While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought Russian support for potential Iranian sanctions, a new rift over U.S. missile plans demonstrates the complexities between the two nations.
The reset button on Russian relations may be more difficult for American diplomats to find, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has discovered.
While Clinton sounded an optimistic note on the viability of Russian support for future Iranian sanctions as necessary, Russia has not been publicly sharing Clinton's perspective.
"I believe if sanctions become necessary, we will have support from Russia," Clinton said in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has so far insisted, however, that talk of sanctions are premature.
But missile defense has also emerged as another hurdle to smoother relations between the two countries, as Russia warned the U.S. on Thursday to refrain from missile shield talks with non-NATO countries.
Russia's missile shield concerns centered on border states like Ukraine and Georgia - where U.S. defense contracts could potentially be implemented. While Russia was encouraged by U.S. President Barack Obama's pledge to scrap planned missile defense installations in Eastern Europe, Russia remains concerned about where any alternative defense systems will be installed.
Clinton wrapped up her two-day trip to Moscow with a speech to university students on human rights, but the basis of her visit appeared to be centered on the Iranian question.