Comparative Connections v.1 n.3 - U.S.-Russia Relations
January 1, 2000
The Yeltsin era is over. True to his mercurial ways, Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned as President of the Russian Federation on New Year's Eve, 1999. "Russia must enter the new millennium with new politicians, with new faces, with new, smart, strong, energetic people," Yeltsin said as he dramatically handed over all power to the Prime Minister and now Acting President, Vladimir Putin. The U.S. must now find a way to deal with a Russia without Yeltsin. This will likely mean the final end of bilateral relations based on personal rapport, as defined by the "Boris - Bill" relationship. It will mean handling a country that is tired of being told what to do and whose population cares little for U.S. warnings about Chechnya and other international issues. And it will mean dealing with a leader whose popularity depends on asserting his authority and the power of the Kremlin in the international arena as well as at home.