressure and the threat of international isolation.

4.4. The very fact of making a proposal to “reset” the relations is a very positive deed, which attests to a transformation of the very philosophy of the U.S. approach to Russia. It shows that the new U.S. Administration realizes that by ignoring Russia, not to mention a new confrontation with it, it will not only fail to reach any real major goal of its foreign policy, but will seriously undermine its implementation. Besides, the U.S. readiness to bargain with Russia over bilateral interests and make different kinds of exchanges should be welcomed. Although the price initially offered by the Obama Administration does not seem acceptable for Russia.

4.5. Implementation of the proposed “reset” option might breed even more mistrust in bilateral relations and, in the end result fail to improve them. First and foremost, this applies to the issue of considerable cuts in nuclear arsenals. Besides, “resetting” agenda is narrow and very selective. It has almost no bearing on Russia’s vital, paramount and immediate interests.
For instance, the middle and long-term prospects of NATO’s further expansion, including into the CIS countries, remain unclear. Washington has been expressing a cautious, if not negative, attitude towards Moscow’s proposal to draft a new comprehensive Treaty on European (collective) security. Nothing is said about such fundamental issues for the Russia-U.S. relations, as the role of the two countries in global governance, Russia’s role and place in the European security system and the very nature of this system, geopolitics of the post-Soviet space, and so on. Genuine “resetting” appears to be hard to accomplish and extremely fragile without the resolution of these issues.

4.6. The window of opportunity that has opened today may shut in a relatively short span of time. This will happen if the sides (or one of the sides) do not feel substantial benefits from the improvement of relations, if, in particular, this improvement will not help them implement their vital interests.

4.7. In this context, Russia and the United States should overcome the given negative attitudes with the shortest possible delay, and adopt a new positive agenda of their relations. They should focus not so much on selective implementation of narrow and often contradictory individual projects, as on genuine reconfiguration of bilateral relations. The two sides should find a formula whereby the policy of either side will not threaten the vital or important interests of the other, while bilateral cooperation will promote implementation of their significant or vital interests. This agenda should also imply the formation of positive interdependence between Russia and the U.S., primarily through development of economic cooperation.

5. RUSSIAN AND THE U.S. INTERESTS:
5.1. Analysis of the key interests of Russia and the United States shows that their most important interests lie not so much in the sphere of their bilateral relations, but rather in their relations with third countries. The priority U.S. interests include Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and the Middle East. Russia’s priority interests cover post-Soviet countries, above all Ukraine, and Russia’s role and place in Europe and in the system of European security.
Also, the two countries’ significant and even vital interests include international problems bearing on both countries, such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, energy security, climate change, and so on.

5.2. There is a negative interdependence between Russia and the United States in all of these issues, above all the regional ones. The sides have different but comparable capabilities of inflicting foreign policy damage to each other. For example, Moscow could in many cases prevent Washington from attaining its key foreign policy goals, predominantly in relation to Afghanistan and Iran, while Washington can hamper the realization of Russia’s interests in even a greater amount of spheres, above all in Europe and post-Soviet states.

5.3. The broad picture of parallel, common and close interests, in our opinion, includes:
• Preventing foreign politics destabilization in the sphere of security and its degradation into a “war of all against all,” and above all preventing wars between great powers.
• Curtailing and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), in particular stopping Iran from acquiring WMDs.
• Creating a regime of maintaining stability in conditions of nuclear multipolarity.
• Stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.
• Stabilizing the situation in Pakistan and preventing a conflict between India and Pakistan.
• Resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis.
• Settling the Arab-Israeli conflict.
• Fighting international terrorism, above all, preventing nuclear terrorism.
• Preventing emergence of political and legal vacuum in the sphere of nuclear arms control after the START-1 Treaty expires in December 2009.
• Integrating China in the international order as a status quo power.
• Stabilizing the situation in Iraq, especially after the withdrawal of American troops, and preventing that country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism.
• Stabilizing the situation in the Broader Middle East in general, and preventing its degradation and radicalization.
• Ensuring security in outer space.
• Preventing climate change.
• Fighting drug trafficking, piracy, and organized crime.
However, usually these interests occupy different places in hierarchies of foreign policy priorities of Russia and the U.S., they are not as important to one country as to the other. If that place happens to be the same for the two countries, it is usually so for the interests they regard secondary. Moreover, on many of these fields Russian and the U.S. interests converge only at a very general and basic level, while on concrete levels, especially on the ways to resolve these problems, the sides usually take differing approaches. This is true about Iran, the Middle East conflict, and international terrorism. In other words, these interests can be viewed as parallel but not always common.

