Should we improve relations with Russia? | The Tylt

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Should we improve relations with Russia?
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Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta argues diplomats must be tough against Russia to yield results. 

It's pretty obvious that his intent is to try to spread Russian influence, particularly over the former Soviet Union. He is clearly trying to prevent the countries of the former Soviet Union from joining NATO and working with the European Union. There was a time when it was possible to negotiate with him and to try to resolve some of the important issues that we were dealing with. We actually were working with Russia on some important international conflicts and crises. But he has now turned more aggressive, and that's very dangerous because what he's doing is clearly planting the seeds of a new Cold War. Therefore, it's incumbent on the United States and the West to understand what his intentions are and to do everything possible to try to make clear to him that he is not going to get a blank check in terms of what he decides to do. The one thing that I remember from all of my intelligence briefings and my dealings with the Russians is that when you deal with the Russians, you have to deal with them from strength, not from weakness. They understand strength, and if they feel that their opponents are weak, they will take advantage of it.
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There's good reason to mistrust Russia when they say they want to improve relations. Historically the country has engaged in cold-blooded politics that leverages intrigue, confusion and shows of strength to achieve their goals. Instead of appeasing the Russians, Senator John McCain argues the United States must keep a watchful eye on the Russians and hold them accountable for what they say and do on the international stage. 

"With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States," McCain said. "We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America's allies, and attempted to undermine America's elections."
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President-elect Donald Trump sees value in improving relations with Russia. 
Moscow said the two men discussed combining efforts in the fight against terrorism, talked about “a settlement for the crisis in Syria” and agreed that their aides would begin working on a face-to-face meeting between them.
Trump’s office later said that Putin had called to “offer his congratulations” and that they had discussed shared threats and challenges, “strategic economic issues” and the long-term relationship between the two nations.
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"The President always said he expected a reciprocity from Washington," Peskov added. "Now we know that our bilateral relations are at the bottom so it's hard to make them worse, but we certainly hope for resuming a dialogue and we'll start a difficult and slow process of bringing the relations back to a constructive course."
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People want the United States to stand up against Russia because diplomatically, Russia has shown it cannot be trusted. 

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The pro-Russian camp thinks the past 16 years of diplomacy prove being belligerent with Russia does not work. It's time for a different strategy. They see Putin as a potential ally in the fight against terror. 

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Should we improve relations with Russia?
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