March 2012 Survey of Developments in U.S.-Russia Relations
In March, Russian-American relations began to return to normal after a period of heightened politicization associated with the presidential campaign in Russia, when the level of anti-American rhetoric in Russia (including the rhetoric from the Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin) reached its peak in many years. This rhetoric died down almost immediately after the elections on March 4th, thus confirming its domestic target. At the same time, positive sentiment began to increase between the two countries. Accordingly, the Obama administration reacted to Russian presidential election results and the victory of Putin as constructively as possible in light of the current, domestic, political conditions in the U.S. This political climate has shown a degree of anti-Russian rhetoric from the Republicans through their criticism of the administration over its policy toward Russia which is unprecedented in intensity since the Cold War.