5.4. A comparative analysis of vital interests shows that they seldom overlap. Mostly, such interests lie in different domains, or their importance is radically different for each side.
• U.S. vital interests include ensuring a face-saving withdrawal from Iraq (and leaving a symbolic contingent there), preventing a defeat in Afghanistan and stabilizing the country, preventing the collapse of Pakistan and losing control of its nuclear weapons, and, primarily, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, which is would threaten the U.S. with a collapse of their military and political positions in the Middle East, a key region for America. Russia also is not interested in destabilization of Afghanistan, loss of control over nuclear weapons in Pakistan, and in Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, but its interests in these spheres are one or two levels below those of the U.S. in terms of their priority.
• Russia’s vital interests include preserving a de facto predominant influence in the territory from Belarus to the Caucasus, and preventing the alliances of other countries, above all NATO, from expansion to these regions. Such expansion may foreshadow a series of regional conflicts and possibly of a bigger war. Here the U.S. interests are opposite to the Russian ones, and this sphere therefore forms the basis for a negative agenda in the Russia-U.S. relations. However, these problems (predominantly the expansion of NATO) are not vital, and not even significant from the point of view of ensuring the U.S. national security.
Resisting restoration of Russia’s dominance in the post-Soviet space is indeed a part of the traditional U.S. Eurasian Strategy. But the forms of attaining this interest, in particular of supporting independence of the CIS countries and of their independent foreign policy, may vary and do not necessarily imply their joining the U.S.-led military alliances or their direct dissociation from Russia.

5.5 Moreover, the opposite interests of Russia and the United States also include a number of general issues regarding the evolution of the international political order and the two countries’ role in it. These issues include:
• The future of the U.S. power (especially military) supremacy over the other countries.
• The prospects for restoration of the U.S. global leadership.
• The future role of the UN Security Council in taking vital decisions on war-and-peace issues and, in general, in global political governance.
• The evolution of international law.
• The spread of the modern type of Western democracy throughout the world.

5.6. Although their vital interests mostly concern relations with third countries and regions, both Russia and the U.S. have a significant interest in maintaining constructive bilateral relations and developing a strategic partnership. This is especially true for Russia, for which its relations with the U.S. have a separate value, which is in no way less, than its constructive relations with China and the EU, even though a majority of its political elite does not fully understand this..

5.7. Until recently, Russia’s importance for the U.S. was primarily limited to the fact that Russia was the world’s only country with a nuclear capability comparable to the American one, one which has a capacity to destroy the U.S. physically. However, since the Russian nuclear capability could not be used practically and was becoming weaker, this factor in itself was not forcing the United States to consider constructive relations with Russia as the end goal. Moreover, the predominant view was that the U.S. was all-mighty, while Russia was continuously weak.
Now, the situation is changing. Developing constructive relations with Russia, although it is comparatively less important to the U.S. than to Russia, can well be considered among crucial American foreign policy interests due to the aforementioned major changes in the global context.

5.8. In particular, constructive cooperation of the two major nuclear powers is invaluable and required for halting or limiting nuclear proliferation, let alone developing a new multilateral regime of nuclear deterrence, which is necessary in view of the de facto nuclear multipolarity. Moreover, the foreign policy debacles of the Bush Administration have objectively strengthened Russia’s role in stabilizing Afghanistan and resolving Iran’s nuclear problem, which the Obama Administration has outlined as key immediate foreign policy priorities of the U.S. Russia could also help substantially in settling the North Korean nuclear crisis and the Middle East conflict. Finally, Russia’s importance to the U.S. is growing as China is becoming a global power and a challenge to the U.S. global primacy.

5.9. To Russia, positive relations with the U.S. are important both in terms of comprehensive modernization of its economy and society, which is a key priority of its development, and for implementing the country’s vital foreign policy interests. Poor relations with Washington seriously undermine Moscow’s standing in global politics and economy.
• Close Russia-U.S. interaction and cooperation are incremental for final overcoming the heritage of the Cold War in Europe and building a system of European security suiting Russia’s interests.
• Without constructive relations with the U.S., Russia will be unable to create a belt of friendly states on its borders. Negative relations between Russia and the U.S. will continue to provoke post-Soviet states into balancing between Russia and the West and exploiting contradictions between them, which will, in its turn, encourage Washington to providing an even more active support to their most anti-Russian forces.
• Poor relations with the U.S. are markedly weakening Russia’s position in relations with the EU and China. Russian-American tensions are undermining the potential of positive Russian-EU cooperation in the political and economic spheres, and strengthening political and military-political dependence of Europe on the U.S. Tense relations with Washington also deprive Russia’s policy regarding China of decisive arguments and flexibility.
• Like the U.S., Russia is interested in preventing the final disintegration of the non-proliferation regime and in developing a regime of multilateral nuclear deterrence of the new nuclear states, and regards the appearance of nuclear weapons in Iran as a security threat. These interests, although they are less important to Russia than to the U.S., cannot be implemented without constructive interaction with the United States.
• The United States as the global leader in the sphere of high technology and innovation could become a major source of cutting-edge technology and quality long-term direct investment in the Russian economy. Their constructive interaction is significant in easing Russia’s access to many important foreign markets (steel, nuclear fuel, and military goods) and strengthening its influence in the global financial and economic governance institutions (IMF quota redistribution, WTO accession).

