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Flourishing Futures Nuclear Risk Horizons Project

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US-Russia relations have been strained and tested through much of the 20th and 21st centuries. Tensions have often been high even after the Cold War ended, due to incidents such as expansions of NATO, the US invasion of Iraq and airstrikes in Libya, and Russia's aggression towards Ukraine and Georgia and interference in Western institutions like NATO, the EU, and the US Presidential Elections.

"Any sustained improvement of relations between the United States and Russia beyond progress on arms control (such as the recent extension of the New START treaty) would require one of two concessions: either the United States shelves its foundational support for democracy and formally recognizes a Russian-privileged sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union or the Russian president decides his interests are not threatened by greater democracy in the region or by having fully sovereign neighbors. Neither is likely to materialize in the near future."