We have to move Russia from being an adversary always to a partner at times, and on other issues, we’re going to be adversaries.
The important conversation we have to have with them is does Russia now and forever want to be an adversary of the United States; Do you want this to get worse or do you want a different relationship. We’re not likely to ever be friends. Our values are starkly different.
The absence of a very firm and forcible response to Crimea was judged by the leadership in Russia as a weak response. I think what Russia would have understood is strong response, that yes, you took Crimea, but this stops right here.
А бывший секдеф Роберт Гейтс в ходе слушаний добавил:
This new administration must thread the needle between pushing back against Vladimir Putin’s aggressions, meddling, interventionism and bullying and at the same time stop a dangerous downward spiral in our relationship with Russia.