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200 Years of U.S.-Russia Relations

Logo for 200th Anniversary of U.S.-Russian RelationsFor more than 200 years, Russia and the United States have shared a multi-faceted diplomatic relationship, at one point even sharing a land border when Russia had a settlement at Fort Ross, California. Over this period, the two countries have competed for political and economic influence, and cooperated to meet mutual global challenges. In 2007, private and government organizations in the United States and Russia mark the bicentennial of diplomatic relations with events that illustrate the depth and history of the relationship.

Brief Historical Overview
Russia's sale of Alaska to the U.S. Government in the mid-19th century marked an active period that included commercial joint ventures and Russian support for the United States during the American Civil War. The early 20th century saw sometimes tense relations, but our countries continued to talk and, at times, cooperate. Although the United States did not recognize the Soviet Union until 1933, we provided humanitarian assistance to the victims of the 1921-1923 famine. Despite our differences, the Soviets and the Americans united against a common enemy during World War II, and the Soviet Union participated in the Lend-Lease program under which the United States provided the Allies with supplies. That period ended with the onset of the Cold War, as our military alliances opposed each other in Europe and across the globe. Nevertheless, cultural, sports, scientific, and educational exchanges, and summits that led to important arms control treaties, kept the lines of communication open. U.S. and Soviet astronauts even ventured into space together in the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War, the U.S.-Russian relationship took on a new dimension, and contacts between our citizens expanded rapidly in number and diversity. Russians and Americans work together on a daily basis, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in a wide range of areas, including combating the threats of terrorism, nuclear arms proliferation, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and other global challenges. Not surprisingly, there remain issues on which our two governments do not agree. Even after 200 years, our relations continue to evolve in both expected and unexpected ways.

  
Highlights

Russian Women Entrepreneurs Visit the State Department
Deputy Assistant Secretary David Kramer, seated third from left, discusses U.S.-Russia relations with a group of 10 successful Russian businesswomen at the State Dept.  on Oct. 29. State Dept. photoRussian women entrepreneurs met with State Department officials on October 29 to share views on investment and economic ties between the two countries. More

U.S.-Russian Joint Statement
Joint U.S.-Russian statement on the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles at the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly.  Full Text

U.S.-Soviet Relations in the Era of Détente, 1969-1976
Secretary Rice addresses scholarly conference on U.S. relations with the Soviet Union, 1967-1969. Full Text | Release of Soviet-American Relations: The Détente Years, 1969-1972

Former Ambassadors Commemorate 200 years of U.S.-Russia Diplomatic Relations Through Video SeriesStrobe Talbott, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on the New Independent States.  State Dept. photo
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on New Independent States, Strobe Talbott, recalls the state of relations between the U.S. and the newly independent Russian Federation. Full Text | Video | More Ambassador interviews 

Highlights in U.S.-Russia History
2006:  U.S. President George W. Bush, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, at G8 Summit site in St. Petersburg, Russia. [AP photo]Timeline details important moments in the history of U.S. relations with Russia from 1780-2006. Full Text

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