To read Michael McFaul’s entire report, Russia’s Transition to Democracy and U.S.-Russia Relations: Unfinished Business, click here.
The future of Russian democracy is the most important issue in U.S.-Russia relations today. If Russia consolidates a liberal democracy at home, then Russia will develop into a reliable and lasting ally of the United States in world affairs. If Russia fails to consolidate liberal democracy at home, then Russia may still be a cooperative partner of the United States occasionally and sporadically, but always with conflicts. If Russia lapses back into dictatorship, U.S.-Russian relations will become strained, competitive, and possibly even confrontational again as they were for most of the twentieth century. More…