Russian regions have been developing crises with economic, financial, social, and political facets. If not checked, some of these crises may grow to pose risks not only to the local area, but to the stability of the Russian government.
Recent efforts by both the United States and Russia to reset the bilateral relationship have yielded promising results and deeper cooperation on critical issues, including Iran, the post-Soviet states, and arms control and disarmament.
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Sarbaev stressed that many of the problems plaguing Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, such as security and drug trafficking, are in fact regional problems, and that multilateral negotiations and mutual concessions can help find solutions to these problems.
The current political system in Russia is a hybrid of democracy and authoritarianism, or an “overmanaged democracy,” where the elements of authoritarianism dominate democratic ones. The system seems stable on the surface, but is in fact very fragile.
In his first major foreign policy address, NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, presented the basis for a new strategic partnership with Russia, laying out the specific areas where practical cooperation could be extended.
Ahead of the July 6-8 U.S.-Russia summit, Carnegie experts in Moscow discussed expectations for the visit, prospects for START negotiations, and areas for potential cooperation, including Iran, Afghanistan, and energy security.
Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, discussed the outlook for Russian–U.S. relations, including the prospects for “resetting” the relationship.
Regional elections in Russia are increasingly more contested, which is more a reflection of the growing number of unaddressed grievances in Russia’s localities than a sign of Russia becoming more democratic.
The political system set up under Vladimir Putin's presidency is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, despite the impact of the global economic crisis and the aftershocks of the 2008 Georgia conflict.
The global financial crisis and leadership changes in both Russia and the United States have led the bilateral relationship to an important juncture. Engagement should focus on mutual areas of economic and security interest.