How to Deal with Russia
By: Ariel Cohen
Heritage Foundation | Friday, March 13, 2009
Obama and Joe Biden will address the challenge posed by an increasingly
autocratic and bellicose Russia by pursuing a new, comprehensive
strategy that advances American national interests without compromising
our enduring principles.
—"Meeting the Challenges of a Resurgent Russia"
Barack Obama has expressed concerns over Russia's increasingly
truculent behavior and the threat it poses to the current international
system. These concerns are valid and the threat of a resurgent Russia
Moscow's efforts at carving out a "sphere of privileged interests"
throughout Eurasia and rewriting the rules of European security have
negative implications for U.S.– Russia relations, international
security, the autonomy of the newly independent former Soviet states,
and Europe's independence.
Despite these circumstances, the
Obama Administration seems to be rushing ahead with a
"carrots-and-cakes" approach to the Kremlin, judging by Vice President
Joe Biden's recent speech at the annual Munich international security
conference. In this speech, the Vice President outlined the Obama
Administration's foreign policy vision for the first time on the world
stage and suggested that America push "the reset button" on relations
with Russia. Notably absent from this speech was any mention of recent events in Eurasia.
in Moscow, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William
Burns mirrored this approach. Burns stated that the U.S. was willing to
review "the pace of development" of its missile defense shield in
Europe in exchange for Russian cooperation on dissuading Iran from
pursuing a nuclear weapon, and downplayed the importance of a U.S. air
base in Kyrgyzstan from which the U.S. military has just received an
eviction notice.3 Other diplomatic efforts to thaw U.S.–Russian
relations are underway as well.
According to The New York Times,
President Obama sent a secret, hand-delivered letter to President
Dmitry Medvedev one month ago. The letter reportedly suggests that if
Russia cooperated with the United States in preventing Iran from
developing long-range nuclear-missile capabilities, the need for a new
missile defense system in Europe would be eliminated—a quid pro quo that President Obama has denied. The letter proposes a "united front" to achieve this goal.
Responding to the letter, Medvedev appeared to reject the offer and
stated that the Kremlin was "working very closely with our U.S.
colleagues on the issue of Iran's nuclear program," but not in the
context of the new missile defense system in Europe. He stated that "no
one links these issues to any exchange, especially on the Iran issue."
Nevertheless, Medvedev welcomed the overture as a positive signal from
the Obama Administration.
of State Hillary Clinton met with Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign
minister, in Geneva on March 6, following a gathering of NATO foreign
ministers in Brussels. President Obama is also likely to meet President Medvedev in London at the G-20 summit in April.
These meetings occur in a context where both the Obama Administration
and Russia want a new legally binding treaty for limiting strategic
nuclear arms. Ostensibly, this new treaty would be designed to replace
the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). START is scheduled to expire late this year, which both Washington and Moscow see as problematic.
Russian media leaks seemed to reciprocate American overtures and
suggested that the Kremlin may not deploy its Iskander short-range
missiles in Kaliningrad. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's statements in
Davos onJanuary 28 that great powers need to cooperate to find an exit
from the current global economic crisis may be signals that Moscow is
exploring ways to improve relations with Washington, albeit driven by
the plummeting economy at home.
an improvement in U.S.–Russian relations is certainly desirable, haste
is ill advised for the Obama Administration, which has not yet
announced its key officials in charge of Russia policy, nor conducted a
comprehensive assessment of U.S.–Russian relations. Foremost, the Obama
Administration must not allow Moscow to rewrite the geopolitical map of
Europe or to pocket the gains that it has recently made in Georgia,
including expanding military bases on its territory and evicting the
U.S. from an air base in Kyrgyzstan.
Privileged Sphere of Influence
the watershed war with Georgia last August, Russia has been on the
offensive across Eurasia and has been seeking to re-impose itself over
much of the post-Soviet space. So concerned is the Kremlin with the
expansion of its "privileged" sphere of influence that even the severe
economic crisis—which has sent the ruble plunging 50 percent against
the dollar and dropped Moscow stock market capitalization 80
percent—has not slowed Russia's push into the "near abroad."
