When Putin returns to the presidency next year, it will mean stability in Russia. But that comes at a cost – stagnation, as Russia groans under autocracy, corruption, cronyism, and social ills. The US must be realistic about Russia's strengths and weaknesses.
Obama's outreach to Iran lifts hopes that the US and Russia can find more common ground in their bids to get Iran to curtail its nuclear program.
Frustration is deep over Western support for independence that Russia sees as destabilizing and against international law.