Russia and America
With much disagreements between Russia and the West on how the country should be run understandably there past relationships have not been so good, on both sides mistrust and suspicion grew. Russia and the West was at an all time low, it was the mid 1950’s and the cold war was taking place. Germany had been divided into communist and democratic sectors. As well as those two sides being divided, they also formed separate alliances, NATO and the Warsaw Pact. After 1955 rtelationships between the two sides began to improve slightly and slowly. By 1989 the relations were about to improve even more when communism was under threat.
The satellite countries finally stood up to Russia and were trying to gain their independence. The new Russian leader Gorbachev was making huge changes within the country… communism was slowly starting to disappear. The powerful bond between the countries, which was once there could be a possibility once again. The fall of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union was more than a political event. The powerful bond between economics and politics that was the integral characteristic of the state socialist system created a situation that was unique for the successor states of the Soviet Union.
The Communist regime was so ingrain in every aspect of Soviet life that the Russian people were left with little democratic tradition. Russia faces the seemingly impracticable task of economic liberalization and democratization. This is combined with the fact that the new administration must address human rights issues, such as living conditions and the supply of staple goods in this new form of administration makes the prospect of a full democratic switch seemingly impossible. Gorbachev was the new leader of the Soviet Communist Party, taking over from Khrushchev in 1985.
Whilst Gorbachev was in power he introduced a number of policies that influenced the breakdown of communism, the biggest influence was the establishment of Glasnost, this was just one of his polices that resulted in the break down of communism. The policy called “Glasnost” emphasized openness with regard to discussion of social problems and shortcomings. The purpose of these reforms was to elevate the Soviet standard of living in order to reaffirm the citizenry’s loyalties to the Communist party and to enable the rebirth of the Soviet economy and ideal.
On the political term of failure (of communism), Mikhail Gorbachev was pointed at the cause of failure. Glasnost enabled people to have free speech. Gorbachev allowed criticism throughout communist countries. Glasnost opened up Russian politics for the first time in 70 years; this allowed political opposition to form in Russia and other communist controlled countries. Opposition was able to form as people started to criticize the way things worked and the way the country was run but Gorbachev allowed this.
Khrushchev or Stalin would not have allowed this and they would have dealt with the matter severely. As a result of this opposition began to form and rapidly grew and even parts of Russia itself wanted independence. The Baltic Republic began to express their desire for independence. Many parts of Russia became independent from communism. This speeded up the break down of communism ion the political side, as Gorbachev became lenient in letting people in a way do as they please and not follow the rules previous set.
This discouraged and weakened communism in Russia at the time. Gorbachev did speed up the break down of communism within the Soviet Union as the role that he played as leader during the time; this is clearly highlighted in source one. Source One Source One a Grave stone with the initials R. I. P engraved on it. This is an indictaion that communism had finally come to an end, after 88 years of being a Disease that Spread across Europe from 1917-1991.
The source clearly shows that communism had finally come to an end, in which sufficiently this was to do this the policies that was introduced by Gorbachev (That have been mentioned above) resulted in the death of communism, Gorbachev now moved towards Russia becoming a capitalist country. After Gorbachev was over thrown and Putin was elected into his power. Boris Yeltsin and Putin then built upon his work. With the death of communism the West saw it as an opportunity to improve relationships with on another. This is highlighted by newspaper articles (source two and three) that were published in The Daily Telegraph Source Two
This headline was published on the front page of The Daily Telegraph newspaper (21/12/1991). When Russia asked to join NATO it was a huge surprise to the West and America. NATO was originally set up against communism and Russia, and when Russia announced its statement indicating that it wanted to become a part NATO, it shocked the whole of Western Europe. This astonishing action was made by Yeltsin, he wanted to make peace with the western countries and offer a hand in friendship. Russia was seeking to rebuild relationships with the west and Russia was determined to prove that they were no longer a threat to the west or America.
They wanted Europe to be united again. Russia was making a positive move and a huge effort to rebuild the relationships, which were once demolished by Communism. Russia was no longer a threat to NATO and the Warsaw pact had collapsed. Russia and West were on their way to improving closeness. This was seen as a good move for Yeltsin and Russia trying to become part of NATO and to announce that Russia was no longer a threat to the West, this was a positive move and a good way of making piece. This surprise move by Russia is supported by the headline below that was published in The Daily Telegraph
Source Three Published 1/2/1992 This headline appeared in The Daily Telegraph newspaper three months after Russia joined NATO, this being published 1/2/1992. Yeltsin wanted an end to dictatorship and the breach that it had caused between the European countries. Yeltsin continued to make big moves with Russia and his methods building relationships with the west, he was determined to close the gaps between Russia and the USA. Yeltsin realized that Russia and the USA have been enemies, nonetheless he wants to over come this.
