Edition: Lublin 2010
The strategic issues play an important role in the US-Russian relations. This is partly because of history, partly due to current interest. This article discusses two perspectives, important from a European point of view – one is doctrinal and concerns the conceptual basis of the strategic relations, the other is real and deals with certain issues. When it comes to the doctrine, it is worth noting that, from a Russian standpoint, main strategic problems play a more important role than for the American party. That is because strategic issues, especially nuclear weapons are just one field where Russia holds some balance with the US, while remaining inferior in all of the other spheres of the relations. In fact, and according to the US doctrine, Russia is not equal to the US and there are more important problems of American security policy and other important partners such as Europe, China or India. In American eyes only nuclear disarmament and proliferation raise Russia’s value above the others. The certain issues, addressed in this article are: nuclear disarmament and missile defence. It is argued that while strategic disarmament remains the goal for both sides, although for different reasons, tactical nuclear weapons will be much harder to reduce. When it comes to missile defence it must be noted that it is quite crucial for the US to gain at least some defensive capability against limited missile strikes; this serves the key American interest in the world, and will gain even further importance in the future. On the other hand, the creation of the BMDS may deprive Russia of some regional leverage, and may affect Russian prestige because there will be no eastern counterpart to the US missile defence.