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Refocusing American Policy towards Russia: Theory and Practice

Journal Article
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The next time Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin meet at a U.S.-Russian summit,

three kinds of issues will dominate their agenda's arms control, regional conflicts,

and human rights. In fact, these three issues may dominate the agenda of

future U.S.-Russian summits for a long time. Regarding arms control, the Russian

ratification of START II stands as one of the major stumbling points in U.S.-

Russia relations. The two presidents probably will not meet again until this agreement

has been ratified by the Russian parliament. Regarding regional conflicts,

the American and Russian governments have radically divergent positions concerning

trade with Iran. For several years, the United States has objected to the

Russian-assisted construction of nuclear reactors in Iran, yet the Russian Ministry

of Atomic Energy continues with the project. Regarding human rights,

American officials have quite rightly expressed their outrage concerning the passage

of a new draconian law on religion that restricts the freedom of worship of

most "nontraditional" Russian faiths. In reaction to this law, the U.S. Senate has

threatened to end all aid to Russia.

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