Russian-American relations presumably "reset" by the Obama administration are entering into a deep chill. This is partially due to policy differences on Libya and Syria but it also reflects the heating up of the political campaign in Russia where Vladimir Putin appears ready to reclaim the presidency from Dmitry Medvedev.
Putin has been making political contacts with regional bosses promising rewards for electoral results and he has also embellished his macho image by appearing bare chested arriving in sports cars and pursuing polar bears. Part of the campaign has also involved bashing the United States and its economic policies. A month ago Putin called the US financial hooligans and yesterday he escalated the term to parasites.
Americans, according to Putin, were living beyond their means and thus endangering countries like Russia and China that held American bonds.
In the meantime Russia reacted heatedly to a US Senate resolution (nonbinding) calling on Russia to respect Georgia's territorial integrity and to withdraw its troops from the breakaway states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia has recognized these states as independent and claims that they welcome the Russian troop presence to ward off Georgian aggression.
"There are Russian military contingents in the region, but they are stationed on the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the basis of relevant bilateral agreements. "
Russia and Georgia engaged in a brief war in 2008 when Georgia sought to restore its control over South Ossetia. in an attempt to bring it back under its control.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned the Senate resolution as a PR exercise that was empty but harmful because it encouraged "revanchist sentiments" in Tbilisi the Georgian capital.