5.10. In conditions of major changes in the global context, Russia and the U.S. appear unable to resolve many — if not all — of the key problems facing them without each other’s assistance. This concerns their both regional and global interests. The two countries’ nuclear capabilities are still considerably larger than the capabilities of all other countries. Although Russian-American interaction will not necessarily ensure nuclear safety, the situation in the world in this sphere depends above all on the policies of Russia and the U.S. and their ability to coordinate their actions.

5.11. This provision has created a unique situation in Russian-American relations. While in general asymmetry continues in the sides’ relations and power capabilities, we see overlapping symmetry emerging in some spheres of Russian-American interaction. This means that the sides can bring each other comparable benefits.

6. WHAT TO DO WITH THE BARACK OBAMA’S PROPOSAL?:
6.1. When the United States proposed “resetting” Russia-U.S. relations it went the most obvious and apparent way. It proposed to make strategic arms reductions down to the minimal levels and even with a long-term possibility of cutting them to zero the main element and instrument of “resetting”. Given the current level of mutual mistrust, this attempt to use an old instrument is understandable,
The problem of nuclear armaments has indeed become acute because the START-1 Treaty expires this December, and is also vivid proof of the Obama Administration’s striving to dissociate itself from the foreign policy of George W. Bush. Obama Administration, unlike the previous one, emphasizes that it wants to cut nuclear weapons, strengthen multilateral regimes in this area, and take into account partners’ opinions. Russia for quite a long time already has been pointing to the threat of a political and legal vacuum in this sphere when START-1 expires. The initiative of the Obama Administration may look as if the U.S. has listened to the Russia’s concern. All this is strengthening the U.S. international prestige. It is quite peculiar, that the most positive reaction to that proposal of the new American Administration was registered in Western Europe.

6.2. However, the instrument chosen for “resetting” relations with Russia may backfire and create problems instead of resolutions. A comparative analysis of the sides’ nuclear interests clearly shows that they coincide only partially and are largely divergent.
• Coincidence is mainly based on Russian and American mutual understanding that they need to rely on the nuclear factor in this rapidly changing and increasingly unstable world, in the pursuit of ensuring international security. Their interests coincide in:
1. precluding unwarranted use of nuclear weapons by the members of the “nuclear club” (the probability is minimal),
2. preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons (the probability is growing because of possible collapse of Pakistan, North Korea, and nuclear proliferation in the Middle East),
3. creating a multilateral regime of nuclear deterrence of the new nuclear states now that the non-proliferation regime is weakening.
• The sides’ interests are diverging, sometimes dramatically, in their attitude to nuclear weapons as an instrument of national security. Russia does not imagine its security without reliance on a powerful nuclear factor, while for the U.S., because of its technological and quantitative conventional arms superiority, reduction and even liquidation of nuclear arms is desirable and beneficial.

6.3. Thus, there exists a serious conflict of interests in the key sphere of international security, which has so far been contained by the fact that the sides have huge nuclear arsenals. However, this conflict may come to a head if the sides slash their nuclear stockpiles. Since the United States enjoys unconditional preponderance over the rest of the world in the sphere of conventional weapons, deep nuclear cuts may lower the deterrence potential of the Russian nuclear arsenal, which is the main factor of Russia’s security and of its influence in the international political system.
Moreover, despite current uncertainties, the U.S. has not abandoned its global ballistic missile defense program. Deep reductions in the two countries’ nuclear arsenals, let alone their liquidation as proposed by President Obama, will seal the United States’ military superiority in the world, eliminate the strategic situation of mutual assured destruction in Russia-U.S. relations, and create a situation in which the U.S. will become close to invulnerability from other states. This will threaten Russia’s vital security interests. Finally, a decision to push the reset button on the mechanism of nuclear reductions may revive the past Cold War mentality of military confrontation.

6.4. In this context, Russia should only agree to minor cuts of nuclear weapons to a level that would not be much below the ceiling stipulated in the 2002 Moscow Treaty (SORT). The best solution would be to agree a new ceiling at the level of 1,500-2,000 warheads in the new post-START-1 agreement. This would both suit Barack Obama’s offer to lower the ceiling stipulated in the 2002 agreement, and at the same time avoid substantial and deep cutbacks, preserve the mutual assured destruction factor and, therefore, Russia’s deterrence potential. Also, it would seem expedient to transfer to the new treaty all control, monitoring and verification procedures stipulated in START-1.

