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.

Lead Scholar: Paul 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, Deputy Director, The Russia Program, George Washington University

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

Special thanks to the Yeltsin Center for facilitating interviews with Russian participants. 


Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State (2005-2009) 
Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense (2006-2011) 

Alexander Voloshin
Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation (1999-2003)  

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 (2004-2019)

Stanislav Belkovsky
Director of the Council on National Strategy (2002-2004)

Donald Evans
Secretary of Commerce (2001-2005)

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

Daniel Fata
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy (2005-2008)

Thomas Graham
National Security Council Senior Director for Russia (2004-2007)
Marc Grossman
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2001-2005)
Fiona Hill
National Intelligence Council Officer for Russia and Eurasia (2006-2009)             

William Hill
Head of OSCE Mission to Moldova (1999-2001; 2003-2006)

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)

Kenneth Knotts
Assistant Air Force Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Moscow, 1994-1996

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)
Joseph Lieberman
U.S. Senator (1989-2013)
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 (1996-2011)
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)