HOME
        TheInfoList






Barack Obama's signature

Tensions remained as Russia pushed back against attempts at further eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union into areas that had previously been part of the Russian Empire and the USSR. Georgia and Ukraine were the major flash points. Early on, Obama called for a "reset" of relations with Russia, and in 2009 th

Tensions remained as Russia pushed back against attempts at further eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union into areas that had previously been part of the Russian Empire and the USSR. Georgia and Ukraine were the major flash points. Early on, Obama called for a "reset" of relations with Russia, and in 2009 the policy became known as the Russian reset; but critics debated whether or not it could improve bilateral relations or was about to concede too much to Russia.[166]

At the end of March 2014, president Obama dismissed Russia as a "regional power" that did not pose a major security threat to the U.S.[167] The statement was later sharply criticised by Putin as "disrespectful" and an attempt to prove America's exceptionalism[168][169] as well as by the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who in November 2016 said, "We have a lot to learn about the depths of Russia, we are very ignorant about it at the moment. ... Russia is not, as President Obama said, 'a regional power'. This was a big error in assessment."[170]

At the end of March 2014, president Obama dismissed Russia as a "regional power" that did not pose a major security threat to the U.S.[167] The statement was later sharply criticised by Putin as "disrespectful" and an attempt to prove America's exceptionalism[168][169] as well as by the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who in November 2016 said, "We have a lot to learn about the depths of Russia, we are very ignorant about it at the moment. ... Russia is not, as President Obama said, 'a regional power'. This was a big error in assessment."[170]

After Russia's military intervention in Syria in 2015 and the alleged interference[171] in the 2016 election campaign in the U.S., relations between the Russian government and Obama administration became more strained. In September 2016, the U.S. government publicly accused Russia of "flagrant violations of international law" in Syria.[172] Thomas Friedman opined, "Obama believed that a combination of pressure and engagement would moderate Putin's behavior. That is the right approach, in theory, but it's now clear that we have underestimated the pressure needed to produce effective engagement, and we're going to have to step it up. This is not just about the politics of Syria and Ukraine anymore. It's now also about America, Europe, basic civilized norms and the integrity of our democratic institutions."[173] George Robertson, a former UK defense secretary and NATO secretary-general, said that Obama had "allowed Putin to jump back on the world stage and test the resolve of the West", adding that the legacy of this disaster would last.[137]

In mid-November 2016, the Kremlin accused president Obama's administration of trying to damage the U.S.' relationship with Russia to a degree that would render normalisation thereof impossible for the incoming administration of Donald Trump.[174]

In December 2017, Mike Rogers, who was Chairman of the House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2011–2015, said that Obama and his inner circle had a habit of rejecting the idea that Russia under Putin was a resurgent and perilous adversary; and this dismissiveness on Russia "filter[ed] its way down".[175]

In the wake of the Euromaidan protests the Obama administration had embraced the new government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. After Russia began to occupy the Crimean peninsula Obama warned Russia of "severe consequences" if Russia annexes the region and attempted to negotiate a withdraw of Russian troops. To date, all negotiations have been unsuccessful.[176] On December 18, 2014 Obama signed into law Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.[177]

North America

Canada