Policy Memos

'Two-Level Games' in U.S.-Russia Relations

Policy Memo:


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U.S.-Russia relations today reflect a classic case of the security dilemma. Mutual suspicion between Moscow and Washington go beyond natural concerns about each other’s build-up of offensive capabilities. Each state considers the other’s enhancement of defensive capabilities (and international defense commitments) threatening. For example, Moscow views the U.S.-led ballistic missile defense project as a threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent capability, while Washington and Europe consider military exercises in Russia’s westernmost regions and in Belarus in 2010 and 2011 as rehearsals of suspiciously harsh reprisals against neighboring NATO and neutral states. [...]

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About the author

Associate Professor and Dean, School of Government and International Affairs (MGIMO); IMARES Program Professor (EUSP)
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO); European University at St. Petersburg