The New Chapter in United States-Russian Relations: Opportunities and Challenges

Article excerpt

Sharyl Cross and Marina A. Oborotova, eds. The New Chapter in United States-Russian Relations: Opportunities and Challenges. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1994. xiv, 227 pp. Index. $57.50, cloth.

This volume contains a selection of cogent essays on key aspects of US-Russian relations in the post-Cold War era. Both Russians and Americans contribute on topics such as US-Russian cooperation in arms control and nuclear nonproliferation, military-civilian conversion, business and trade, geology and mining, environmental cleanup, human rights, and policies in different regions (the Balkan countries, Middle East, and Central Asia). The book itself is a product of U.S.-Russian cooperation, since Sharyl Cross is a professor of political science at San Jose State University in California, while Marina Oborotova is a senior fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The first three essays deal with military issues and arguably are the most interesting. In his essay "Bilateral Arms Reduction and the Search for Stability," Igor Neverov provides a useful overview of the US-Russian arms control process and explains how major breakthroughs, such as the lNF and START I treaties, became feasible only when Gorbachev backed down on his previous insistence that the British and French nuclear arsenals, as well as US forward-based nuclear forces, should count (p. 26). William Potter's "U.S.-Russian Cooperation for Non-Proliferation" discusses continuity and change in the efforts of Washington and Moscow to curtail the spread of nuclear weapons. Russian officials, like those of the U.S., recognize the urgency of this issue, but for them it is just one of several critical matters with which they grapple every day (p. 53). They also view the United States, which remains the largest arms exporter in the world, as hypocritical in its criticism of Russian arms sales to other countries (p. …