The breakdown in U.S.-Russia relations in the wake of the Ukraine crisis threatens the entire post–Cold War transatlantic security order. As the new administration prepares to reengage with Moscow, what principles should help guide U.S. efforts to advance the critical interests at stake in Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia and to promote transatlantic security?

For the past two years, a bipartisan Carnegie Endowment–Chicago Council on Global Affairs task force on U.S. policy toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia has sought to answer this question. Under the leadership of distinguished co-chairs, former U.S. deputy secretary of State Richard Armitage and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), we have assessed the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. policy toward the region since the end of the Cold War. Dozens of prominent practitioners and experts have contributed white papers and presentations, creating a rich and diverse analytical foundation for the final report.

The key judgments of the task force can be found in a recently released policy outlook entitled “Guiding Principles for a Sustainable U.S. Policy Toward Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia,” and a longer, in-depth report, “Illusions vs. Reality: Twenty-Five Years of U.S. Policy Toward Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.”

In these reports, Carnegie scholars Eugene Rumer, Richard Sokolsky, Paul Stronski, and I seek to provide a framework for managing a volatile relationship with Moscow that will remain competitive and oftentimes adversarial for the foreseeable future. We argue that Washington must continue its strong support for Ukraine and that reengagement with Moscow should not come at the expense of the interests of any of Russia’s neighbors. Finally, we highlight the need to prioritize issues that are at the heart of U.S. policy toward this increasingly complex and volatile region.

We hope that you will find these results of the task force’s efforts useful and look forward to your reactions. 

Andrew S. Weiss
Vice President for Studies
Russia and Eurasia Program