“[Russian President] Medvedev and [Premier] Putin are actually progressive. They realize the need to move Russia and strengthen its economy, to keep its relationships open, and be a constructive partner.”
The Foreign Relations Committee chairman concluded by voicing his view that “We’re on a better course with Russia and I think there is a better dialogue taking place and there is a convergence of interests, in my judgment, which help keep us together.”
Stephen Hadley, national security advisor to President Bush in his second term, recalled...
“The deterioration was caused by the Russian invasion of Georgia in ’08. We were worried that this could be a prelude to something—Russian troops marching into Tbilisi and overthrowing [President] Saakashvili, then, say, going into Ukraine or the Baltic States. We sent a strong message to Russia that we were opposed to [the Georgian invasion], that we wanted to preserve Saakashvili and discourage their going into Tbilisi.”
“It created a breach between us, all right. But it was the right thing to do and it did prevent them from going on.” Hadley said.