6.5. The second part of the proposed by the U.S. “reset” scenario, which provides for a compromise on the ABM (anti-ballistic missile) elements in Poland and the Czech Republic if Russia agrees to cooperate with the U.S. on convincing or forcing Iran to reject its nuclear program, is unacceptable to Russia in its current shape.
In essence, Russia is invited to join forces with a power whose positions in the region are weakening, against a regional player whose positions are growing and who is a significant economic and political partner of Moscow. In exchange, the U.S. promises to halt the global ABM project, whose fate is not yet determined anyway. President Obama’s proposal contains no legally binding obligations to abandon the global AMB system completion.
In other words, Russia has been asked to make a concession on an issue that concerns its important interest — constructive relations with Iran — in exchange for the U.S. possible, but not guaranteed, abandoning of a project which Barack Obama himself proposed abandoning long before he was elected president.

6.6. We consider limited bargaining possible in this case, but unconditional support, let alone support for a “military option” that has not been removed from the agenda, is out of the question. However, this is such a delicate issue that we are so far not ready to discuss it openly even in an analytical report. With all the multitude of unfulfilled U.S. promises in mind, Russia must demand legally binding guarantees in response to any concessions.

7. THE “BIG DEAL”:
7.1. Seeking to make the best possible use of the window of opportunity, which opened in early 2009, and taking into account the significance of Russian-U.S. cooperation for implementing the two parties’ vital interests, Moscow should offer the United States its own package of proposals on improving bilateral relations, which would be deeper and more embracing than Barack Obama’s offers. Naturally, Russia should not reject the latter, but should rather optimize them and use as the first step towards implementing a broader range of measures to normalize bilateral relations.

7.2. We should take a course not just to “reset” the Russia-U.S. relations, but to their genuine reconfiguration. The goal of the Russian agenda should be the attainment of a “big deal” with the United States on the key interests of both sides based on these interests analysis, the two countries’ role regarding the implementation of these interests, and their importance for each other. Only such a historic compromise could lead to the development of constructive relations between Russia and the United States.

7.3. Analysis of the key interests of Moscow and Washington shows that the sides use different scales of priority for the bulk of coinciding and diverging interests. The U.S. is playing a negative role regarding part of Russia’s vital interests, but many of these spheres are not a top priority for the Untied States itself.
For its part, Russia could play an important, and in some cases central role in the implementation of many interests that are vital for the U.S. but are currently not among Russia’s main priorities.
Consequently, it is worth proposing to exchange Russia’s and America’s respect of each other’s interests in the spheres that are indeed vital for the sides. The meaning of the “Big Deal” is the following: by making concessions to each other on less important issues, both Russia and the U.S. implement their vital interests. Russia — by intensifying positive cooperation with the U.S. in the spheres of the latter’s vital interests,. The United States — by abandoning a negative policy regarding issues of vital importance to Russia.

7.3.1. To implement the “Big Deal”, Russia should take the following steps that would ensure implementation of U.S. vital interests without undermining Russia’s vital and important interests:
• Provide all-round support to the U.S. and NATO efforts in Afghanistan (excluding direct military involvement);
• Develop a common policy regarding Iran, to which the international community could offer it both a consolidated package of political and economic stimuli and possibly sanctions, although excluding the possibility of a senseless and even dangerous military intervention, and also help involve China in this policy;
• Support the U.S. efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis;
• Support the U.S. efforts in Pakistan and Iraq;
• Synchronize positions regarding the Middle East settlement;
• Renounce the use of military force to restore Russia’s historical zone of influence (apart from Abkhazia and South Ossetia);
• Work hard to revive cooperation in the struggle against international terrorism worldwide and in precluding nuclear terrorism;
• Facilitate U.S. efforts to involve China in the international economic and political order, and help China to remain a status quo power and a constructive member of the new club of global leaders.

