U.S. – Russia Relations: Are We Heading Into a New Cold War?
On March 1, 2016, The Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), hosted a roundtable discussion with Robert Legvold, Marshall D. Shulman professor emeritus in the department of political science at Columbia University, U.S., and Bruno Lété, a GMF senior officer for Foreign and Security Policy, to discuss Legvold’s new book: “Return to Cold War,” which examines the new phase between the United States and Russia relations, and its implications for the transatlantic security architecture. The conversation was moderated by Ian Lesser, senior director at GMF’s Brussels office, and the event brought together over 40 participants from local, national, and European institutions, and organizations in Brussels.
The discussion, held under the Chatham House Rule, started with Legvold speaking on his new book’s findings and emphasized the need for further dialogue between Russia and the United States, in order to move forward from the current situation, in which each country is mainly blaming the other. He suggested that both nations should integrate the short term goals with a long term strategy. Legvold also addressed the stakes and consequences of the continuingly deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia in the current context of a new multipolar world that represents a different and more complex security environment than in the Cold War era. Following Legvold’s observation, Lete called for a more future orientated strategy on Russia, and underlined that deterrence and defense should come hand in hand with dialogue.
The discussion was followed by an interactive question and answer session touching on a number of issues related to U.S. and Russian relations, such as the role of EU in promoting reconciliation, the long term consequences and impacts of the Syrian conflict on their relations, and implications of an increasingly assertive China in this equation.