It would be prudent in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks for the United States and Russia to find ways to overcome strategic differences and wage a joint fight against Islamic State militants. But the level of distrust is such that bilateral relations seem more likely to get frostier before any thaw can occur.
The pressure on the United States, the European Union and Russia to come together has risen considerably since the Friday the 13th killing spree in Paris left over 130 dead. French President Francois Hollande said November 16 that he would encourage US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to join an anti-Islamic State coalition that would “unify our strength and achieve a result that has been too long in coming.”
Sensing the urgency of the situation, Obama and Putin huddled on November 15 on the sidelines of the G20 gathering in Turkey. A White House statement called the tête-à-tête “constructive,” adding that the conversation focused on the “ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria.”
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Justin Burke is the Managing Editor of EurasiaNet.org.