7.3.2. For the United States, implementation of the “Big Deal” provides for a substantial correction of its policy regarding the post-Soviet space and European security, the one that would not jeopardize American key interests but would at the same time let Russia secure its vital interests. Such a reassessment should include the following elements:
• Rejection of attempts to trigger Russia’s confrontation with its members — Ukraine, Georgia and other Post-Soviet countries through their involvement into NATO, as well as from developing bilateral military-political partnerships with them. When formulated in this way, this correction does not seem to infringe on vital U.S. interests because it does not imply an American refusal to develop dialogue with these countries, to support their sovereignty and independence as such. Significant, and possibly even vital interests of the United States would be violated only if Russia trampled underfoot the CIS countries’ sovereignty de facto or de jure, and restored a sphere of its total domination in the post-Soviet territory;
• Accordingly, Russia and the U.S. should agree on the rules of the game, and in particular the rules and limits of competition in the post-Soviet space. They must mark out the “red lines”, crossing which would threaten the important or vital interests of either side. The main rule should stipulate mutual restrain — this provision concerns above all the United States — in implementing one’s policy in the post-Soviet space;
• Refusal to support anti-Russian elites and regimes in the CIS countries or to encourage these states to pursue an openly anti-Russian policy;
• Rejection hindering Russia-centric integration processes in the CIS;
• Agreement to the settlement of the remaining “frozen conflicts” in the post-Soviet space (Transdniestria, Nagorny Karabakh) on the conditions acceptable to Russia;
• Elaboration of a mutually acceptable formula for the promotion of energy projects and energy cooperation in the CIS;
• Active assistance to the drafting and signing of a new Pan-European Collective Security Treaty proposed by Russia, and therefore to the elaboration of new universal rules of the game in the Euro-Atlantic space suitable to Russia, including the rules and procedures for decision-making;
• Granting to Russia real decision-making rights on issues of European security, which Moscow regards as threatening its security. Such a granting would not infringe on America’s vital interests. These interests today are not so much about spreading U.S. security order to all European countries, as to preserving its military-political presence in Europe, preserving NATO as the main security institution in Western and Central Europe, and in liquidating threats to Euro-Atlantic security, which are mainly of external origin and come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the Middle East. These threats cannot be liquidated without Russia’s active participation;
• A real and legally binding agreement of the U.S. not to deploy elements of its ballistic missile defense system in close proximity to Russian borders and without Russia’s involvement.

7.4. Such historic compromise was impossible in the 1990s and the early 21st century. Yet now, the major changes in international relations and emergence of a symmetry of mutual damage and mutual benefit in some spheres of Russia-U.S. interaction (despite the general asymmetry of their relations), increase the probability of a such a compromise. The more dangerous and uncontrollable the world becomes, including for the United States itself, the more willing it will be to engage in such a “Big Deal” with Russia. The continual strengthening of China will also be a major factor in encouraging the U.S. to make such a swap, or agree on a compromise with Russia involving vital interests of the sides.

7.5. Implementation of this “Big Deal” could eventually result in creation in a longer-term perspective of a strategic alliance of Russia and the United States for addressing the international security issues in which both countries still continue to play the key role. First and foremost, it is nuclear security (including non-proliferation and multilateral nuclear deterrence), strategic stability, and resolution of certain regional crises and conflicts, primarily in Afghanistan.

7.6. Agreeing on a compromise or, better still, moving towards a Russia-U.S. alliance would become a powerful impetus for a qualitative expansion of Russian-American cooperation in other spheres where the sides’ interests either coincide for objective reasons, or can coincide, or are running parallel courses, but where their positive interaction is currently hampered by the overwhelmingly negative atmosphere of bilateral relations in general. These spheres include above all cooperation in the energy sector and termination of open confrontation there, joint efforts to reduce the threat of international terrorism, and cooperation in the spheres of climate change, food and many other global issues.

7.8. The spheres where progress and accumulation of positive experience of interaction are possible in the very short term already, and where the sides will not need to sacrifice any of their significant interests, are:
★ Interaction on Afghanistan;
★ Interaction on North Korea, where Russia could easily support U.S. actions and pursue efforts to convince China to assume a favorable and constructive stance on the issue;
★ Settlement of the Transdniestria conflict on the basis of recognition of Moldova’s territorial integrity and its legal status as a neutral and non-bloc state. This compromise will also not entail concessions on any of the sides’ vital interests.

7.9. Other key world’s power centers, above all China and the European Union (if the latter overcomes internal restraints and becomes a serious player in global politics), could join the Russia-U.S. cooperation in many of these spheres.
Although this idea may seem too ambitious, the establishment of a Russia-U.S. Alliance could become an organic addition and the concluding stage of the creation of Russia’s three Alliances with the key global power centers and with its main foreign policy, trade and economic partners — an “Alliance of Europe” based on an energy union and the Russia-EU common economic and human spaces, a Russia-China Alliance, and the Russia-U.S. Alliance.
Finally, a relatively effective governance is possible only if the two overlapping “triangles” of international community leaders are created. These are the global China–U.S.–Russia “triangle”, which is proposed by some influential Chinese analysts, and a Euro-Atlantic EU–U.S.–Russia “triangle”.
Assisting the establishment of these three unions and two triangles stands as the most important goal of Russia’s foreign policy. Its attainment will ensure Russia’s national security and interests, ensure it a leading position in the system of global economic and political governance, and, finally, will become a significant contribution to strengthening international stability and security, will allow overcoming the current decline in the governability of international relations.
This strategic goal may now be perceived as too bold, but it could become feasible in the long run.

