Prospects of the U.S.-Russian relations were discussed at the online conference of the Gorchakov Fund

14 May 2020
On May 14, online discussion “The U.S.-Russian Relations after the Pandemic: What’s Next?” was organized as part of the online lectures project of the Gorchakov Fund. Main experts of the discussion were: Dr. Victor Mizin, diplomat, senior researcher at MGIMO University under MFA of Russia and Dr. Pavel Sharikov, senior researcher at the Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, visiting researcher at the Center for International and Security Studies of the University of Maryland.

During the discussion, topics related to normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington, cooperation with China, the national policy of the White House, the “Russian interference”, and strategic stability were discussed.

Victor Mizin: “Now the topic of strategic stability is very important. We would like to remind you that ten years ago in Prague Russia and the U.S. signed the bilateral Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START). Since then that treaty has been playing a key role in preserving peace and preventing the dangerous arms race between the two countries, which combined own 90% of the global arsenal of nuclear weapons”.

However, the fate of the treaty is under threat: if no measures are taken to extend it, it will cease to be in force in 2021. Such a loss may result in escalation of the nuclear rivalry and an outbreak of mutual mistrust, which will bring the world closer to a high level of nuclear danger, which the world has not seen over the past several decades.

Under conditions of the pandemic, when the world needs endurance, confidence and the spirit of cooperation in order to recover from the coronavirus, Russia and the U.S. may become an example for others and solve many problems, in particular, that of strategic stability by extending the treaty.

When talking about the triangle “Russia – U.S. – China”, experts agreed that the current situation could result in significant instability: a large conflict between the U.S. and China is emerging and Russia should become a mediator in that conflict by keeping it from escalation.

Pavel Sharikov: “A hybrid war in media space began right before our eyes. Thanks to the efforts made by the U.S., Russia gained an image of a cyber aggressor abroad. Every week different reports are published about Russian hackers and interference into national affairs  of other countries. Much depends on Russia in terms of what it will do to improve its image. Soft power, smart power and its tools, such as public diplomacy, are important aspects of successful activities on the international arena.”

Opportunities for improvement of relations between Russia and the U.S., according to the experts, can be expected after January, after the U.S. presidential and Congress elections.

The experts came to a conclusion that global influence of the U.S. is diminishing and China is stepping forward. However, we should not think that the U.S. economy will collapse and will not be able to cope with the crisis as U.S. dollar still remains the world's currency. America is the the largest financial market, economic-intellectual leader and trend-setter.