“The US–Russia relationship now is a competitive one. This shouldn’t be surprising: great powers compete. The United States and Russia have competed since the United States emerged as a great power at the very end of the 19th century. The issues that divide us today – different interpretations of the principles of the world order, geopolitical conflicts, the values gap – are the same ones that plagued this relationship from the very beginning. It’s not unusual that we are in this competitive relationship. I think the challenge now is to prevent this competitive relationship from turning into permanently adversarial one. In a multi-polar world, in a world where the is balance of power is the way of guaranteeing peace and stability over the long term, the United States and Russia are going to have to work as partners, in coalition against third countries and other forces that may threaten that balance. So we’re going to have to find a way to work together,” — Thomas Graham, Managing Director, Kissinger Associates.
“This is problematic now, because we have the process of demonization going on, that tends to reinforce the antagonistic relationship, and pushes us further down this path of permanently hostile relations. And so, the urgent task that we face now is to reduce tensions between our two countries,” — Thomas Graham, Managing Director, Kissinger Associates.
“As far as the prospects go, I do not see anything in the foreseeable future, because this flywheel of confrontation, of mutual trust – which is not even zero, it is negative – has already been rotated to the point that there must be either some very serious change in the entire atmosphere around the globe, or a certain pause, when the parties would deal with their own matters. And that is most likely, because if you look at the global situation in general, it is perfectly obvious that for all nations the internal issues are much more important today than the foreign policy issues,” — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.
“Despite the fact that this is urgent, it really doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to do this in the near-term. We can’t do that because each country finds itself in an electoral cycle, and there are no political dividends to be had from arguing for a better relationship. In fact, you get political dividends by being tough. This inclination towards toughness is reinforced by the developments in the United States, domestically, at this point,” — Thomas Graham, Managing Director, Kissinger Associates.
“The tendency in the United States is going to be towards toughness over the near term,” — Thomas Graham, Managing Director, Kissinger Associates.
“There are no instruments of foreign policy pressure available [to the U.S. Congress] other than the sanctions, <...> and if so, the sanctions will be applied, making up for the lack of any other tools. <...> This is a big problem that Russia, most likely, will somehow have to live with and resist,” — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.