8. DEVELOPMENT OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION:
8.1. Stable and positive development of Russian-U.S. relations and the establishment of a long-term alliance between the two countries are unimaginable without eventual emergence of a positive interdependence in their relations, which might appear only through dynamic development of trade and economic relations. Moreover, the United States could facilitate comprehensive modernization of the Russian economy and society, conversion to an innovation-based development model, and raise the level of state governance.
The key prerequisites for developing their economic cooperation should be the full cancellation of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and all other limitations on Russian exports and on the development of trade and economic relations with Russia in general, and resumption of the bilateral agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation.

8.2. Interaction in the energy sector can become a major sphere of Russian-U.S. economic cooperation.
• In particular, Russia could spur the development of infrastructure for the production and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), including its supplies to the United States. It could also act as a stabilizing factor on the global market of oil (and LNG) by preventing its destabilization in case of disruption of deliveries by the other key exporters (countries of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico).
• In view of the impending forecasted depletion of global raw material resources, both Russia and the U.S. should be equally interested in preventing commodity wars and should draft rules, which would determine development of the international energy market and several commodity markets. The key spheres of their energy interaction could be: joint markets regulation, including through the development of new rules based on a compromise between energy producing and consuming countries; joint development and use of energy resources in the Arctic and the Arctic Ocean, and implementation of large-scale energy projects there; and joint development and use of East Siberian and Far Eastern energy resources on conditions benefiting Russia.
• Atomic energy reveals itself as a promising sphere of economic cooperation. The sides could jointly develop new-generation reactors, improve the systems and standards of nuclear safety, and create an international regime for providing nuclear fuel to other countries’ nuclear power plants. This direction of cooperation could also be instrumental in preventing nuclear proliferation.
• Another crucial sphere of energy cooperation is the development of renewable sources of energy and the creation of financial and other stimuli in the sphere of energy conservation and efficient use, and preparations for the widespread use of new sources of energy.

8.3. For its part, the United States could:
• help Russia acquire modern technology,
• facilitate the allocation of long-term direct investment in Russia’s manufacturing and high technology sectors,
• facilitate Russia’s integration in the world’s governing financial and economic institutions as a leading country,
• open a larger share of the global arms market to Russia,
• lift protectionist measures regarding Russian investment, etc.

8.4. A promising sphere of Russian-U.S. economic interaction could be cooperation in agriculture. The world is suffering from a relative food deficit, while Russia has a vast area of uncultivated land suitable for farming. In addition, it would be expedient to modernize Russia’s agriculture, subsequently allowing it to increase food exports to the global market.

8.5. Coordination of efforts to overcome the international financial and economic crisis is another important sphere of Russian-U.S. interaction. Collective measures to overcome the crisis are necessary — in order to avoid sliding into national economic egoism. To be able to do so, the sides should reassess the fundamentals of the current financial system and introduce new norms of international regulation and requirements to the main financial players. In effect, this amounts to developing a collective governance of globalization. But first the credibility crisis should be resolved, which is the main reason for the destabilization of the global markets. The matter at hand concerns both private capital flows and the use of government funds. The issue on the agenda is to coordinate the macroeconomic policies of the leading industrialized and developing countries. The joint addenda here could include the following:
• Reform the international monetary and financial systems.
• Create new global regulating bodies.
• Elaborate international standards of regulation for banks and other financial institutes.
• Draft measures to prevent the appearance of financial bubbles, including on the hydrocarbon markets.
• Draft a policy for developing sovereign, including reserve, funds.
• Prevent sovereign defaults.
• Adopt measures to fight poverty worldwide.

8.6. Finally, it would appear promising to develop environmental cooperation between Russia and the U.S., which could consider measures to attain the following goals:
• Reduce atmospheric pollution.
• Stimulate waste-free, complete cycle technology and waste disposal.
• Solve the problem of fresh water.
• Draft a post-Kyoto regime of reducing greenhouse gas emission.

APPENDIX:
COMPARING
RUSSIAN AND THE U.S. INTERESTS
RUSSIAN INTERESTS IN RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES

I. RUSSIA’S VITAL INTERESTS:
Long-term interests
1. Comprehensive modernization of the Russian economy and society — the foundation of Russia’s positions in the world.
The U.S. can play a certain — but not decisive — role in the implementation of joint investment projects, access to certain technologies, etc. A part of the Russian political elite considers that poor relations with the U.S. impede the modernization and strengthening of Russia, while another part thinks that such relations are not an obstacle but rather an impetus.

2. Prevention of further destabilization of international relations, capable of thwarting Russian modernization and directly endangering its security interests.
The U.S. is an essential though no longer key partner in this sphere. Objectively, American interests are parallel to those of Russia although the U.S. former policy, particularly during George W. Bush’s presidency, suggested otherwise.

3. The enhancement of Russian presence and influence in the global governing institutions (the UN Security Council, the G8 and the G20).
The U.S. is an important partner in this issue though it has a medium rank on the American priority scale.

