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Russian-U.S. relations are now at their lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union. According to the ruling elite in Washington, the authoritarian and corrupt regime in Moscow pursues expansionist policies, supports anti-U.S. forces around the world, and works to undermine the so-called “liberal world order” that the United States has been trying to build for the last several decades. For their part, rulers in Moscow view Washington’s position as Russophobic and feel that the United States has cast Russia in the role of a McCarthyesque bogeyman, a scapegoat of sorts that is to blame for all of its problems. Moscow considers U.S. foreign policy to be senseless, if not plain stupid, and as undermining global stability as well as Russia’s own political system. Leaders in both Moscow and Washington believe that, under these circumstances, there is no reason to talk with the other country about seriously improving relations – and no one to discuss the subject with anyway. This…