This memorandum argues that President George W. Bush’s administration should complement its diplomatic rapprochement with Russia with continued, even enhanced, support for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Russian Third Sector.
Improved relations between Moscow and Washington have been one of the fortunate byproducts of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The crisis has pushed the Bush administration to acknowledge Russia’s continuing importance to a stable world order. President Vladimir Putin, for his part, has responded by making a clear commitment to participating in “Western” efforts at global governance, even though powerful interests in Russia still doubt the wisdom of this move.
If this rapprochement between the two heads of state is to develop into a fuller and more predictable partnership between Russia and the North Atlantic community institutional patterns of cooperation and trust toward the West must be embedded more deeply into many levels of Russian society. U.S. efforts to help foster a vigorous Third Sector in Russia will accelerate the creation of such ties. […]