Russia has a number of military bases in Europe and Eurasia. (See Map
1.) The Russian military recently announced the establishment of three
military bases in the secessionist Abkhazia (a naval base in
Ochamchira, the Bombora air base near Gudauta, and an alpine Special
Forces base in the Kodori Gorge) and is building two more in South
Ossetia (in Java and in the capital, Tskinvali). (See detail of Map 1.) Not only do these deployments violate the spirit and the letter of the cease-fire
negotiated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy after the 2008
Russo–Georgian war,but they extend Russia's power projection
capabilities into the Southern Caucasus, threatening the already
precarious position of Georgia and the East–West corridor of oil and
gas pipelines and railroads from the Caspian Sea to Turkey and Europe.
recently, Washington received an eviction notice for the U.S. military
by Kurmanbek Bakiyev, president of Kyrgyzstan. With Russian President
Medvedev at his side, Bakiyev announced in Moscow last month that he
wants the U.S. to leave Manas Air Base, a key military cargo hub at the
airport of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek used by NATO and U.S. troops in
Afghanistan since 2001.
With this move, the Kremlin signaled the West that to gain access to
Central Asia, Western countries must first request permission from
Moscow and pay the Kremlin for transit. This stance further reflects
the thinking behind Russian calls for an "exclusive sphere of
interests"—geographically undefined— formulated by Medvedev during his
August 31, 2008, televised address.
Manas Air Base for the U.S. military will complicate efforts to send up
to 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan—a key objective of the Obama
Administration. Russia's pressure on the Kyrgyz government to evict the
U.S. from this base raises questions about long-term strategic
intentions of the Moscow leadership and its willingness to foster a
NATO defeat in Afghanistan.
Russia has taken additional steps to
secure its clout from Poland to the Pacific. It initiated a joint
air-and-missile defense system with Belarus, which may cost billions,
and initiated a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Rapid
Reaction Force (RRF), intended to match the forces of NATO's Rapid
Response Force. The CSTO's RRF not only could be used to fight external
enemies, but is likely to be available to put down "velvet revolutions"
and quell popular unrest.
Russia also announced the creation of a $10 billion stabilization fund
for the seven countries that are the members of the Eurasian Economic
Community (EEC), most of which ($7.5 billion) Moscow will front. The reason for the spending spree is simple: Money and weapons consolidate control over allies.
effort to secure a zone of "privileged interests" is consistent with
policies formulated almost two decades ago by Yevgeny M. Primakov,
leader of the Eurasianist school of foreign policy, Boris Yeltsin's
intelligence chief, later a foreign minister, and then prime minister.
In 1994, under Primakov's direction, the Russian Foreign Intelligence
Service published a report calling for Russian domination of the "near
abroad"—referring to the newly independent states that emerged from the
rubble of the collapsed Soviet empire.
Since the Iraq war, the
Kremlin championed the notion of "multipolarity," in which U.S.
influence would be checked by Russia, China, India, and a swath of
authoritarian states. Today, Putin and Medvedev are calling for a new
geopolitical and economic architecture—not only in Europe but
throughout the entire world—based on massive spheres of influence.
the economic crisis that provided a reality check for Moscow, Russia is
doing its best to continue a broad, global, revisionist foreign policy
agenda that seeks to undermine what it views as an U.S.-led
international security architecture. Russia's rulers want to achieve a
world order in which Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela will
form a counterweight to the United States. Moscow is doing so despite
the dwindling currency reserves and a severe downturn in its economic
performance due to plummeting energy and commodity prices.
December 2008, the Russian navy conducted maneuvers in the Caribbean
with Venezuela, while the Russian air force's supersonic Tupolev TU-160
"Blackjack" bombers and the old but reliable TU-95 "Bear" turboprop
bombers flew patrols to Venezuela, as well as close to U.S. air space
in the Pacific and the Arctic.
Russia is also developing the Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia in
order to manage an expanded Russian naval presence in the
Mediterranean, and may possibly revive an anchorage in Libya and Yemen.
(See Map 2.)
These are only some examples of how Moscow is implementing its global
agenda. While some of these moves may be mostly symbolic, combined with
a $300 billion military modernization program they signal a much more
aggressive and ambitious Russian global posture. Russia is also overtly
engaging the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations.
