• SHARE

MOSCOW — The emergence of a Kremlin leader, President Dmitry Medvedev, without a KGB background, combined with the economic crisis, has inspired talk that when Barack Obama visits Moscow this week, America’s president will be seeing a country on the verge of a new political thaw, a revived perestroika. But pushing the “reset button” on U.S.-Russia relations may be harder than Obama and his team imagined.

Russian (or Soviet) leaders opt for perestroika or a thaw only when forced to do so by dire conditions that threaten the regime’s survival. An atmosphere of mortal fear, mutual suspicion and hatred among the Communist elite was the catalyst for Nikita Khrushchev’s post-Stalin thaw. For Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s, the catalyst for his perestroika was the Soviet Union’s growing economic paralysis.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW