Elections Put US-Russia Ties in Limbo

US relations will stay chilly after Sunday's vote, analysts say
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 4:59 PM CST
U.S. President George W. Bush, right, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont share a big laugh in Drizabone jackets as they gather with other APEC leaders for...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As Russians vote today, the Washington Post looks at factors that have chilled Russia-US relations in recent months—from a stalled nuclear pact to Kosovo to a proposed missile defense system in Eastern Europe. President Bush is trying to smooth relations by downplaying President Vladimir Putin's power grabs, but analysts say the countries will likely keep cool until both have new presidents.

The US is waiting to see how much power goes to Putin successor Dmitry Medvedev, the Post reports. Bush has asked if Medvedev will represent Russia at the G-8; if he does, he will likely brush off lame duck Bush just as Putin once snubbed Bill Clinton, experts say. Meanwhile, all three US candidates have slammed Putin—John McCain has even called for Russia’s expulsion from the G-8.