CANCELING THE SUMMIT DOESN’T MEAN THERE’S A CRISIS


Cancellation of the Moscow summit does not mean a U.S.–Russia crisis. Although the dynamics of the bilateral relationship have changed over the past four years, there are issues—including nuclear nonproliferation, counterterrorism, regional challenges, and trade and investment links—where cooperation serves the interests of both countries. At the same time, in a relationship as varied and complex as that between the United States and Russia, there will be differences on some questions. The trick is to not let differences on issues such as Syria dominate the relationship but to manage those differences so that cooperation is possible where U.S. and Russian interests coincide. Washington and Moscow should move on the areas where cooperation makes sense, such as reducing their overly large nuclear weapons levels and strengthening commercial links, to add some more positives to the relationship.

Steven Pifer is Director of the Brookings Arms Control Initiative.

This post is part of the Perspectives on Peace and Security: Rebuilding the U.S.–Russia Relationship project produced by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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