Moscow's vision were to be realized, given the large cast of state and
non-state "bad actors" currently on the international stage, Russia's
notion of "multipolarity" would engender an even more unstable and
dangerous world. Additionally, the very process of trying to force such
a transition risks destabilizing the existing international system and
its institutions while offering no viable alternatives.
Russia's Strategic Energy Agenda
the energy front alone, the Obama Administration will face a
multiplicity of challenges emanating from Moscow. The Bush
Administration signed a "123 agreement" on civilian nuclear cooperation
and non-proliferation with Russia in May 2008, before the war in
Georgia. The 123 agreement, so called because it falls under section
123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, is necessary to make nuclear
cooperation between the countries possible.The agreement would
facilitate Russia's foray into the international nuclear waste
management and reprocessing business by potentially providing Russian
access to U.S. commercial technologies.
agreement, however, ran into severe congressional opposition:
Representative John Dingell (D–MI), then-chairman of the Energy and
Commerce Committee, announced that, "Even without Russia's incursion
into Georgia, Russian support for Iranian nuclear and missile programs
alone is enough to call into question the wisdom of committing to a
30-year agreement to transfer sensitive nuclear technologies and
materials to Russia."
As the Obama Administration is signaling a new thaw in the
relationship, senior Russian officials hope that the Administration
will revive the agreement, which could bring billions of dollars to the
lean Russian coffers.
Europe's Dependence on Russian Gas.
The Europeans, especially the Germans, are concerned with carbon
emission reductions, while downplaying nuclear energy and coal as
alternative sources of energy to natural gas. Russia is the primary
source of Europe's gas habit. Thus, an environmental concern becomes a
major geopolitical liability. Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Finland depend on
Russian gas for up to 100 percent of their imports, and are not
pursuing alternatives, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Germany
depends on Russian gas for 40 percent of its consumption, a share that
is set to increase to 60 percent by 2020.
Russia strives to
dominate Europe, particularly Eastern and Central Europe, including
Germany, through its quasi-monopolistic gas supply and its significant
share of the oil market and of other strategic resources. (See Map 3.)
Russia controls a network of strategically important pipelines and is
attempting to extend it by building the Nord Stream pipeline along the
bottom of the Baltic Sea to Germany, building the South Stream pipeline
across the length of the Black Sea, and even controlling gas pipelines
from North Africa to Europe.
has shown a pattern of using revenues from its energy exports to fuel
its strategic and foreign policy agendas. It grants selective access to
Russian energy resources to European companies as a quid pro quo
for political cooperation and government lobbying on the Kremlin's
behalf. It has selectively hired prominent European politicians, such
as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former Finnish Prime
Minister Paavo Lipponen, to promote Russian interests and energy deals
and has offered positions and lucrative business deals to other
European political heavyweights, such as former Italian Prime Minister
Russian energy giant Gazprom has been on a
shopping spree, acquiring European energy assets. Europe is projected
to be dependent on Russia for over 60 percent of its gas consumption by
2030, with some countries already 100 percent dependent on Gazprom.
Russia has shown a willingness to use this dependency and its energy
influence as a tool of foreign policy, shutting down or threatening to
shut down the flow of gas to countries perceived to be acting against
Moscow's interest, as in the cases of Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.
Kremlin is in the process of creating an OPEC-style gas cartel with
Iran, Qatar, and other leading gas producers, to be headquartered in
Moscow. This cartel would allow Moscow and Tehran to dictate pricing
policy, weigh in on new projects, and oppose any new pipelines they
want. This may bring about even greater domination of Europe's gas
supply than they currently enjoy, and eventually, domination of the
global LNG markets as well.
Any EU dependence on such a cartel will diminish its ability to support
gas-exporting countries whose pipelines bypass Russia, will challenge
EU energy liberalization and gas deregulation policies, and may have
dire foreign policy consequences.
The U.S. certainly should
explore all available diplomatic avenues to curb Russian anti-American
policies, yet the new Administration must be prepared for the
contingency that the United States may have no choice but to counter
Russian revisionism through disincentives, rather than limiting itself
to trying to persuade the Kremlin to embrace the international system.
