Top Russian military commander Gen. Nikolai Makarov announced today that the United States and Russia were entering into a military cooperation agreement and that the documents would be signed by President Obama during his visit to Moscow early next month.
The agreement suggests that US-Russian ties, which last August were at a post-Cold War low point, are steadily improving. The two nations have been at odds over Russia’s support for separatist movements in the Republic of Georgia following the brief August war and US support for expanding NATO to Russia’s western border.
At a meeting today, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared their “commitment to a more substantive relationship with Russia.” Obama said next month’s Moscow visit would be an opportunity to advance “common interests.”
The improvement in ties appears to be centered around mutual efforts to negotiate for a replacement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which expires in December. Both the US and Russian government have expressed support for significant cuts to their nuclear arsenals.