The Failure of the “Russia Reset”: Next Steps for the United States and Europe

The policies of the United States and the European Union should encourage and support Russian civil society and Russia’s democratic modernizers. And, if Russia continues to abrogate its international commitments to basic freedoms and human rights, the U.S. and the EU must stand up for democratic values and make it clear that Russian aggression will not be tolerated. President Obama’s Russia “reset” policy achieves the opposite. Just as the U.S. reset has shaped European thinking, overly lenient signals from the EU to Russia will have a negative effect on U.S. interests, including support of democracy and promotion of economic freedom. The U.S. should collaborate with individual European allies as well as the European Union to set an agenda that better defends transatlantic interests from Russian aggression.

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