With no little pleasure, Talbott is quick to list the ways the US government’s pressure led to success, whether it was economic concessions, the expansion of missile defense systems, the advancement of NATO, or the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The latest case involved Presidents George W. Bush and Putin: “The Russian leader who had risen to power in part by quietly, obliquely, politely standing up to the U.S. had now, like his predecessor Yeltsin, given in.”
But this attitude did not escape the attention of Clinton and Talbott’s Moscow partners — and it certainly didn’t encourage cooperation.“Lousy joiners”
Another component contributing to public disillusionment with the US is the American advisers to Russian reformers who later faced corruption charges for their activities in Russia. Take, for example, the 1997 lawsuit against Harvard professor Andrei Shleifer
, who managed grants from the US Agency for International Development in Moscow, helped the Russian authorities develop privatization plans, and trained Russian investors and officials in Western standards of governance and regulation. Russian critics
of American aid considered this “evidence that the US is trying to use Russian aid for its own interests.”
Finally, in the second half of the 1990s, the Russian elites’ frustration with the efforts to bridge the gap and become part of the West with US help was superimposed by the strategic conflicts associated with the wars in Yugoslavia, and especially the shock of the bombing of Serbia in 1999.
Professor Angela Stent, a scholar and active voice on Russian-American relations during this period, writes
that the main problem with integrating Russia into Western security or economic structures, such as NATO or the EU, was that, as one Clinton official put it, were “lousy joiners” — when Russians joined institutions, they hoped to be able to influence them and didn’t resign themselves to the established rules. In turn, the Russian elite grew dissatisfied with the Clinton administration's desire to build a monopolar world led by the United States, and with the fact that the only dispute among the American body politic was whether it was “leadership” or “hegemony.”Disillusionment of the elites
American researcher Paul Hollander writes
about the two main sources of anti-Americanism globally. The first is the rejection of rapid modernization and the associated loss of traditional values, as the US is often implicated as the leader of this movement. The second is the growth of nationalism due to the feeling of hostility and envy towards a powerful world power, its global presence, as well as its economic, political and cultural influence.
In the preface to the 2000 Russian edition of his book, Hollander points out that Russian anti-Americanism in the 1990s stemmed from a second set of causes, as Russia entered a period of serious trouble and its political, economic, and military strength were in decline. One may entertain this opinion, and even see it as a predecessor to the “first type” of anti-Americanism that spread across Russia in the second decade of the 21st century.
But it lacks an indication of the role played by the US and its policies, including engagement with Russia's initially pro-American elites.
The most extensive analysis of Russian anti-Americanism in the 1990s comes from an article
by sociologists Boris Sokolov, Ronald Inglehart, Eduard Ponarin, Irina Vartanova, and William Zimmerman. The authors show that initially, anti-Americanism was caused not by tensions in personal relations between the two countries, but by “emotional and ideological dissatisfaction” in the outcome of the pro-Western reforms that began among the liberal elite of the country.
The first to turn towards anti-Americanism were the more educated members of Russian society — those who relied more on the success of the reforms and had idealized the United States in previous years, and then became disillusioned with the reality. In addition, the authors argue that until the late 1990s, there was no mass anti-Americanism in the country, but the elites began to use it for their own instrumental purposes — to transfer responsibility for the failure of reforms to an external force. Again, we reiterate that