Российско-американские отношения в 2013 году: избирательное прагматическое сотрудничество
Human rights advocacy has evolved into a legitimate foreign policy priority of the contemporary United States. The values and beliefs behind this concern are endorsed by a variety of American NGOs. The paper looks at American human rights advocacy and its impact on foreign policy decision-making. Human rights groups constitute a powerful independent lobby sector, whose success must be attributed to the unique nature of the American political culture. The article analyses the industrys specific characteristics and offers a classification of NGOs based on their mission, activities and lobbying profile.
The Russian agenda for relations with the United States is very modest and largely retrospective. The agenda lacks new possible areas of cooperation (e.g. building closer security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region), which could make the relations between the two countries more sustainable. The same is true of the joint agenda for the next six months, as reflected in the joint statement made by President Putin and U.S. President Obama following their meeting in Los Cabos on June 18th. The word “partnership,” in view of relations between Russia and the U.S., was not mentioned at all.
In February 2012, the influence of the presidential elections in Russia, held on March 4, 2012, on Russian-American relations reached its climax. The election campaign of the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a special emphasis on the idea of the revival of Russia as a great power, the restoration of its military power and the strengthening of Russia’s foreign policy independence. In the eyes of most of Russia’s political elite, this primarily involves maintaining a strategic balance with the U.S. and a stiff opposition to Washington on issues not coinciding with Russia’s interests, including interference in the affairs of other states, Russia included.
The chapter explores the foreign policy priorities of China and Russia with regard to the following sub-questions: Are China and Russia driven by ideology or by pragmatism? How much weight does ‘hard power’ carry versus ‘soft power’ in the strategic policy formulation of both countries? How do they strive to uphold their insistence on respect for sovereignty while their economic power increasingly relies on international interdependence?
Over the past almost two years, the U.S.-Russia relations have markedly improved. The “reset” of relations proposed by the Barack Obama administration has been a success. The threat of a retreat to a systemic confrontation has almost disappeared. Many of the conflicts between the two countries have been either resolved or, for the most part, reduced to a “smoldering” state. Both Russia and the United States display pragmatism by lowering the importance of persisting conflicts over the benefits of cooperation. For the first time in the post-Soviet period, the U.S. has partially revised its position on Russia-related issues and its interests with regard to Russia for the sake of getting Moscow’s support in matters of interest to Washington. Unlike the previous rounds, the current improvement of the U.S.-Russia relations rests on a more solid foundation – namely, a clear and pragmatic understanding by the parties of their interests and of the importance of constructive mutual relations for their implementation.