Russia Policy for the Obama Administration
meet today's challenges and preserve the security of Europe and
Eurasia, the Obama Administration should conduct a comprehensive
assessment of U.S.–Russian relations and then prepare a detailed
foreign policy agenda that protects American interests; checks the
growing Russian influence in Europe, the Middle East, and Eurasia;
deters aggression against the U.S., its allies, and its strategic
partners; and encourages Russia to adhere to the rule of law at home
and abroad and to act as a responsible player in the international
Specifically, the Obama Administration should:
- Maintain and expand transatlantic unity.
The Obama Administration should use its political capital and show
leadership within NATO. Russia is seeking to divide the United States
and its European allies, not only through energy sources, but also by
exploiting existing differences over missile defense, the Iraq war, and
other issues. In its attempt to undermine the global posture of the
U.S. and its allies, the Kremlin offers incentives for European powers
to distance themselves from the United States. Germany's growing
dependence on Russian natural gas and its opposition to further NATO
enlargement and missile defense deployment in Central Europe is a good
example. Essentially, in order for Russia to successfully carry out its
foreign policy agenda it needs to delay and thwart any strong, unified
energy-policy response from the United States and its allies. Moscow is
seeking to gain power and influence without being countered by any
- Refrain from resubmitting
the 123 nuclear agreement with Russia for congressional approval until
Russia meets the following three conditions:
Obama Administration should compel Russia to discontinue support of
Iran's military nuclear energy program and provide full disclosure.
Indeed, it is Russian nuclear fuel that undermines Iran's claim that it
needs uranium enrichment. Russia must discontinue any efforts that
advance Iran's heavy-water-reactor program, enrichment activities,
spent-fuel reprocessing programs, missile technology transfer, or
engineer and scientist training for nuclear and missile technology.
Russia must disclose its past activities in support of the Iranian
program, as well as what it knows about any third party assistance.
Russia should work with the United States and other nations to compel
Iran to discontinue any fuel enrichment or spent-fuel reprocessing,
which would give Iran access to bomb-grade material. The U.S. should
use the prospect of the 123 agreement as an incentive to halt Russia's
interactions with Iran on nuclear issues.
Obama Administration should also request that Russia provide adequate
liability protection for U.S. companies doing business in Russia. Even
with a 123 agreement in place, U.S. companies would likely forgo
commercial activities in Russia due to a lack of liability protection.
Indeed, many countries use the lack of liability protection for U.S.
companies as a means to protect their domestic nuclear industry from
Obama Administration should demand that Russia provide two-way market
access to American companies. This agreement should not be simply an
avenue to bring Russian goods and services to the U.S. market; it is
equally important that U.S. companies are allowed to compete for
business in Russia. While Russian nuclear technology is second to none,
foreign competition will assure that the highest quality standards are
maintained throughout the country.
- Work with American allies and partners to diminish dependence on Russian energy.
This is a vital component of any strategy designed to stem Russian
aspirations to neutralize and "Finlandize" Europe by weakening its
strategic alliance with the United States. The U.S., under President
Obama's leadership, should encourage its European allies to diversify
their sources of energy, to add LNG and non–Russian-controlled gas from
the Caspian, and nuclear energy and coal, as well as economically
viable renewable energy sources. The U.S. should also encourage Russia
to act as a responsible supplier of energy by opening development of
its resources to competitive bidding by Russian and foreign companies,
whether private or state-owned. Since the U.S. is interested in a level
playing field in the energy and natural resources area, the Obama
Administration should offer political support by encouraging European
and American companies' efforts to bring natural gas from the Caspian
to Europe. Washington should also encourage Moscow to decouple access
to Russia's natural resources sectors from the Kremlin's geopolitical
agenda in compliance with the Energy Charter that Russia signed, but
did not ratify.
- Oppose the Kremlin's support of anti-American state and non-state actors (Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah). Russia's revisionist foreign policy agenda has extended to cultivating de facto
alliances and relationships with a host of regimes and terrorist
organizations hostile to the United States, its allies, and its
interests. Even as the United States seeks Russia's assistance in
ending Iran's nuclear program, Moscow is selling Tehran sophisticated
air-defense systems and other modern weapons and technologies,
including dual-use ballistic missile know-how, ostensibly for civilian
space purposes. Russia cannot improve relations with the United States
while maintaining ties with aggressive powers and terrorists. The Obama
Administration should advise Russia to distance itself from the likes
of Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other troublemakers with
- Undertake necessary strategic planning before initiating new strategic nuclear arms control negotiations with Russia.
