International relations looks at the international environment that is composed of the territorial states and it holds that that there is no superior authority over issues which they regard as vital interest. Therefore it tries to analyze the changing relationships between states as well as non state actors. International relations serve to promote peace and good co-existence between states. This is because countries need to communicate and relate well with one another to survive. Every country depends on trade for survival and no country can survive in isolation. Poor international relations can lead to negative consequences for instance during the World War I (Burchill 73). This therefore brings out the need for countries to uphold cultural understanding because individuals from different states have different beliefs and values that need to be respected by all. This therefore brings us to the need to look at the deteriorating relations between the U.S and Russia. Over the years the two countries have competed on both economic and political issues and at the same time have cooperated to meet the same global problems. This research project will serve to bring out an insight to the cause of the conflict, how the two countries can work together and how the international community can intervene to end the conflict.
The relationships between the two countries started to decline during the regimes of Putin and George W. bush when the two presidents started to have some disagreements. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the united states took a unilateral course on how it handled international policy and this irritated Russia. As a result of the increased hostility between the two countries, Bush in 2002 withdrew the U.S from the anti- ballistic missile treaty so that the country can move forward with their agenda of missile defense system (Putin, 2013). Russia termed this move by the United States a mistake and it later opposed the invasion of Iraq by the United States. In 2007, the United States came up with a plan of building an anti-ballistic missile system in Poland with the aim of protecting the United States and Europe from the missile attacks by Iran and North Korea and this move was viewed by Russia as potential threat.
In 2008, the relationship between the two countries was further strained when Russia invaded Georgia. The United States was supporting Georgia in the conflict and therefore the United States had to send humanitarian and military aid to the country and Russia were further angered by the move. The Russian- Venezuelan military cooperation was not taken lightly by the United States (baker, 2015). This is because it viewed the move as a provocation and interference of the American missile plans in Europe. But Russia downplayed the move and it maintained that the arrival of the naval fleet in Venezuela was aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries. Russia and United States further disagreed on the Syria uprising (Schmitt, 2015). This is because the United States supported the sanctions against the country and Russia on the other hand refused to support the moves. This led to a group of senators in the United States to call on the department of defense to stop doing business with the Russian state and this step by the United States was not taken lightly by Russia.
The tension between the two countries increased in 2012 when Russia announced a possibility of a strike on missile defense sites in Europe with the motive of applying pressure on the United States (David, 2015). In the course of the year Barrack obama signed into law an act that imposed financial restrictions and U.S travel bans on the human rights abusers in Russia and this made Putin to also sign a bill that banned the United States from adopting children from Russia.
After the collapse of victor yanukovych government in Ukraine, Russia invaded the country with the aim of staging a referendum. This move by Russia was immediately opposed by the international community led by the United States as they termed it as a breach of the international law. This made the relationship between the two countries to deteriorate the more. The obama administration came out with a series of sanctions on Russian that was seen as a means to bring the relationship between the two countries to the dead end. The relations got even sourer when the Malaysian airlines flight 17 was brought down in Ukraine near the Russian border and it was suspected that the Russians were responsible for the attack (baker, 2015). The sanctions made Russia to close mc Donald outlets in Moscow which is US company citing sanctions concerns and this move by Russian further strained the relationship between the two countries (David, 2015). At the end of 2014, there was the passage of Ukraine freedom support Act of 2014 by the US that was aimed as denying certain Russian firms western financing and technology. The Act also provided $350 million in arms and also military to Ukraine and this brought the relationship between the two countries at its worse since the Cold War (Schmitt, 2015).
The manner in which the two countries view the international arena is the source of the conflict between the two countries and the reason why the two countries are finding it hard to become true partners (baker, 2015). The obama administration belief in the policy of interventions as way to prevent and stop humanitarian crisis while the Kremlin administration are still glued to the traditional notions and this brings out the reason for the reluctance by the United States to trust Russia on international affairs (Putin, 2013). This is also the reason why the United States have been pushing for political and economic reforms in Russia a move that is being seen by Russia as meddling of its internal affairs.
