The terrorist attacks on the Unites States on 11th September 2001 led to a significant rapprochement between the United States and Russia, giving some reality to the repeated aspirations that there should be a 'Strategic Partnership' between the US and Russia. Immediately after the attacks, President Putin expressed his condolences to the US president and unequivocally sided with the United States in its fight against terrorism. In response to Russia's support to the Unites States and its allies, Western countries have attempted to develop closer co-operation with Russia, not only within the anti-terrorist coalition, but also within the NATO framework, and to a lesser extent within the European Union co-operative structures. Efforts were conducted to enhance co-operation with the EU in the areas of justice and home affairs, and to boost the sharing of relevant intelligence information. Despite important steps forward, major shortcomings remain. Russia and the EU still have different police and judicial standards, and co-operation inside the EU proceeds slowly. Co-operation is also hampered by the lack of a common definition on terrorism, which makes it difficult effectively to adopt common strategies. Putin's readiness to develop much closer relations with NATO, going as far as suggesting Russia's membership of the Alliance led to the emergence of much tighter relations. In May 2002, a NATO-Russia Council was established, aimed at replacing the discarded Permanent Joint Council. Although the arrangement fell short of Russia's desires, it brought Russia much closer to NATO by allowing it to become more involved in decision-making on non-article 5 questions, such as the war on terror, peacekeeping, counter-proliferation, and theatre missile defence, among others.
The monograph examines the details of Russian-Western co-operation and the risks of potential failure. Russia risks being disappointed once more if its expectations of being more deeply involved in European security affairs are not taken into account. Moreover, despite Putin's recent electoral successes, his pro-Western line cannot be taken for granted.