The White House and the Kremlin appear eager to negotiate a new arms
control treaty governing strategic nuclear forces on both sides. But at
this early juncture in the Obama Administration, the White House has
not conducted the necessary reviews of the broader national security
strategy, let alone more technical analyses regarding the future
military requirements of the U.S. strategic nuclear force. At the
outset, the Obama Administration needs to establish a new policy that
pledges to the American people and U.S. friends and allies that it will
serve to "protect and defend" them against strategic attack. The
Administration, therefore, should defer negotiations on a new strategic
nuclear arms treaty with Russia until after it has drafted the national
security strategy and the national military strategy, issued a new
targeting directive, and permitted the military to identify and
allocate targets in accordance with the protect-and-defend strategy.
Further, the Obama Administration need not be overly concerned about
the expiration of START. U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons,
specifically those that are operationally deployed, will be controlled
under the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT, commonly
called the Moscow Treaty for the city where it was signed). The Moscow
Treaty requires both sides to reduce the number of operationally
deployed strategic nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200. The
treaty will not expire until the end of 2012. Thus, there is no reason
for the U.S. and Russia to negotiate a new treaty limiting strategic
nuclear arms against the artificial deadline of START's expiration.
Indeed, it would be unwise to do so because an effective arms control
treaty requires careful planning and preparation.
- Maintain missile defense plans for Poland and the Czech Republic.
The Obama Administration should not cancel America's ballistic defense
program in response to Russian threats—or in response to recent
promises by President Medvedev not to deploy short-range ballistic
missiles to the Belarussian–Polish border or to the Kaliningrad
exclave. To cancel this program as a concession to the Russians would
send a clear signal of American weakness, encouraging further
aggression against Russia's neighbors. Russia must not come to believe
it can succeed in altering U.S. policy through threats, or it will
continue to use these and other destabilizing gestures more
consistently as tools of foreign policy—to the detriment of American
and world security. Backing down on missile defense would also
strengthen the pro-Russian political factions in the German Foreign
Ministry, dominated by Social Democrats, in the German business
community, and elsewhere in Europe. However skeptical some in the Obama
Administration may be of the functionality and cost-effectiveness of
the missile-interceptor system, the fact is that it is the only defense
the U.S. and its allies currently have against a potential Iranian
ballistic missile launch, as well as a powerful symbolic bargaining
chip in discussions with Russia. The U.S. should also engage Russia in
discussions on ballistic missile cooperation—without granting Moscow a
veto over missile deployment in Europe.
- Support Georgia's and Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
During the presidential campaign, Candidate Obama made multiple
laudable statements expressing firm support for Georgia's territorial
integrity, denying the validity of Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and
South Ossetia, and expressing a willingness to extend NATO Membership
Action Plans (MAPs) to Georgia and Ukraine (which were recently
replaced by the Bush Administration with Strategic Cooperation
Charters). President Obama should now provide the firm foundation for a
policy devoted to deterring Russia from taking similar action in the
future, for example against Ukraine or Azerbaijan. The Obama
Administration should implement the Strategic Cooperation Charters
signed with Ukraine and Georgia on December 19, 2008, and January 9,
2009, respectively. While there is little chance that Russia will
renounce its recognition of Abkhazia or South Ossetia, the Obama
Administration should explore every option for making Russia pay a
diplomatic and economic price for its recent acts of aggression against
Georgia's territorial integrity, its sovereignty, and against
international law. To do otherwise will only invite Russia to try more
of the same in the future. The White House should rethink the format of
the G-8. It should expand the current G-8 to G-20, in which Russia,
China, Brazil, India, and other major powers participate, while holding
future meetings of the leading industrial democracies in the G-7
format. This will send a clear signal to Moscow that if it chooses to
remove itself from the boundaries of acceptable behavior in the club of
the largest democracies, it will no longer enjoy the benefits of being
part of that club.
- Boost American presence in the Arctic.
