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Research Report

The Twain Shall Meet:: The Prospects for Russia-West Relations

The Atlantic Council of the United States
The Centre for European Reform
The Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 2002
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 88
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-vi)
    Christopher J. Makins

    The end of the Cold War left unresolved the nature of the long-term relationship between Russia and the West. This question remained unanswered at the end of the 1990s, a decade during which Russia-West relations fluctuated considerably in relation to domestic and international events, notably in the Balkans. By 2001, with the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union poised for further enlargement that would not, at least in the immediate future, include Russia, the prospect for longer-term relations between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic countries and institutions remained quite uncertain.

    To examine this question, a group of Americans, Europeans, and...

  2. (pp. 1-22)

    The integration of Russia into the West will be one of the most important — and most difficult — tasks facing the United States and Europe during the next decade. Since the end of the Cold War, the relationship between Russia and the western countries has been ambivalent, sometimes leading to fears of renewed hostility and at other times engendering hopes of true partnership. Yet it has become increasingly clear that a closer relationship with the West will be key to the development of Russian prosperity, democracy, and stability — achievements that will benefit the West as well as Russia....

  3. The Future of Russia-West Relations:: Conference Papers

    • (pp. 25-34)
      Ognian N. Hishow

      After arduous reforms and turbulence in the 1990s, Russia’s economy picked up in the fall of 1998 and has continued to grow rapidly since. This good performance has raised hopes that the country is about to overcome the severe decline of the past and to catch up with the industrialized world. While the reform pace under Yeltsin was slow, Vladimir Putin symbolizes a vigorous move toward a better budget revenue performance, an improved banking system, actual land reform, and reduced corruption. However, a question remains: is Putin an astute reformer, or is he simply lucky to have been in the...

    • (pp. 35-38)
      Ivan Ivanov

      Despite a certain slowdown in global business, the ongoing process of globalization continues to be a leading trend. Even the world’s largest economies are increasingly responsive to outside stimuli affecting their growth and, alternatively, vulnerable to external shocks, for example extreme fluctuations in energy prices. Following the lead of transnational corporations, foreign markets are now invaded by medium-sized and even small enterprises. The flow of goods and capital are feeling the effects not only around the globe, but also around the clock, and short-term financial transactions alone are estimated to be $1 trillion a day.

      The Russian Federation is not...

    • (pp. 39-46)
      Astrid S. Tuminez

      Russia’s ruble devaluation, default on debt, and market crash in August of 1998 led many observers to predict further chaos, dislocation, and doom in the Russian economy and in Russian society. Fortunately, those predictions proved largely to be wrong. Although the events of August 1998 created many difficulties for the Russian population, nonetheless the worst scenarios for the country did not materialize. Instead, in the last three years, the devaluation of the ruble, soaring energy prices, a measure of political stability, and a new impetus for economic reform have contributed to Russian economic growth and revived interest in Russia among...

    • (pp. 47-50)
      Benoit d’Aboville

      Russia and the West have a very full agenda for 2002, and the decisions they will make will have far-reaching consequences. In part, these decisions will determine whether or not a potential post-September 11 strategic shift truly materializes. However, this agenda is built on assumptions and questions which are not yet fully answered. Furthermore, a range of issues currently being given a great deal of importance could, if not resolved, put at risk the longer-term building of this relationship.

      I would like to mention a few of these challenges or issues. The first one is the bilateral summit in Moscow...

    • (pp. 51-56)
      Jan M. Lodal

      While the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon have profoundly changed attitudes related to Euro-Atlantic security, the Bush Administration has paid relatively little attention to a “Euro-Atlantic Security Framework” outside the immediate tactical considerations related to the aftermath of September 11. As a result, it is difficult to speak of an “American view” at this juncture. But some elements seem relatively clear.

      Whatever new Euro-Atlantic security framework comes to pass, it will almost certainly be built on the foundation of the “new NATO.” NATO has demonstrated its ability to adapt to the radical changes...

    • (pp. 57-60)
      Vitaly Zhurkin

      In order to present the prevailing Russian thinking on Euro-Atlantic security problems, which are not always uniform and at times even rather disorderly, it is probably worthwhile to divide my observations into two categories: certainties, and uncertainties. Using this approach, certainties will consist of well-known events and phenomena, and uncertainties of areas requiring greater clarity and resolution in order to build a healthy Euro-Atlantic security framework.

      First, following the tragedy of September 11, a new convergence between Russia and the West (both the United States and the European Union) took shape. One may argue as to how radical and/or serious...

    • (pp. 61-66)
      Gilles Andréani

      The United States, Europe and Russia have stated their intention to work together to fight terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. But as we begin to identify how this can be accomplished, there are a number of questions we must ask — about the true extent of a consensus, the realities of a linkage between terrorims and WMD proliferation, how to clarify the situation in the Middle East, and the overall view for arms control, among others.

      Is the post-September 11 consensus waning, or is there still the basis for increased cooperation among the United States, Europe,...

    • (pp. 67-70)
      Richard Burt

      One of the most interesting aspects of the current discussion is the topic itself — the potential for a trilateral partnership between the United States, Russia, and Europe. To underscore the depth of change since September 11, one need only consider the climate of relations prior to the terrorist attacks. During the decade or so between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the new prominence of international terrorism, the United States, Europe and Russia were all undergoing a great deal of adaptation and were largely preoccupied with internal issues of one kind or another. The Europeans were principally focuse...

    • (pp. 71-76)
      Sergey Rogov

      The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, reshaped history, causing some things to change irreversibly. For America, this is an event comparable to Pearl Harbor, or perhaps even more serious since this is the first time since the Civil War that war has been fought on U.S. soil, and with the highest number of U.S. civilian casualties in any conflict. September 11 will have enormous implications globally as well.

      The attacks have challenged many of the premises of international politics. It is too early to draw the final conclusions, but it is possible to provide a...