Trump, Putin, and the Future of US-Russian Relations

Rutland, Peter
Slavic Review

This article traces the structural roots of the current crisis in US-Russia relations (the weakening of US hegemony and the resurgence of Russian power), and chronicles the series of contingencies that accompanied Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency and his chaotic first few months in office. The details of Russia’s influence over the results of the election through the release of hacked Democratic Party emails, and over the composition and policy of the new Trump Administration, are still emerging. The chances of a “grand bargain” between Trump and Putin look increasingly remote, however. Russia’s efforts to dabble in American politics seem to have blown back, and made rapprochement between Moscow and Washington more difficult. This is unfortunate, since cooperation between the two sides to resolve a number of pressing global problems, from the wars in Ukraine and Syria to climate change, is urgently needed.