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Sunday, January 31, 2010

CRS Issue Statement on Russia

Jim Nichol, Coordinator
Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs

In recent years, the United States maintained limited cooperation with Russia on Iranian and North Korean nuclear concerns and on nuclear non-proliferation in general. Tensions increased, however, on issues such as NATO enlargement, the recognition of Kosovo, and proposed U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe. Russia's invasion of Georgia in August 2008 heightened bilateral tensions. 

The Obama Administration moved to revitalize or "reset" U.S.-Russian cooperation on mutual issues of strategic interest while continuing to press U.S. concerns about Russia's military conflict with Georgia and other Russian foreign policy actions. At their first "get acquainted" meeting on April 1, 2009, in London, President Obama and Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev issued two joint statements on opening nuclear weapons talks to replace the expiring Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and on U.S.-Russia relations. In the latter joint statement, the two presidents agreed to "deepen cooperation to combat nuclear terrorism," and to "support international negotiations for a verifiable treaty to end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons." 1 Russia agreed to assist the United States and the international community in responding to terrorism and insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to drug trafficking from Afghanistan. The two sides pledged to strengthen Euro-Atlantic and European security, including through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the NATO-Russia Council. In addition, the presidents announced that an intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation would be formed.

Date of Report: January 14, 2010
Number of Pages: 3
Order Number: IS40383
Price: $7.95

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