He declared that communism was the problem between the two countries, however communism is none existent any more, and Yeltin promised that neither communism or dictatorship existed within Russia therefore there should be no problem between the two countries. Russia wanted to end all resistance between them and prevent it from happening again. In less than two months Yeltsin had made to extreme moves. Not only did he desire to join NATO, he also granted that the world leaders would come together as one and to discuss world problems, and that 1world leaders would have more power.
The only organization that covers all of those is in the United Nations (UN), Yeltsin wished to become part of this as well. Both of the headlines suggest that Russia wanted peace with the West and the US, as Yeltsin took extreme measures to try and close that gap between them and to build new relations. America and Russia had to close the gap between them, if the gap was closed Europe would be reunited as one, and all the tension between the countries would vanish. The motion Russia made by joining the organisations, was very positive and a good step. The cold war was over!
And future hopes for uniting Europe were looking good. The collapse of Communism and the role of Yeltsin in trying to bring the improve the relationship with the West resulted in ‘The Founding Act’ This was a historic act that was signed between NATO and Russia, this was very significant. The signing of ‘The Founding Act’ brought Russia and the other countries closer together. The signing of this act was the official end to the Cold War, after 50 years Europe was to be reunited after division. All the leaders had agreed to sign the treaty including Russia.
World peace was suggested as a possibility. The first point which was addressed in the Founding Act was that nuclear weapons needed to be reduced within Europe. The terms in the Founding Act demonstrated all the ideas of the West and Russia, and that the countries are seeking to rebuild relationships. The relationships between Russia and the West were are at moderate development, during this present time they did not see eye to eye and they still had there disagreements with on another and how things were carried out, this is distinctly shown in source four.
Source Four The war within Chechnya was having a big effect on the relations between Russia and America. America wanted Russia to pull out of the war, and America were quite disturbed with Russia’s involvement in the war because America believed that Russia was not keeping up the Founding Act, when they agreed to reduce nuclear weapons. Russia’s association with the Chechnyian war was obviously proving that Russia had not cut down on its military arms. Whereas Russia thought, that the war with Chechnya was not of America’s concern.
Bill Clinton was greatly angered, because according to the Founding Act, Russia had agreed to reduce military arms. When Boris Yeltsin agreed to sign the treaty, clinton accepted his willingness but not, he couldn’t understand and could let go that the Kremlin military commanders were actually violating the treaty. Russia’s invasion of Chechnya was the first sign of the relationship between the countries hitting a rough patch. Relationships deteriorated when the new leader took control… Vladimir Putin took charge as soon as he came into power. He seemed to have a different approach to matters, different to Yeltsin’s ways.
Yet relationships still did not improve when new leader Putin took over, this is shown in source five. With unacceptable transactions being taken out by new Russian Leader Putin (whilst under the ‘Founding Act’ laws, the West had become concerned about his approach of handling matters within the NATO and UN force. The West became increasing concerned about Putin and his toughness over Chechnyas. Putin who was elected by the Russian society as he granted that he would not back down and would make Russia tough, he has clearly demonstrated this as he has not been willing to negotiate with EN and NATO over his nuclear power.
Putin dramatizing more like a dictator than a president, concluded that he did not like NATO, as he believed Russia was treated differently by NATO compared o other countries within the force. Putin declared that he feels more pressure is put on Russia by NATO than by the west. However with all of Putin’s concerns he does not want to stop talking to Britain and the USA, he wants to continue to work with them, and for them all to sign a treaty regarding the reduction in nuclear arms and world problems that may have arise.
In saying this Putin reveals that he will use nuclear arms against any other country to protect Russia, and how he is not scared of any other country. In relation to Putin saying this, he wishes to sign a treaty cutting the number of nuclear arms a country may have. The comments Putin made outraged the West, as he totally contradicted himself self. Putin believes that the USA and Britain have to much influence on other countries and are inflicting their mines of how they run handle there country. Putin believes that they try to dictate to other countries of how they should handle certain situations and how they should their country.