4. Prevention of the loss of East Siberia and the Russian Far East due to their underdevelopment.
The U.S. are playing a minor part as yet; however, potentially, their part might acquire importance.

5. Prevention of the arms race in space and the development of the U.S. global anti-ballistic missile defense.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere. For the time being this issue is not among their top priorities; however, potentially, it might become vital, and with a their position being contrary to the Russian one.

6. Preservation of the Russian nuclear potential, which is as the key factor of ensuring its security, and Russian influence in the global economy and politics.
The U.S. is not playing a prominent part in this, though the reduction — and ideally — liquidation of the Russian nuclear potential is its key interest. Russian and U.S. interests are largely opposite in this sphere.

7. The elaboration of a system of multilateral nuclear deterrence as the nuclear proliferation has begun and a nuclear multipolarity system is emerging.
The U.S. is, potentially, the key partner in guaranteeing this interest. Though America does not declare its own interest in similar words, it is evidently her vital interest.

8. Prevention of nuclear war with the U.S.
Presently, this interest is of low priority for the U.S. America is playing the key role in guaranteeing this interest.

Immediate interests
1. Ensuring stability and security of the CIS region, preservation and strengthening of the Russian influence there.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere though the region is not among its vital priorities, and Russian and U.S. interests here are mainly mutually contradictory.

2. The final termination of the Cold War in Europe. Securing and fastening Russia’s equal decision-making rights on European security through the adoption of the new European Collective Security Treaty.
The U.S. is a key partner though drawing up the Treaty is not among its important interests yet.

3. Curtailing further NATO expansion, and thus preventing provocations of crises along the Russian borders.
The U.S. is a key partner, and NATO expansion currently does not pertain to its vital interests.

II. RUSSIA’S IMPORTANT INTERESTS:
1. The limitation and prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, which pertains to its vital priorities.

2. The prevention of deployment of the third ABM site in Central Europe.
The U.S. is a key partner on this issue, and the ABM system deployment is outside the range of its vital interests.

3. Stabilization of the situation in Pakistan and prevention of an Indian-Pakistani conflict.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes even greater priority than Russia.

4. 4. The involvement of China in the international order as a status quo power and one of the responsible global leaders (stakeholders).
The U.S. plays an important, though not key, part in this sphere, to which it ascribes high priority.

5. Fighting international terrorism.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes high priority.

6. The settlement of the North Korean nuclear crisis.
The U.S. is an important partner in this question, to which it ascribes high priority.

7. The preservation of the UN Security Council (in its present composition) as the principal decision-making body in world politics.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority.

8. The development of strategic partnership with the European Union — in particular, through the establishment of the Russia-EU energy, economic and political alliance based on equal rights.
The U.S. is not among the key partners in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority — presently, with rather a negative coloring.

9. The development of strategic partnership with China and India.
The U.S. does not have major influence in this sphere, though it ascribes medium or even high priority to it.

10. Strengthening Russia’s position in the global energy market.
The U.S. is playing a negative role, which may, going forward, turn into a positive one. It ascribes medium priority to this issue.

11. The prevention of a political and legal vacuum in the sphere of nuclear arms control following the expiry of START 1 in December 2009.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes smaller priority than Russia does.

12. The stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes the highest priority.

13. The preservation of mutually beneficial partnership with Iran.
The U.S. has sizable though not determinant influence on this issue, to which it ascribes relatively high priority.

14. The settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes high priority.

III. RUSSIA’S SECONDARY INTERESTS:
1. International recognition of the current status quo in the South Caucasus, and the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The U.S. is a key partner in this sphere and it ascribes low priority to it, with rather a negative coloring.

2. Creation of a more effective and beneficial for Russia mechanism of international finance and economy governance.
The U.S. is playing a major role in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority.

3. The support of regimes that contain and counterbalance the U.S. (Syria, Venezuela, Iran and others).
The U.S. is playing a significant role in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority.

4. The stabilization of the situation in the entire Broader Middle East, and the prevention of its degradation and radicalization.
The U.S. is playing a key role in this sphere, to which it ascribes top priority.

5. Counteracting climate change.
The U.S. is playing a major role in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority.

6. Efforts against drug trafficking, piracy and organized crime.
The U.S. is playing an important role in this sphere, though ascribing it low priority.

7. The development of Arctic resources.
The U.S. has a potential for a significant role in this sphere, though currently ascribing it low priority.

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS IN RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA:

I. U.S. VITAL INTERESTS:
Long-term interests
1. The restoration of the U.S. global leadership and influence on its allies and partners.
Russia has medium influence on this question, to which it ascribes medium priority — presently, with a negative coloring.

2. Fighting international terrorism, and the prevention of nuclear and other forms of catastrophic terrorism.
Russia is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium or comparatively high priority.

