President Barack Obama's cancellation this week of a summit in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin finally put to rest any notion that a much-vaunted ‘reset’ of ties sought by the United States in recent years is alive.
Obama's move came after Putin gave asylum to former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, whose public flight after revealing US surveillance programs was a major embarrassment for Washington.
Influential Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have sought a tougher response and have called on NATO to give membership to Georgia - with which Russia fought a brief war in 2008 - as part of an aggressive new policy against Moscow that would include weaning Europe off Russian energy supplies.
  Senior US officials though have stressed the need to keep up cooperation with Moscow.
"Let's be clear. It is still an important relationship. We have a lot of fish to fry, if you will, with the Russians. We have a lot of issues to engage with the Russians over," White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday

US officials expect no breakthroughs when Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel meet their Russian counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu on Friday, but they say the very decision to go ahead with the talks despite the current frictions is significant in itself.             

Moscow and Washington disagree over a long list of issues, from Syria's civil war to human rights and Russia's ban on homosexual "propaganda," but there are some areas, critical to global security, where they have been able to work together.


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