New Report: U.S. Needs Post-Reset Policy on Russia


As President Obama enters his second term, he and his administration should formulate an approach markedly different from the reset policy of the first term to confront the increasingly repressive human rights situation in Russia, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-American rhetoric and policies. To help inform the discussion towards a post-reset approach, Freedom House today released a special report that assesses the state of human rights and democracy in Russia and makes recommendations for U.S. policy going forward.

“U.S.-Russian relations are at a very difficult point, and a lot of that has to do with Putin’s crackdown inside Russia and his support for likeminded regimes in Belarus and Syria. Indeed, since his formal return to the presidency, Putin has overseen the worst deterioration in Russia’s democracy and human rights situation since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “It is clear that a new American policy toward the Kremlin is needed.”

Since returning to the presidency in May 2012, Putin has pushed through measures to restrict public demonstrations, limit funding for non-governmental organizations, and place restrictions on the internet.  He has accused the United States of fomenting demonstrations against election fraud, shut down all USAID programs in Russia, withdrawn from a series of cooperative agreements with the United States, and punctuated his anti-American initiatives with  a law that prohibits the adoption of Russian children by citizens of the United States.

The report includes an assessment of the current state of U.S.-Russia relations, as well as a chronology of developments in Russia starting at the beginning of the Putin era in 2000 and focusing on the suppression of the political opposition, independent media, and civil society.

To read the full report, click here.

Russian version (читаете на русском)

Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2013, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2012 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2012.

For more information about Russia, visit:

Special Report: Contending with Putin's Russia

Freedom in the World 2013: Russia

Nations in Transit 2012: Russia

Freedom of the Press 2012: Russia

Freedom on the Net 2012: Russia

Blog: Freedom at Issue

Open Letter: Statement of International Concern on Russia

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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