The west is in two parts; Europe and the United States. Latin Americans probably don’t think of Russia much except for possible business transactions. Australia and New Zealand don’t count; they have their own concerns not focused too much on Russia. The United States doesn’t care too much about Russia except for the left and the media that hate Russia because it hasn’t got homosexual marriage and got rid of state socialism or communism to a certain extent.
Europeans may fear Russia somewhat reasonably since Russia now seems unwilling to give up Ukraine and Crime and other traditionally Russian regions without some sort of hoo haw. Europeans mostly invade Russia rather than the reverse, until World War Two. Before that Poland and Russia were traditional reciprocating invaders.
The media of the United States largely support leftist issues that major global corporations want; such as homosexual marriage. It is primarily global corporations that want to invade Russia or expropriate traditionally Russian lands, rather than the majority of Americans.
Bureaucracies also have inertia. They don’t like to change. That includes the government and military-industrial complex. They require belligerents in order to secure increasing public tax revenues and expansion. China is an excellent existential frenemie support western capital investment in war, business and trade industries. Russia is kind of a second-rate frenemie without large consumer markets or export markets. Many Americans would prefer normalized relations with Russia, yet the sometimes perp gaffs like supporting the Maduro regime in Venezuela. Besides supporting a corrupt government they are interfering in western hemispherical politics and even people that like Russia hate that. Russians could say there is an equivalence between that and U.S. support for forces in Ukraine, There is some merit in that argument, yet Russia loses in any case because of the deep tradition of the Monroe Doctrine’s principals of Eastern powers staying out of Western Hemispherical affairs. Originally the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine was to keep royalty out of the western hemisphere so far as possible. The western hemisphere is about Democracy rather than imperialism or state authoritarianism such as communism and state socialism are.
One should regard Russian-American relations as having several major ties that are stretched, tugged on or working functionally well. The media and bureaucrats tend to hate Russia for profit because of the Soviet legacy and the reasons mentioned earlier. One could compare that to the diner’s dilemma paradigm.
Russia tends to take opposite sides in some global conflicts, although the United States itself often takes foreign policy activities that are inimical to its own interests. One example are the North African and Middle East conflicts reinforced by the Obama administration. Everyone knew that Syria would not just roll over with a conflict and a protracted conflict with innumerable casualties would ensue. It did. maybe there is a darker side to foreign policy.
The Bush II administration had made a normalized kind of relationship with Libya. The Obama administration worked to get rid of the Ghaddafi Government and terrorists moved in afterwards. Libya today is a nation on the state department’s list of places Americans shouldn’t visit.
The United States is not on an excellent course in all economic and political developments, yet it suits the left and global capitalists for it to go the way it is. That will be challenging to change positively. The left prefer to socialize corporatism rather than to reinforce Democracy and reform capitalism such that it works for the national interests including a reduction of public debt, transition to ecological economic infrastructure policies and an efficient reallocation of resources of income such that no citizens are left in a very disadvantaged position without realistic opportunities for improvement.
When the broadcast media and self-advantage seeking politicians determine foreign and domestic political directions, and they are largely not political philosophers or aware of what ecological economics are there is not a good reason to expect them not to suffer the Wall Street interests that pay them and employ most Americans.
Russia should continue to try to improve its democracy game, looking ahead to a time when several nations begin to transition to ecological economic foundations that are mostly sustainable, and governments strongly protect individual civil rights while being at the same time disciplined enough to manage public affairs very well.
President Ronald Reagan was mostly alone in his desire to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world and normalize relations with Russia. Though that miracle occurred in part, the default status is for poor relations and feuding. Europeans may fear authoritarianism again. European history is such a one of turmoil and strife through wars and royals, communists and fascists etc that its relations with Russia must be regarded differently than that of Americas. The history of N.A.T.O. during the Soviet era is such that the relation of the United States and Europe working together against the Soviet and Russia continues to a limited extent, reflexively. That preclude intelligent political work in moving forward, or finding ways to go forward for the benefit of everyone. Democrats have used any relationship President Trump might have with Russia as the primary basis for political opposition to his election the past three or four years. With that political atmosphere there is limit interest in the media or the Democrat Party in developing far better ties with Russia.