September 11th : a new impetus in Russian-American relations ?

Just after September 11th, many analysts welcomed the U.S.-Russia rapprochement. Some of them even predicted that an alliance could emerge between the two countries, even though their relations suffered considerably in the 90s. Yet, many developments that have been interpreted as improvements in the relationship are in fact the result of a logic that pre-existed the terrorist attacks in the U.S. Moreover, while the « Western orientation » Vladimir Putin imprinted on his policy does not benefit from an important interior support, some elements of the U.S. policy in the post- September 11th period might make this logic more fragile, all the more that many points of tension remain between Washington and Moscow. And for many reasons exposed in this article, the evolution of Washington’s attitude towards Moscow will be a decisive factor in Putin’s continuing his line of co-operation with the West. – Summary AFRI-2002