U.S.-Russian Relations under Bush and Putin

It is easy to forget that U.S.-Russian relations were not always as contentious as they have been for the past decade. From their first meeting in 2001, the rapport between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush was obvious for all to see. Yet, despite good personal relations at the presidential level, by 2009 the relationship between the United States and Russia had deteriorated and has never recovered. This oral history records both American and Russian perspectives on political, economic, diplomatic, and military developments in the first decade of this century as a way of furthering our understanding of the current state of U.S-Russian relations.

We welcome scholars and the general public alike to view, read, and cite these new and unique sources in the study of U.S. foreign relations. By the end of 2021, the CPH team will post complete videos and transcriptions of all the below interviews that have been made available to the public.

Lead ScholarPaul Behringer, Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University

SMU Project Leaders and Editors: Brian Franklin, Benjamin Feinstein

Advisory Committee and Partners:

Jeffrey Engel, Director, Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University

Ivan Grek, Founder, The Bridge Research Network

Marlene Laruelle, Director, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Simon Miles, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University



Stephen Hadley
Assistant to the President on National Security Affairs (2005-2009) 

Alexander Vershbow
U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2001-2005)

John Beyrle
U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2008-2012)                                                                                                                               

Maxim Medvedkov
Director of the Department for Trade Negotiations, Russian Ministry of Economic Development (2004-present)

Daniel Fried
Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia (2005-2009)

Thomas Graham
National Security Council Senior Director for Russia (2004-2007)

Marc Grossman
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2001-2005)

A. Elizabeth Jones
Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia (2001-2005)

Sergey Karaganov
Foreign Policy Advisor, Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation (2001-2013)

Andrey Kortunov
Director-General of the Russian International Affairs Council (2011-present)
David Kramer
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2008-2009)
Fyodor Lukyanov
Editor, Russia in Global Affairs (2002-present)
Pavel Palazhchenko
Chief English Interpreter for Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991)
Gleb Pavlovsky
Consultant, Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation (2000-2011)
Steven Pifer
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2001-2004)
Angela Stent
National Intelligence Council Officer for Russia and Eurasia (2004-2006)

John Tefft
U.S. Ambassador to Georgia (2005-2009)
Alexei Venediktov
Editor-in-chief, Ekho Moskvy (1998-present)
Kurt Volker
U.S. Permanent Representative on the NATO Council (2008-2009)
Philip Zelikow
Counselor of the U.S. Department of State (2005-2006)
Robert Zoellick
U.S. Trade Representative (2001-2005)