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Obama’s Doomed “Reset”

MOSCOW – When US President Barack Obama canceled last month’s scheduled summit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he effectively terminated his four-year effort to “reset” the bilateral relationship. The failure of that effort should come as no surprise, owing to its deeply flawed foundations.

While the obvious catalyst for Obama’s decision was Putin’s grant of temporary asylum to the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the bilateral relationship has long been faltering. In 2011, after the US and its allies convinced Russia’s former president, Dmitri Medvedev, not to block a United Nations resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, they launched a full-scale military bombardment of Libya, which helped to bring down the regime – a move that Russian officials called “deceptive.”