US Vs Russia – A New Low in US-Russia Relations

The US has had two periods in recent history when relations with Russia worked well: in the immediate post-9/11 period, when Moscow helped the United States win a war against al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies; and in the 2008-12 period of the “reset” between Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev. Both times, close cooperation helped counter terrorism and nuclear proliferation, including efforts to rein in Iran’s and North Korea’s advancing nuclear ambitions.

But the Ukraine conflict has brought us to a new low in US-Russian relations. It is clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin has imperialist ambitions and no regard for the sovereignty or territorial integrity of nations, or their people’s right to determine their own future. He clearly has a disregard for the law and has exhibited Cold War levels of suspicion, antagonism and gamesmanship with Washington.

Despite these tensions, the American public continues to support NATO and Ukraine, and has a high level of confidence in Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It also supports a wide range of economic sanctions against Russia, and it believes that the Kremlin is using its military and energy resources to blackmail and coerce neighbouring democracies.

In fact, most Americans view Russia as a threat and believe it poses a danger to their own security, even though a majority thinks that the war in Ukraine is an unnecessary conflict. Most Americans oppose deploying US forces to Ukraine and think that Putin would rethink his war with Ukraine if the US did so.