U.S. and Russia: A Window of Opportunity


The U.S. and Russia: A Window of Opportunity

The U.S. and Russia share a wide range of critical interests, from preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to addressing global energy concerns, to combating international terrorism and the illegal drug trade. Russia’s heavy hand at home and with its neighbors is troubling, but these concerns must be addressed through effective U.S.-Russian dialogue, not an escalating war of words. Two decades after the end of the Cold War, it is time to strengthen and renew U.S.-Russian cooperation. We, the undersigned, agree that to repair the U.S.-Russia relationship, both sides must take steps to restore mutual confidence and trust. The Obama Administration can begin by:

  • Emphasizing the importance of the NATO-Russia Council and inviting Russia to participate fully in a collective security strategy, beginning with peace and stability for Afghanistan;
  • Engaging in discussions aimed at securing Russian cooperation to establish effective defenses against missile attacks for Europe while providing Russia with security assurances;
  • Encouraging Russia to take a leadership role in multilateral negotiations with Iran to stop uranium enrichment;
  • Advancing the US-Russia dialogue on arms control and non-proliferation, and working to extend or replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which could be followed by another stage of verified nuclear disarmament;
  • Reiterating U.S. support for Russia’s WTO candidacy, calling on Congress to repeal the “Jackson-Vanik” trade sanctions, and encouraging other member states to offer Russia a clear path to membership based on its commitment to the WTO Charter; and
  • Expanding the US-Russia dialogue on energy and climate change, to include seeking common ground on environmental concerns and new oil and gas pipelines to guarantee reliable energy supplies for the entire North Atlantic region.

If these steps are met by Russia with similar good faith and pragmatism, Presidents
Medvedev and Obama, as new leaders, can seize a unique opportunity to renew
cooperation based on mutual trust and shared interests.


Signatories

Howard Baker, US Senator (R-TN) 1967-85
Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor 1997-2001
Harold Brown, Secretary of Defense 1977-81
Frank Carlucci, Secretary of Defense 1987-89
James F. Collins, US Ambassador to Russia 1997-2001
John C. Danforth, US Senator (R-MO) 1977-95

Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff 1988-89
Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc.
Slade Gorton, US Senator (R-WA) 1981-87, 1989-2001
Lee Hamilton, US Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99, PSA Co-Chair
Gary Hart, US Senator (D-CO) 1975-87
Arthur Hartman, Ambassador to Soviet Union 1981-87
Rita E. Hauser, Chair, International Peace Institute
Carla Hills, US Trade Representative 1989-93
E. Neville Isdell, Chairman, US-Russia Business Council
Nancy Kassebaum Baker, US Senator (R-KS) 1978-97
Thomas Kean, Governor, New Jersey 1982-90
Donald M. Kendall, former Chairman and CEO, Pepsico

Eugene K. Lawson, Vice Chairman, U.S. Export-Import Bank 1989-93
John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy 1981-87
Richard Leone, President, The Century Foundation
Jack Matlock, Ambassador to Soviet Union 1987-91
Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor 1983-85
Donald McHenry, Ambassador to UN 1979-81
Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense 1961-68
Sam Nunn, US Senator (D-GA) 1972-96
William Perry, Secretary of Defense 1994-97
Thomas Pickering, Undersecretary of State 1997-2000
Warren Rudman, US Senator (R-NH) 1980-92, PSA Co-Chair
Alan Simpson, US Senator (R-WY) 1979-97
Theodore Sorensen, White House Special Counsel 1961-63
James Symington, US Congressman (D-MO) 1969-77
Edward Verona, President, US-Russia Business Council
John Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State 1985-88
Timothy E. Wirth, US Senator (D-CO) 1987-93
Frank Wisner, Undersecretary of State 1992-93