Clinton presents Lavrov with a red “reset” button in 2009.
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As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton basked in a diplomatic "Moscow Spring," seizing on Vladimir Putin's break from the presidency to help seal a nuclear arms-control treaty and secure Russia's acquiescence to a NATO-led military intervention in Libya. But when Putin returned to the top job, things changed. But Clinton's wrangles with Russia led to mixed results. Her fortunes dipped dramatically after Putin replaced Dmitry Medvedev as president in May 2012 .While Clinton hailed it as a triumph, the war only escalated.Clinton's history with Russia is significant given the surprising role Russia has played in the U.S. presidential campaign.Even before Putin's first two terms as president, Russia had always opposed U.N. Security Council action that might lead to a leadership change.Relations soured further by the end of the year as Putin won a new, six-year presidential term.Clinton issued a sharply worded statement; Putin accused Clinton of sending the "signal" to undermine his country.Seeking Russia's cooperation, Obama and Clinton avoided any talk that might threaten Russian equities in Syria, including a large naval base there.Assad is still president.Clinton, in any case, was mistaken if she believed Obama was prepared to act militarily in Syria.
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