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  • Luke Gialanella

US-Russia Relations

When the US declared independence from the United Kingdom, Queen Catherine of the Russian Empire (which was ruled by Czars and Queens) immediately began trade and friendly foreign policy with the new nation. These friendly relations lasted 141 years, with continual trade and partnerships. When US President Theodore Roosevelt helped resolve the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, US-Russia relations were at there strongest. Then came the February Revolution. In February 1917, Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks took over the Russian Empire, removing the monarchy from power, creating a dictatorship, and turning it into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).


From 1917 to 1932, the US did not formally recognize the USSR as a sovereign country, due to fears of Communist threats. In 1932, the US recognized the USSR as a state, restarting trade with the country. The US distanced themselves from the USSR after their alliance with Nazi Germany in early World War II (1939-1941). However, after the US entered World War II and the USSR switched sides, the two once again became allies. However, on August 6, 1945, when the US dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, the USSR became threatened. They wanted to create weapons even more powerful than the US. In 1949, when the USSR tested their first nuclear weapon, the Cold War began.


According to Wikipedia, the Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its satellite states) and powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] allies and others). Given this definition, the Cold War could have been called the Cold Geopolitical Tension, as it was not a war, but was connected with other wars. The USA and the USSR were trying to best each other at the economy, nuclear weapons, military force, and getting a person on the Moon. The USSR supported Communist regimes throughout Europe and Asia, helping build the Berlin Wall, a wall that separated Communist Berlin from Capitalist Berlin. In 1989, the Wall fell, signifying the end of Communist rule in Europe. 2 years later, Russia followed suit, and the USSR collapsed into the Russian Federation.


The first President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, developed a diplomatic approach to the United States. However, his successor, former KGB (Soviet spy organization) officer Vladimir Putin was not as friendly. His belief that Russians are superior to Americans leave US-Russian relations rocky to this day.


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