US-Russian ties: cooperation in divergence

(VOVworld)- 2013 was a stormy year for the US- Russia relationship due to differences on key issues, even though, they took steps to broaden cooperation last year.

US-Russian ties: cooperation in divergence  - ảnh 1

In 2013 the international community witnessed new divergences over spying and Syria and the close relationship between Russia and Ukraine. These created a drawback in US-Russia relations

A new war of nerves

In the Middle East and North Africa, Russia has blamed the US and the West for sparking the “Arab Spring” movement which has pushed a number of countries in into protracted civil wars, which have become part of the war of nerves between the US and Russia. In Syria, where the US is determined to use all means including force to oust President Bashar Al-Assad, Russia persistently opposed the use of force to overthrow what it considers Syria’s legitimate government.

The two countries’ differences on the Syrian issue reached a climax when the US accused the Assad forces of using chemical weapons to attack. Amidst high tensions, Russia proposed putting Syria’s chemical weapons under international supervision. The US quickly supported this proposal.

The last straw

Edward Snowden created a nightmare for US-Russia relations in 2013. This former US intelligence agency contractor exposed many classified documents, laying bare the US Central Intelligence Agency’s monitoring of messages, telephone calls and emails of the leaders of several countries including US allies in Europe. Snowden delivered another blow to US-Russian ties, which grew even frostier when Russia granted temporary asylum to Snowden, who is wanted by the US on charges of treason. The situation became so tense that President Obama cancelled a summit with President Putin and announced a suspension of attempts to improve relations with Russia.

The relationship became even stormier over the Ukraine issue. The
”Eastern partner” program initiated by the US and the West to woo countries once part of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s announcement it would delay negotiations on cooperation agreements with the European Union chilled the US-Russian ties even more. The US supported protesters against the Ukrainian government, criticized Ukraine for not being persistent about connecting with the EU, and implied that Russia was attempting to reassert its influence in the region.

Cooperating closer due to strategic attempts

Washington and Moscow both recognize the Asia Pacific region’s strategic and economic importance. The US announced a new pivoting axis policy in the Asia Pacific region, while Russia revealed an ambition to expand cooperation mechanisms in the region. In 2013, the US stepped up its intervention into Asia Pacific economic frameworks to ensure its influence in the region. Meanwhile, Russia pressed negotiations on a series of bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements with Asia Pacific countries. The great economic potential of the Asia-Pacific region has compelled the two countries to adjust their outlook and to recognize the benefits of partnership in the region. Moreover, controlling China’s economic and political domination is a crucial aim of both countries.

In short, cooperation in divergence dominated US-Russian ties in 2013. In 2014, analysts expect few