It is possible to make progress on Russia-U.S. relations in 2014 only if there is a will of both leaderships, a Russian policy expert said.

"For now I do not see any serious prerequisites for improving the relations in the upcoming year. On the other hand, everything depends on the presidents; if Barack Obama and/or Vladimir Putin decide for some reason [I do not see such reasons so far] that they should make some gesture to each other, the relations may appear to improve but they will still have a fragile foundation," National Research University Higher School of Economics World Economy and Policy Department Dean Sergei Karaganov told Interfax.

"A fragile balance has been achieved on a very low level in Russia-U.S. relations," he continued. "The reason is that the previous relationship model based on the so-called "reset" or, to put it less mildly, on nuclear reductions, did not succeed but returned the countries to the agenda of the previous epoch, which, generally speaking, interests no one but specialists but which also reanimates all demons from the previous epoch of the Cold War."

"Such issues as missile defense, the sudden strike concept and everything associated with them unexpectedly turned up in our relations," Karaganov said.

"Neither Russia nor the United States have proposed an interaction concept based on the deterrence of future challenges," he added.

"The mutual interest is declining, especially on the part of the United States, which is related to the withdrawal from Iraq and the upcoming pullout from Afghanistan. Most probably, critical sentiments about Russia will be mounting in the United States in the context of the weakening interest. From the economic and domestic market points of view, Russia is not regarded as a promising country - it is not interesting to befriend it. And Russia has yet to find its future-oriented strategy; we are using anti-American sentiments as a convenient cover for the absence of a domestic strategy," he supposed.

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