Russia is expected within months to claim to the United Nations its right to annex about 380,000 square miles of the Arctic.
Defense Secretary Gates and his Russian counterpart will sit down for high-level talks Thursday. US plans for antimissile deployments are spurring threats that Russia might withdraw from the New START nuclear treaty.
Vice President Biden's two-day visit to Russia was aimed at bolstering economic ties. He also called on the Kremlin to take a harder line against corruption.
The New START treaty, which Russia's Federation Council ratified today, is a major step in resetting US-Russia relations, yet many major issues remain.
The New START treaty could be ratified in Russia as early as Friday. But many pitfalls remain amid the US-Russia attempt to move away from cold war constraints.
Some security experts say the most urgent quest of our time is convincing Moscow to allow the US to defend the West with a missile defense shield.
If Obama fails to make good on his weekend vow to get Senate approval of the START nuclear arms control by January, Russia could turn toward China.
At a conference that included the US, Canada, Denmark, and Norway, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the area should be a 'zone of peace.' But Russia is bolstering its claim to a large tract of the Arctic seabed.
Igor Sutyagin is one of several accused US spies is to be traded later today for Anna Chapman and 10 other alleged Russian agents held in the US. A quick spy swap, say Russian analysts, means Russian spies will be home before they can spill many secrets.