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Issue: №2 (29)

At a time of increasing tension, decreasing trust, and rising misunderstanding between the U.S. and Russia, which are continually setting record low marks in bilateral relations, both have alarmingly begun sleepwalking with their eyes wide open towards a conflict which at best will result in a conventional war between major powers, the likes of which have not been seen for the last 75 years, and at worst will end in global nuclear Armageddon. This research paper analyzes the problems of Russian-American relations in the area of strategic stability and explores ways of establishing an effective dialogue between two countries.

Key findings:

  • The current U.S. policy of continuing blindly on the present vector of confrontation considering only inwards looking U.S. interests and Russophobic perceptions is a fundamental failure in statecraft suitable for domestic consumption, but wholly incompatible with productive relations between sovereign states.

  • The effectiveness of this shift in U.S. strategic culture towards increasing understanding and respect for Russian positions, which may significantly differ from their own, will largely determine whether Russian-American dialogue will be feasible and fruitful in the important area of strategic stability.

  • Four prominent areas have largely shaped the Russian threat perception and security doctrine: unilateral military actions taken by the U.S. and its allies perceived as outside the body of international law, expansion of NATO, the decay of the arms control architecture that set the rules of the road for permissible a confrontation between nuclear-armed powers, and the rise of conventional weaponry with strategic effects.

  • The U.S. and Russia should engage in targeted exchanges that enhance the ability of decision-makers to understand that negotiations are less about facts and more about the perceptions of those at the negotiating table. 

  • Russia and the U.S. have much to gain from cooperation and shockingly little to gain from the current vector of confrontation.

Read the report


Security Index Occasional Paper Series presents reports, analytical articles, comments and interviews that reflect the positions of Russian and foreign experts on the current challenges of global security and Russian policy in this sphere. The newsletter aims at providing a clear analysis of global security problems and suggesting practical solutions. Security Index Occasional Paper Series continues the Security Index journal published by PIR Center in 1994 – 2016. Authors and editors will be glad to receive comments, questions and suggestions on our e-mail address [email protected]