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The Obama-Medvedev U.S.-Russia Summit: Facing Reality, Protecting U.S. Interests

Recorded on July 1, 2009

President Barack Obama will visit Russia on July 6-8, 2009, to meet with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Arms control will be at the top of the agenda as the two countries have pledged to draft a new treaty to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expires in December. The new agreement will set the stage for further cuts and serve as a stepping stone to including all nuclear weapons states in the future. The two presidents will explore cooperation over Afghanistan - the only area where the two sides have a fundamental agreement, despite Russian pressure to force the U.S. Air Force from the Manas Air base in Kyrgyzstan.

Moscow continues to demand the revision of the global economic and security architectures, including development of global or regional reserve currencies, the halt of NATO enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia, and putting in check U.S. and European relations with Russia's ex-Soviet neighborhood. Meanwhile, the Russian leadership is struggling in the face of a grave financial crisis, with no end in sight.

The Obama Administration has hinted at a "grand bargain" with Moscow that would involve the scaling back of U.S. European missile defense deployment in exchange for Russian cooperation on Iran. Recently, Russia has released a new national security strategy that posits continual confrontation with the United States and NATO. What are America's strategic objectives in the arms control talks with Russia? Will President Obama ignore the deeper issues at stake in Russia's business relations, such as the rule of law?

Join us for a discussion on the upcoming summit and U.S.-Russia bilateral relations. In addition to our panel of U.S.-based experts, the view from Moscow will be delivered by prominent analysts of Russian affairs via satellite link.