The Trump administration kicked off 2017 with hope for better relations with Russia. But the year ends with hardening rhetoric between two of the world's most influential powers.

Washington is now taking a tougher stance on Moscow for what it calls "destabilising activities".

Just this week, President Donald Trump announced the United States will give Ukraine "enhanced defensive capabilities" to fight pro-Russia separatists - in other words, weapons.

Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, responded with a warning that this will only increase the use of force, and he used the same tone in outlining how Russia will move into 2018.

So are relations now at their lowest since the end of the Cold War? And what will 2018 bring?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Nikolay Surkov - foreign policy analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council

Lawrence Korb - former assistant secretary of defence and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress

Macharia Munene - international relations expert at the United States International University

Source: Al Jazeera News