U.S.-Russia Health Engagement
March 31, 2014
The current turmoil in Ukraine and near-certain resulting isolation of Russia could carry devastating implications for U.S.-Russia collaboration in the health sector. While government-to-government ties may suffer, however, it is important to keep other channels of communication and assistance open. Especially after the fall 2012 departure of the U.S. Agency for International Development from Moscow, already-stressed Russian health and social nongovernmental organizations need and want Western training, technical assistance, and integration into international peer communities. Furthermore, Russia’s aspirations to renewed great-power status have come with obligations and ambitions to global health leadership. Continued U.S.-Russia dialogue can help to shape Russia’s global health contributions so that they are adequate and productive. Recommended channels for forward movement include prioritization of linkages between civil society and health professionals; focus on local and regional, rather than national, activity; engagement of the private sector; and work with and in third countries on issues of importance to the global health agenda.