The next question that we should ask ourselves is how the relationship between the two countries will be in 2015 and early 2016. There is need for a close relationship between Moscow and Washington to be maintained (baker, 2015). The anti Russian sanctions by the United States are the reasons why the two countries will continue have wrangles and the obstacle of the two countries ever having dialogue. Issues such preventing of weapons of mass destruction and combating terrorism should be the reasons and opportunities for the two countries to have dialogue. As long the issues between the two countries are not solved the relationship between the two countries in 2015 and early 2016 will be strained farther (David, 2015). There will be no foreseeable relationship between the two countries even if the sanctions against Russia are lifted.
As a matter of fact the United States have more allies than Russia as well as financial clout and therefore its new agenda on new world will prevail and Russia will continue to oppose that agenda. The Russians will try to explore ways to cause a rift in the western world and the United States on the other will continue to make western world united on international issues especially on the sanctions against Russia. This therefore becomes another reason as to why the two countries find it hard to work together in addressing issues of international concern (David, 2015).
Despite of all these differences between the two countries, there is still need for them to work together to solve international problems such as terrorism and production of weapons of mass destruction as well as maintaining international order. The two countries cooperated during the two World Wars and therefore this brings out the potential of both countries still working together in future. Despite the differences existing between the two countries, dialogue has always prevailed. There is need to apply the historical lessons learnt from the past global problems and conflicts be applied especially on solving the current problems in Ukraine (Schmitt, 2015).
Military, economic and socio-cultural cooperation between the two countries during times of crisis is important in solving global problems and maintaining peace. This was exhibited in the World War I where the two countries worked together. The rise of the Islamic state is another major reason that can bring the two countries together. The two countries have demonstrated their effort in combating the rise of the militant Islamic terrorism (baker, 2015). This is because the two countries been threatened by the terrorist groups of possible attacks. The threat will force the two countries to work together to solve this problem.
The manner in which both countries have handled the Syria threat is one sure way that portrayed how the two countries can work together. The United States had threatened to use military force on Syria before Russia offered a way out to the conflict. Russia managed to convince Syria to dismantle all its chemical weapons. Despite Russia getting all the credit in solving the Syria conflict, it did not use the gain against the United States. The ceasefire in Ukraine is one of the potential ways in which the relationship between the two countries can be improved again (baker, 2015). The Middle East therefore provides many areas in which the two countries can work together. This is because the two countries have common and similar strategic plans in which they can combat the threat poised but terrorist since citizens from both countries have been in the past threatened by the terror groups.
For this reason both countries sees the Islamic state as a common enemy. Apart from solving the Syria and Ukraine conflicts, the two countries should also work together in trying to eliminate the threat by North Korea and Iran to produce nuclear weapons that can cause international instability (Schmitt, 2015). If the two countries are allowed to continue on the mission to produce nuclear weapons, this can be a threat to the international security.
There is need for the international community to help in solving the conflicts between the United States and Russia. The Arab league, western governments and the United Nations should all come up with a plan that can help bring United States and Russia into dialogue on issues that are causing a rift between them. The recent move by the European Union to impose sections on Russia especially in the oil and gas sector are some of the efforts the international community is making to bring the two countries into dialogue concerning the Ukraine conflict (Schmitt, 2015). There are a lot of issues of international concerns such as diseases, global warming, terrorism and international peace that brings out the need for the international community to foster dialogue between the two countries if these global threats are to be addressed amicably.
Conclusively, good relationship between the two countries on military, economic and political issues has proved to be important. There is need for the two countries to give dialogue a way and solve the conflicts between them. We have seen the problems that have been caused by the two countries not agreeing on various global issues at the same the benefits of them having a common stand. This therefore brings out the need for the international community to intervene and help the two countries have dialogue on issues of international concern such as the rise of the Islamic state, nuclear weapons, global warming and war on drugs.
Burchill, Scott, et al. Theories of international relations. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
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