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Russian President Vladimir Putin passes by U.S. President Barack Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014 (AP Photo/RIA Novosti).

In U.S.-Russia Relations, Differences Now Outweigh Overlapping Interests

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Because no two countries in the world share completely overlapping interests, the responsible leader must assess under what conditions disagreement with another state warrants interfering with beneficial ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent summit with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara this past week illustrates the delicate dance of this kind of selective partnership. There are serious divisions between Ankara and Moscow over several fundamental foreign policy issues, ranging from Russia’s longstanding support for the maritime claims of Cyprus, the northern part of which is recognized by Turkey as an independent country, to Turkey’s opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a Russian client. Many Turks are also concerned about the fate of the ethnically Turkic Crimean Tatars now that Crimea has been unilaterally annexed by Russia. ...

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