Is It Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy?

Oct. 1, 2020, 12:00pm

Join Columbia's Harriman Institute for a talk with Evelyn Farkas, Rose Gottemoeller, Thomas Graham and David Kramer on U.S.-Russia relations and the future of the relationship. 

U.S.-Russia relations continue to deteriorate. Across contentious issues such as Russia’s interventions in Syria and Ukraine, Western sanctions, an arms control agenda on life support and competing views about global leadership and international order, U.S. and Russian policymakers appear to be fundamentally at odds. Russia’s domestic interference in U.S. elections further heightens anti-Russian sentiments within the American public and constrains U.S.-Russian engagement in other areas.

But given that relations are so poor, what is the best way for U.S. policymakers—and future administrations—to craft policy towards Russia? In August, two groups of distinguished former policymakers, academics and analysts published letters in Politico that outlined dramatically different approaches to dealing with Russia. The first, “It’s Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy," argued that we must deal with Russia “as it is, and not as we want it to be,” recommending that the Untied States adopt a phased framework of cooperation and competition to move the relationship to a more constructive state. In a rebuttal letter published a week later, “No, Now is not the Time for Another Russia Reset," a second group argued that the actions of Russia President Vladimir Putin threaten American interests and values and require “strong pushback.”

In this webinar, a distinguished group of signatories of both letters will debate the current state of U.S.-Russia relations and offer their recommendations for dealing with the Russian government.

Viewing information can be found on the event page.


Evelyn N. Farkas, president, Farkas Global Strategies; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Rose Gottemoeller, Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University; former Deputy Secretary General of NATO

Thomas Graham, distinguished fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; senior advisor, Kissinger Associates

David J. Kramer, senior fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University

Alexander Cooley (moderator), director of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Joshua Tucker (moderator), director of the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University