среда, 25 марта 2009 г.

Obama wants to put US-Russian relations on a stronger footing

Barak Obama wants to improve U.S. links with Moscow, while maintaining consistency with NATO policies.

During his Tuesday meeting in Washington with NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, U.S. President Barak Obama spoke about improving U.S.-Russian ties while maintaining consistency with NATO policies.

So far, the Obama administration has been consistent in saying they want to renew their relationships with Russia by pushing the so-called ‘restart button’. Russia has also followed the same line saying that it is open to this. However, obstacles still exist.

The main impediment is the idea of bringing both Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, and this issue seems to be the source of a certain inconsistency within the Obama administration. With today’s statement, it seems like the President, himself, has not chosen either side of the issue.

On the one hand, he said he was looking forward to renewing the U.S.-Russian relationship, while on the other was his notice that NATO-aspiring nations should have the opportunity to join the alliance.

"This administration, my administration, is seeking a re-set of the relationship with Russia, but in a way that's consistent with NATO membership and consistent with the need to send a clear signal throughout Europe that we are going to continue to abide by the central belief that countries who seek and aspire to join NATO are able to join NATO," the AP quotes his words as saying.

De Hoop Scheffer supported Obama's stance on Russia and said NATO and Russia needed each other, despite "many things on which we disagree".

"Let us realise that, also, this relationship can, and in my opinion should, be strengthened," he said.

Having met ahead of the NATO's 60th anniversary next month, Obama and De Hoop Scheffer have also discussed the alliance’s effectiveness in the fight against Islamic militants in Afghanistan. On Friday, the Obama administration is expected to unveil its revamping of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.


1 комментарий:

Chernevog комментирует...

Hopefully this will result in better relations, based on mutual interests, not merely the interests of one party or the other. For the better part of the last 30 years, the political party that has been in power most of this period in the United States has had more of a policy of what has come to be known as "cowboy diplomacy". A lot of tough talk and veiled threats which has done little to improve relations between the United States and Russia. For most of this period the conservatives and neo conservatives asserted a policy that would project U.S. power at the expense of other nations, with no concern for the interests of those nations or their people. The attitude has been that of "what are our natural resources doing under their territory", and conservatives in the U.S. asserted a policy that was one in which the rest of the world was expected to support the lifestyle of Americans at the expense of their own interests.

An interesting comment was made by Obama today with regard to the fiscal crisis in the U.S. and worldwide. He was asked why it took eight days for him to repond to the huge bonuses taken by the executives at AIG. His response was that he liked to study a situation completely before answering questions about it. He does not like answering questions about situations he knows little about. The press has started calling Obama the "Professor in Chief". Which says a lot about the presidents of the last few decades. Most of them opened their mouths without being informed about the topic at hand, and more often than not, they ended up with their foot in that mouth.

It is a refresing idea to have a president who beleives he should be informed on the issues he has to deal with.

Americans have a difficult time with the idea of having "intellectuals" in office. This has not always been the case. We have had presidents like Woodrow Wilson, who was the head of a major university in the United States before becoming president.

Russia has no such problem. Even people who work in relatively simple jobs in Russia are far more literate and better informed about politics, history, the news than Americans, and most are also far better educated in cultural issues, music, the arts etc. It would be very unusual for a plumber or mail deliverer in the United States to attend an opera or the ballet, but not so in Russia.

I used to argue with conservative friends that Russia and Russians are far better prepared to deal with the 21st century than Americans are, because the literacy rate not just reading, but literacy in mathematics, science, the arts is at a much higher level among Russians than among Americans.