On February 11 the Valdai Club hodted an expert discussion titled “Russia and the United States: What Awaits Their Relations?”
Nuclear security is the traditional “stumbling block” in the US-Russia relations. A crucial issue in 2020 is the prolongation of the New START Treaty, which expires at the beginning of the next year. The United States has not yet made a decision on whether it wants to extend it, while Russia is open to dialogue and is ready to prolong the agreement. The recent aggravation of nuclear issues is due to the fact that the United States began to deploy low-yield ballistic missiles on its submarines, something Washington used to be ready to do only hypothetically.
The presidential campaign will also certainly impact the bilateral relations, as the Washington establishment can narrow the opportunities for interstate cooperation during the presidential race. However, the Senate vote to acquit President Trump can enable him to act more decisively in order to improve relations with Russia in line with his electoral promises and as a counterpunch against Democrats, especially after the Iowa caucus delay.
Will 2020 become a year of improvement in bilateral ties or will add new conflict to the relations between Moscow and Washington? What future can await the New START Treaty? How will the end of the impeachment procedure influence Trump’s positions? Will the countries find common ground on divisive questions? These and other issues will be addressed by our guests.
- Sergey Kislyak, First Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Council of the Federation; Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States of America (2008-2017);