Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign

Candidates Need to Articulate Russia Policies Now

February 20, 2020
Alberto Coll
This is a summary of an article originally published by The Hill.

The author writes: “So far, not a single Democratic candidate has articulated its stance on Russia. This needs to change. … With 145 million people, the earth's most significant landmass, its sixth-largest GDP by purchasing power parity and a nuclear arsenal and technical elite second to none, Russia is, as it has been for the past three centuries, one of those Great Powers with a proud identity and culture, to which the German historian Leopold von Ranke pointed as shaping the very destiny of humanity. Yet, today the United States has no coherent strategy towards Russia. ... What we need instead is a policy of strategic engagement: while sharply disagreeing with Russia on key issues and containing its expansion where it matters to us, we should engage it in multiple areas where we have common interests. ... First is arms control. At present, both powers are amid a runaway, costly arms race involving nuclear, hypersonic and space weapons, which neither one can win. … The second is Ukraine. Working closely with Europe, Washington should probe whether Moscow is seriously interested in settling the conflict. …The third is trade and investment. The sanctions Europe and the United States have imposed on Russia have succeeded mostly in drawing Russia closer to China, while disproportionately hurting European farmers and American manufacturers. … It would be highly unwise for the West to convince Russia that its economic and strategic future lies with China. ... As the 21st century plays itself out, we cannot write Russia off, or hope to build a more stable world without it as an active partner. Inevitably, we will disagree and compete on many issues. But such tensions need not preclude the West from pursuing areas of common interest. … Candidates, let's hear how you plan to engage.”

Read the full article on The Hill. 

Author

Alberto Coll

Alberto Coll is a former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense and a professor of law and U.S. foreign relations at DePaul University.

Photo by Jackson Lanier shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.