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Today, a quarter-century after the Cold War's end, the West and Russia are again at odds.The West has supported in a variety of ways democratic movements in the post-Soviet region, hardly hiding its enthusiasm for the various "color" revolutions that have replaced long-standing dictators with more responsive leaders – though not all have turned out to be the committed democrats they pretended to be.Once one of the world's two superpowers, Russia's GDP is now about 40 percent of Germany's and just over 50 percent of France's.Given U.S. President Donald Trump's deep ties with unsavory Russian characters (themselves closely linked to Putin), Americans are deeply concerned about potential Russian influences in the U.S. – matters that may be clarified by ongoing investigations.Many had much higher hopes for Russia, and the former Soviet Union more broadly, when the Iron Curtain fell. After seven decades of communism, the transition to a democratic market economy would not be easy. Russia and many of the other transition countries are lagging further behind the advanced economies than ever.Many in Russia believe that the U.S. Treasury pushed Washington Consensus policies to weaken their country.
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