Reset Regret: Moral Leadership Needed to Fix U.S.–Russian Relations

The discussion about democracy, human rights, and the rule of law has careened through at least three phases in U.S. relations with Russia, each one resulting in sometimes jarring shifts in Washington’s approach to Moscow. In order to reaffirm America’s interests, when dealing with Russia, the U.S. should concentrate on the values of freedom and justice. The Administration needs to stop its policy of “pleasing Moscow” and instead add pressure on Russia to start a “reset” of its own policies that currently disregard human rights, democracy, and good governance. The U.S. should deny visas to corrupt Russian businessmen, examine their banking practices and acquisitions, and target Russian police and prosecutors who fabricate evidence, and judges who rubber stamp convictions, which is what the bipartisan S. 1039 “Justice for Sergey Magnitsky” bill aims to do.

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