One of the Administration’s first foreign policy initiatives in office was to ‘reset’ relations with Russia. Vice President Joe Biden introduced the concept in 2009 by stating, “The last few years have seen a dangerous drift in relations between Russia and the members of [NATO]. It is time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia,” highlighting the “special obligation” of the U.S. and Russia to lead a range of international efforts.
The policy eased some of the tensions that had built over the previous decade between the U.S. and Russia and restored a working relationship between the two nations. The successful negotiation and ratification of New START in 2011, which strengthened arms control cooperation between the two nations, reflected some improvement in the relationship.
Now the big question for U.S. policymakers is what comes after the reset? Washington has had to balance its support for human rights and democracy in Russia with the need for Moscow’s cooperation on issues relevant to international security, such as sanctions on Iran, UN action on Syria, missile defense, arms control and international trade. The reelection of President Vladimir Putin last fall, who last held office during a period of significant friction between the two countries, has raised further questions about tensions between the two nations.
What happens now after the reset, and how will U.S.-Russian relations develop over the next several years? What areas of mutual interest exist between our two nations, and where do our interests diverge?
Please join the Center for American Progress for a keynote address by Congressman Adam Smith, who has represented Washington’s 9th District for the past 16 years, to address these questions and more. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Smith oversees a wide range of foreign policy issues related to our force posture, our military presence in Europe and Asia, and strategic and regional stability. This work gives him a unique perspective on the future of the U.S.-Russian relationship.