It comes to his attention that Britain and the USA still haven’t reduced there nuclear power them-selves, whilst informing other countries that they should reduce there arms and stick to the agreement that was made in the ‘Founding Act’ It seams as if the relationship between Russia and the West is making no progress, like it takes a step forward and then two steps back. With continuous arguments arising this was not doing anything for the chance of world peace! Arguments over Military defense was a becoming a common issue between Russia and the West, neither of then satisfied with each others nuclear arms.
Putin continued to become more and more concerned about America’s defenses system that they published, Source six shows this system and reasons to why Putin concerns grew. Source Six The USA favored the development of an anti-missile defense system, dubbed by some “the son of Star Wars. The plan, originally called the National Missile Defense program, is to develop and deploy a defensive screen for the whole of the US, which would have the ability to track and destroy incoming ballistic missiles.
It has been nicknamed son of Star Wars after the original Strategic Defense Initiative – or Star Wars – of President Reagan, although the new plan is not nearly as complex or extensive. Washington hoping that radar and communication systems, some based in the UK and Greenland – in combination with satellites in space – would provide early warnings of an attack. The incoming missiles would then be destroyed by sophisticated interceptors based in the United States. With America going against the agreements made in the signing of the founding act, Russia’s every growing concerns were in reason.
Russia was concerned that this would encourage other countries to join, and it would then turn into a nuclear race, triggering off all countries trying to keep up with on another, with there nuclear arms. Russia believed that this is influencing the chance of war and is not doing any thing for world peace. In addition to this America is also going back on the founding act, that they so rightly inform other countries to abide by the rules and regulations, when they are to go against them themselves.
As America is not going to reduce its nuclear power, like they agreed. Ironically America believes and tells Russia that it is just a defense system, and the stocking up on weapons and nuclear arms doesn’t mean that military action is going to be taken. Understandably Putin sees this as a threat to world piece, despite Putin’s disagreement with America transactions of stocking up on nuclear arms, Putin is willing to work with the USA to work out an agreement of the military defense system.
With world leaders not always seeing eye to eye, there are certain events that take place that make them come together despite previous disagreements, and even if the arguments that may not still be resolved. This is evidently shown in source seven that was seized from a newspaper. Source seven This headline (with a picture of President Bush and Putin) appeared in a newspaper following September 11th terrorist attacks. During the September 11th attacks, two planes purposely crashed into the twin towers. The world’s highest towers came shattering down.
Many people were killed and this was a formidable happening. The picture clearly showed a friendship between Bush and Putin despite their recent disagreements with one another. The picture shows Russia is offering support to America. The attacks on America has brought the two countries closer together, and for them to become together as one and to fight and eliminate this threats against America and the rest of the world . There was a friendly picture of George Bush and Putin, where Putin is offering his support and sympathy to George Bush for what happened on September 11th.
The picture was actually showing Russia offering support and willingness to work with America. Relations between America and Russia have got closer and better since these attacks. George Bush and Putin are working together and are going to “eliminate” the enemy together. With relationships between Russia and America growing stronger they decide to make a piece deal, by the signing of the Treaty of Moscow. This is shown in source eight. Source Eight The headline above was accompanied by a photo showing Presidents Putin and Bush accompanied by their wives.
This headline was in a newspaper following on from a signing of the ‘Treaty of Moscow’. US President George W Bush and his Russian counterpart, Putin, hailed what they called a new relationship between their countries, it underscored the fact that the Russia and US no longer view each other as enemies. President Bush noted that Russia was the first to call after the attacks on 11 September. Russia and America are two countries that have made progress in “a new relationship … based on co-operation and mutual interests instead of confrontation and mutual vulnerability. It was official that the cold war was finally over.
According to the treaty they have both decided to significantly lower there” nuclear weapons. The Treaty of Moscow obliges both sides to reduce their number of warheads to a maximum of 2,20 each, although it leaves then free to store other independently of missiles. The relationship between the two presidents was described as ‘an end to a long chapter confrontation and opened up an entirely new relationship between us two countries.
However critics have refereed to the deal as a virtual treaty after America already indicated it might keep at least 2,400 warheads in reserve. They believe the treaty is not going to be achieved and is not a reality, they think that it is vague and is not clear to what they wish to be achieved. Recent events do suggest that the cold war has come to an end and that world piece and nuclear arms reduction is a possibility. With Russian and American relationships with one another progressing and coming to agreement world peace has become more of a possibility.