Russia has designs on a great part of the Arctic—an area the size of
Germany, France, and Italy combined. (See Map 4.) Recently, the deputy
chairman of the Duma, the polar explorer Artur Chilingarov, announced
that Russia will control the Northern Sea Route, which is in
The Arctic has tremendous hydrocarbon and strategic mineral reserves.
Controlled by Moscow, the Artic would offer Moscow another means of
consolidating Russia's global energy dominance. The United States
should ensure that its interests are respected in the region by
modernizing and expanding its icebreaker fleet, updating its surveys of
strategic resources, and expanding efforts with NATO and other Nordic
states (Canada, Norway, and Denmark, etc.) to develop and coordinate
Arctic policy. As much as the Arctic may seem a distant priority given
the economic and defense challenges facing the Obama Administration,
the United States cannot afford to ignore this strategically vital
is and will remain one of the most significant foreign policy
challenges facing the Obama Administration. Despite the recent
toned-down rhetoric stemming from the economic downturn, the Kremlin
needs an "outside enemy" to keep its grip on power at home. Yet, this
truculence clashes with Russia's need to fight the financial crisis in
cooperation with major economic powers; attract foreign investment;
switch the engine of its economic growth from natural resources to
knowledge and technology; and ensure steady commodities exports. From
the Kremlin's perspective, and due to the democracy deficit in Russia,
the legitimacy and popularity of the current regime necessitates
confrontation with the West, especially with the United States. The
image of an external threat is exploited to gain popular support and
unite the multi-ethnic and multi-faith population of the Russian
Federation around Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev.
the need to attract investment, the Kremlin is likely to pursue an
anti-status quo foreign policy as long as it views the United States as
weakened or distracted due to the combined effects of the economic
crisis, U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, the presence of the
Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan, the need to deal with the
fast-developing prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and preoccupation
with the Arab–Israeli conflict.
The Obama Administration must
raise the profile of Russian, Eurasian, and Caspian affairs on the U.S.
foreign policy agenda. Further failures to stem Russia's revisionist
efforts will lead to a deteriorating security situation in Eurasia and
a decline of American influence in Europe and the Middle East. If
Russia, however, reconsiders its anti-American stance, the United
States should be prepared to pursue matters of common interest, such as
the recent agreement on military supplies to Afghanistan and the
strategic weapons limitations agreement.
History has shown that
the most dangerous times are the ones when new powers (or in this case,
resurgent ones) attempt to overturn the status quo. The United States
and its allies must remain vigilant and willing to defend freedom and
prevent Russia from engendering shifts in the global power structure
detrimental to U.S. national security interests.
Ariel Cohen, "The Russian–Georgian War: A Challenge for the U.S. and the World," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2017, August 11, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/wm2017.cfm; Ariel Cohen and Owen Graham, "European Security and Russia's Natural Gas Supply Disruption," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2194, January 8, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/wm2194.cfm; Ariel Cohen, "U.S.–Russian Relations After Manas: Do Not Push the Reset Button Yet," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2286,February 10, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/wm2286.cfm.
Peter Baker, "Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter," The New York Times, March 2, 2009, at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/0
3/washington/03prexy.html?partner=rss&emc=rss(March 3, 2009), and "Russian President to Face Questions Over US letter," International Herald Tribune, March 3, 2009, at http://www.iht.com/articles/ap
/2009/03/03/europe/EU-Spain-Medvedev.php(March 3, 2009).
Ariel Cohen, "Swords and Shields: Russia's Abkhaz Base Plan," Georgian Daily, February 4, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/e
d020409a.cfm; Ariel Cohen, "Russia Regains Key Air Base to Project Power in Caucasus," United Press International, February 5, 2009, at http://www.upi.com/Security_Industry/2009/02/
81131233856206/(February 27, 2009).
Cohen, "U.S.–Russian Relations After Manas: Do Not Push the Reset Button Yet."
"Russia, Belarus to Create Joint Air Defense System," International Herald Tribune, February 3, 2009, at http://www.iht.com/articles/a
(February 27, 2009); Vladimir Isachenkov, "7 Ex-Soviet Nations to Form
Rapid Reaction Force," Associated Press, February 4, 2009, at http://www.google.com/
XqkNHcywwD964OOVG0 (February 27, 2009).
Faulconbridge, "Russia Hopes U.S. Congress Will Pass Nuclear Pact."
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