NATO’s eastern expansion (from 16 to 28 states) was and is a serious strain on relations with Russia. This is also true for the missile defense system in Poland and Rumania. Moscow fears its nuclear second-strike capacity is compromised.
Politicians and colleagues who support a more differentiated picture of Russia and seek ways out of confrontation to the high goal of peace do not venture speaking publically for fear of being slaughtered in the media.
A simple good-evil scheme is all too often dominant. Russia alone is always on the evil side – wherever one looks, in the Ukraine, Syria or sports. Moral judgments and double standards arer used in all possible areas instead of politidcal analysis. Now and then, a kind of hysteria prevails. This is stronger in the US than in Germany. Any contact with Russia is criminalized and put under a general suspicion. The McCarthy era sends its greetings.