US and Russia relations after the defeat of the USSR:

The end of Cold War brought new challenges to Russian life, economy and
politics. Actually, the post-Cold War period opened the new opportunities for
Russia. Democracy made its first steps in the country. After seventy years of
communism Russian people finally got a chance to live how the want, to say what
they want and to do what they want. People got a chance to choose their own
leader, to vote for the Congress members. And it was very confusing for the
country. Russia needed somebody to come out and help in this critical situation.
Probably, the first country to do that was the United States. Russians
"needed and wanted effective advise and technical help from the United States"
(Pickering 102). And the most amazing thing was that the United States didn\'t
mind and, actually, wanted to help Russia. But why? Why the United States wanted
to help Russians? And I think the answer to that is very simple: the United
States realized that America and Russia must not think of each other as natural
enemies, but must work together to make more peaceful world, even if they were
ready to destroy each other not that long ago. United States needed Russia as a
strong partner in the twenty first century.
Russia went through many changes in its economy since the Russian
Federation took over the Soviet Union. "An economy devoted almost entirely to
the production of military goods was forced to begin to provide what its
citizens demanded, not what its rulers ordered" (Pickering 100). But it wasn\'t
that easy. Russian government appeared to be unexperienced in modernizing the
economy. Most of the people in government came from the school of the Soviet
Union, so they were unable to do anything without somebody\'s help. "... the
United States provided Russia with massive augments of experience, delivered
through government and private sector advisors as well as by bringing Russians
in large numbers to the US for training and exchanges" (Pickering 102). But the
help of the US wasn\'t just a gift; America had something they got out of the
help they were providing in building the Russian economy. All big American
companies went to the Russian market. "American firms are convinced of Russia\'s
extraordinary potential as the market for US trade and as a host for
investments" (Pickering 102). Russians were prefer to buy American clothes, food,
cars and electrical devises. All new-born Russian private companies preferred to
partner with American companies. Each year Americans were increasing the sales
of their own products on the Russian market. As I said earlier, Russia devoted
itself to the new type of the economy; with private sector businesses. But what
they could do with all those weapons produced during the Soviet era? And the way
out was found. Russia became the biggest exporter of military ammunition on the
world market. The exports of oil also put Russia on the leading positions in the
world. Everything was going just fine. "Russia was moving from pure
stabilization to the resumption of economic
Shkolnikov 3 growth" (Pickering 103).
The only one thing that was bothering both countries, especially Russia,
was the growth of Russian mafia. In the middle 90\'s the level of corruption in
the Russian government was very high. Mafia controlled everything; starting from
stores, which pay some percent of their income every month, and ending with
police, which was completely under control of the mafia. The power of mafia
really bothered American businessmen, who didn\'t want to pay them and didn\'t
want to get shot by mafia. And since they refused to pay, the number of American
businessmen shot in Russia was growing. But this doesn\'t really stops Americans
from doing business in Russia.
The other problem that Americans were concerned about is nuclear potential
of Russia. During the leadership of the communism the USSR produced huge number
of nuclear weapons and power stations. "US spends approximately $530 million
each year on a bewilderingly large numbers of programs and initiatives focused
on the weapons complexes of the former Soviet Union" (Zorpette 24). But because
of the corruption in the top of the government the nuclear stations don\'t get
the money for reconstruction. "Russians still run the dangerous reactors because
they provide heat and electricity for nearby towns" (Zorpette 20). The military
don\'t want to spend its own money on destroying the nuclear weapons so, since
the army itself don\'t get the money that the United States provide, Russians
destroy the nuclear weapons in some other cheap ways, which