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Assessing the reset: successes and failures in the Obama administration's Russia policy, 2009–2012

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbern/a
Pages (from-to)500-523
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Security
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2013

King's Authors


Critics of the Obama administration’s ‘reset’ with Russia claim that it has failed to improve bilateral relations and has conceded too much to Russia at the expense of American interests. In fact, the reset has delivered significant improvements in key areas and established the institutional basis for continued cooperation in the future, benefitting both states. Although disagreements remain onseveral important issues including missile defence, humanitarian intervention, and democracy, the reset has been broadly successful on its own terms, which were always limited in scope and based on a pragmatic recognition of the limits of possible cooperation.Future progress is uncertain, however – obstacles include differences of national interest; the complicating effects of relations with third party states; and the impact of domestic politics. A continuation of the pragmatic approach underpinning the reset represents the best chance for stability in the US-Russia relationship.

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