Trust Is Key to Repairing Ties With Russia (Op-ed)

For our part, we have worked in good faith to renew dialogue and find a path forward, despite our differences. This renewed dialogue has taken place at several levels. Our presidents met in Helsinki and spoke briefly on the sidelines of the G-20. The first Congressional delegation in several years met with Russian lawmakers. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, and National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Moscow and met with their Russian counterparts for substantive conversations. The governor, legislators, and community leaders from my home state of Utah recently welcomed my Russian counterpart, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov.

In addition, Russians and Americans from all walks of life continue to travel between our two countries, strengthening people-to-people relationships and fostering understanding at a community level.

Russia has the opportunity to demonstrate that it is a responsible member of the international community so that it can return to the constructive path through which we can strengthen trust between our countries. Without a sincere commitment by Russia to abide by its international agreements and respect the sovereign, international borders of its neighbors, any efforts to improve relations will fall short. We cannot afford this, for the sake of our two countries and for global stability.