If the new Russian reset is focused on economics, then Europe must be a strong partner with the US. The EU and its member states bring tremendous leverage. The EU is Russia’s most important trading partner, accounting for 47 percent of all Russian trade, while trade with the US is only 4 percent of the Russian total. European companies are also among the biggest investors in Russia.
Yet Europe has struggled to find a unified approach to its large Eastern neighbor, in part because some European countries depend on Russian energy supplies, and in other cases because of traditionally close relationships.
If the Russian government continues to divide the West, there will be no pressure for change. Instead, the US and European governments must stand together, pushing Russia to implement reforms needed for a stronger economic relationship.