The Obama press office explains that the US is having yet another reset with Russia and it is all Putin's fault. Apparently, savvy White House strategists are employing the same subtle strategem with Putin's team that has worked so well with the House Republicans - don't talk to them and wait for the fever to break:
American officials say President Obama will decline an invitation — publicly trumpeted by Mr. Lavrov and the Russian news media — to visit Moscow on his own this spring. Instead, he will wait until September, when the G-20 conference of the world’s largest economies is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia.
And while Secretary of State John Kerry has yet to select his first overseas destination, officials said Russia had been ruled out.
The main goal seems to be to send a message that the United States views much of its relationship with Russia as optional, and while pressing matters will continue to be handled on a transactional basis, Washington plans to continue criticizing Russia on human rights and other concerns. As for the anti-Americanism, the new approach might be described as shrug and snub.
Nevertheless, Mr. Blinken said there was real potential to work through the differences. And American officials are clearly betting that Mr. Putin desires a prominent role on the world stage and will ultimately decide to re-engage.
In assessing the risks and rewards of this approach the Times is fully divorced from reality:
At the same time, outside its borders, Russia remains indisputably relevant on a range of global issues, including the threats and opportunities from climate change in the Arctic and the political uncertainty in North Korea, that prevent the United States from pulling back too far.