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U.S.-Russian Relations: Can the “Reset Button” Work?

William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science

Early in his administration, President Obama promised that the United States would press the “reset button” in U.S.-Russian relations. He was reacting to severe strains that had arisen during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. What has that “reset” involved? How have the Russians reacted to it? Has the “reset” worked? Can it, or something like it, work? In order to answer these questions, we will look at relations between the countries before, during and after the Cold War so as to discern the forces that facilitate and limit better relations between the United States and Russia.

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