Russia’s Containment and Engagement Strategies in the U.S. Foreign Policy during the Presidency of G. W. Bush

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Traditionally, Containment and Engagement strategies are considered to be the part of the United States foreign policy during the Cold War. However, recent developments in international relations indicated that these strategies are still relevant to the contemporary foreign policy of the U.S., particularly in the U.S.-Russian relations. Contradictory presidency of George W. Bush has raised a question which of the mentioned foreign policy strategies was dominating in the U.S.-Russian relations. On the one hand, U.S. officials had declared that partnership with Russia was being pursued. On the other hand, the administration of G.W. Bush favored the expansion of NATO and did not surrender the initiative of missile defense shield. This paper intends to assess which foreign policy strategy (Containment or Engagement) dominated in U.S.-Russian relations during the presidency of G.W. Bush and to analyse reasons of such domination and the ways these strategies were implemented. The results of the research indicate that G. W. Bush administration implemented different foreign policy towards Russia on the declared and practical foreign policy levels. If on the official U.S. foreign policy level Russia’s engagement strategy dominated, in the U.S. foreign policy practice, particularly influenced by the foreign policy of Russia, and to a lesser extent by the events in the international arena, the dominant foreign policy strategy towards Russia was Russia’s containment strategy.

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