3. The elaboration of a system of multilateral nuclear deterrence in conditions of tentative nuclear multipolarity. (This interest exists objectively, though it has not been recognized as yet.)
Russia is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes high priority.

4. The overcoming of the situation of U.S.-Russian mutual assured destruction (in particular, through drastic reduction of both countries’ nuclear potentials with parallel development of the U.S. ABM system).
Russia is a key partner in this sphere, and ascribes top priority to the preservation of the status quo. Thus, the mutually opposite direction of the interests is evident.

5. The prevention of a global nuclear war
Russia is playing a key part though this interest for her has a comparatively lower priority at present.

Immediate interests
1. The prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — above all, the prevention of nuclear arms acquisition by Iran.
Russia is a key partner in this sphere, though ascribing medium or comparatively high priority to it.

2. The stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan.
Russia may play a key part in this sphere, though ascribing it medium or comparatively high priority.

3. Withdrawal from Iraq, while maintaining its relative stability and friendliness toward the U.S.
Russia does not play a decisive part in this sphere presently, and ascribes it relatively low priority.

4. Stabilization in the Arab-Israeli conflict zone.
Russia may play a significant role in this issue, to which it ascribes medium priority.

5. Stabilization of the situation in Pakistan and prevention of an Indian-Pakistani conflict.
Russia may play an important role in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority.

II. U.S. IMPORTANT INTERESTS:
1. Guaranteeing the greatest possible energy independence of the U.S.
Russia may play a major role in this sphere, though ascribing it low priority.

2. The involvement of China in the economic and political international order as a key leader of the new world.
Russia may play a major role in this sphere, to which it ascribes high priority.

3. The settlement of the North Korean nuclear crisis.
Russia is playing a major part in this issue, to which it ascribes high priority.

4. A “deal” with Iran: Tehran should abandon the possibility of acquiring nuclear arms, end its support of Hamas and Hezbollah, and resign its hostile policy toward Israel in exchange for the establishment of constructive relations with the U.S. and joining the “international community”.
Russia may play a key role in this sphere, to which it ascribes medium priority.

5. Preservation of the U.S. multifold global military preponderance.
Russia is playing a key negative role in this sphere — both in rhetoric and practical efforts — and ascribes it high priority.

6. Promotion of “geopolitical pluralism” in the CIS area. Counteracting the political and economic reintegration of the post-Soviet space around Russia, and expanding of NATO with that purpose.
Russia is playing a key negative role in this sphere, to which it ascribes top priority. Russian and U.S. interests are diametrically opposite in this sphere.

7. Russia’s integration into the Western (American) security order as a junior partner.
Russia is playing a key negative role in this issue, to which it ascribes high priority.

8. The restoration and enhancement of U.S. influence on Latin America, including the strengthening of strategic partnership with Brazil, the settlement of the Venezuelan and Cuban problems, etc.
Russia is playing a significant negative role in the Venezuelan and Cuban issues, but does not influence the U.S.-Brazilian relations, and ascribes medium priority to this sphere.

9. The reform of international security institutions — mainly the United Nations.
Russia is a key partner in this sphere, to which it ascribes moderately high priority.

10. The maximum possible preservation of the current international economic and financial governance institutions.
Russia is not among the key partners in this sphere, though its role may increase, and it ascribes moderately high priority to this issue,.

11. Counteracting climate change.
Russia is playing a moderately prominent part in the issue of climate change, though ascribing it relatively low priority.

12. Prevention of escalating food and drinking water issues.
Russia may play a key role in this question, though ascribing it low priority as yet.

III. U.S. SECONDARY INTERESTS:
1. Deployment of the elements of the third ABM site in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Russia is playing a key part in this sphere, to which it ascribes top priority.

2. Changing Syrian policy — in particular, toward Israel — in the Greater Middle East.
Russia may play a key role in this sphere, though (at this time) ascribing it medium or low priority.

3. The return of Russia to the CFE Treaty regime and its compliance with the so-called “Istanbul Commitments”.
Russia is playing a key part in this sphere, to which it ascribes highest priority, though largely from the opposing position.

4. Russia’s withdrawal of its recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity within its prewar borders, and with its pro-American orientation preserved.
Russia is playing a key part in this sphere, to which it ascribes top priority, though from the directly opposing position.

5. Recognition of the Kosovo independence by Russia.
Russia is playing a key part in this sphere, though it pertains to its secondary interests.

6. Efforts against drug trafficking, organized crime and piracy.
Russia is playing a moderately prominent part in this issue, though ascribing it relatively low priority.

kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given...

A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, who has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home (&) Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask for, but is a gift of even $1 something you'd be able to consider, to help keep Windows to Russia online in a Tiny Russian Village?