From “discharging” to “rebooting”. How Russia tried to negotiate with the United States

50 years ago, on May 26, 1972, during a visit to Moscow of US President Richard Nixon, the “Fundamentals of Relations between the USSR and USA” were signed. The document has become one of symbols of the “international détente” policy.

Since Russian-American relations have been moving like a roller coaster — bright periods gave way to severe crises.

Pepsi, vodka, Soyuz-Apollo

Visit of Richard Nixonin Moscow took place against the background of the war in Vietnam, so it not once could break loose. Nevertheless, the desire of the two countries to somehow normalize their relations and to agree on clear rules of the game prevailed.

It was in Moscow that the documents that laid the foundation for the security system were signed Cold War — a treaty on limitation of anti-missile defense systems and interim agreement on limitation of strategic offensive arms. In 1975 the development of these treaties Leonid Brezhnev and Nixon's successor Gerald Fordsigned the “Helsinki Accords”, which, among other things, proclaimed cooperation in the fields of economics and science between the Warsaw Pact and NATO countries, confidence-building in the defense sphere, and much more. And already under President Jimmy Carter, countries signed agreements to limit the number of launchers (SALT-2) and deploy nuclear weapons in space.

“Discharging” expressed, for example, and  in that in 1975, for the first time in history, a joint flight of Soviet cosmonauts and American astronauts took place on the Soyuz — Apollo". And back in the USSR a plant was built for the production of Pepsi-Cola», in  the USA the same began to sell vodka «Stolichnaya».

The discharge did not last long. Already in  1979, relations between the USSR and the United States were on the verge of a break due to the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan and NATO's decision to start deploying medium-range missiles in Europe. In  March 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered his famous speech in which called the USSR an “evil empire”.

The countries emerged from the new clinch with difficulty. The first Soviet-American summit in six years was organized in 1985 in Geneva after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR.That meeting did not bring special practical results, however, according to the recollections of the participants, it was then that mutual understanding developed between Reagan and Gorbachev and a focus on dialogue appeared, which made it possible to hold meetings at the highest level every year.

In 1986, the leaders met in Reykjavik, and     — in Washington. Then the treaty was signed on reduction of armaments —

Turning over the Atlantic and "special relations"

After the collapse of the USSR between Moscow and Washington, it seemed, a complete understanding was established. The actual victory in the Cold War made the United States a world hegemon that could dictate its own rules of the game. But the Kremlin, immersed in the difficult internal problems of the country, was not up to trying to somehow moderate the ambitions of the States.

Between the first president of Russia Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton there was a rather warm relationship. They set a record for meeting — 17 times. However, hidden since the end of the Cold War contradictions could not manifest. And it happened when NATO started bombing Yugoslavia in 1999. Russian Prime Minister Evgeny Primakov who was flying to the United States at that momentturned the plane over the Atlantic and  refused to visit in to protest against the actions of the Americans.

This, however, did not lead to a break in relations. Moreover, there were still all the possibilities for further rapprochement. Vladimir Putinsaid that he suggested Clinton to consider Russia's entry into NATO during the latter's visit to Moscow in 2000 . However,     clearly did not fit into Washington's plans.

“The Special Relationship”

On September 11, 2001, the United States was subjected to a massive attack by Islamist terrorists. After that, the Americans began military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russia protested against the use of military force, but was not heard in the States.

Cooperation between the countries, however, continued. During the operation in Afghanistan, Moscow even temporarily granted the US Air Force the right to use the air corridor over Russian territory. In 2002, the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SOR) was signed, and the Russia-NATO Council was established.

However, then relations again began to deteriorate sharply. “Color Revolutions” in Georgia (2003), in Ukraine (2004), NATO expansion to east launched a crisis, the culmination of which can be considered the operation of Russian troops in Georgia in August 2008 , after which Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Reboot

However, even after such an unpleasant “demarche” for the West, the parties made another attempt to “understand and” forgive ” each other. 6 March 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovthe big red button symbolizing “reboot” Russian-American relations. At              appeared a hope for to continue cooperation with each other.

And over the next few years, some progress was indeed made. For example, a new treaty on the reduction of nuclear weapons (START-3) was signed. However, at the same time, the Americans, together with NATO allies, continued to conduct military operations around the whole world (in in particular, in Libya) and did not renounce plans to expand the alliance, which extremely irritated Moscow.

The aggravation that will never end

Russia's relations with the United States began to worsen again in 2012 year, but a sharp decline occurred, of course, after the start of the Ukrainian crisis. The entry of Crimea into Russia and the conflict in Donbass in 2014 led to a wave of sanctions against Moscow. Hopes for that Donald Trump who came to the White Housewill be able to reverse the negative trend, did not materialize. Trump's opponents accused the Kremlin of interfering in the American elections, after which new sanctions were imposed on Russia.

Neither Putin's meeting with Trump in Helsinki in 2018 nor  ;Russian leader's meeting with Trump's successor Joe Biden in Geneva in 2021  “They don't” want to speak on “equals”, & nbsp; & mdash; Sergey Lavrov succinctly described the key problem of Russian-American relations.

Well and after the US refused to accept Russian demands for security guarantees and the start of                 completely stopped talking. Perhaps not a single political scientist today will undertake to predict when a new “détente” may occur between our countries. And will it happen at all.

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