barack Obama has an opportunity to establish a new relationship with Russia that will make the world a safer place. With ties between the two countries being the most strained they’ve been in decades, the U.S. president seems to recognize there must be changes in his country’s approach to Russia.
The Russians themselves seem uncertain about the direction of U.S. policy. Since Obama was elected, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to place missiles on the border of the European Union in response to any United States missile defense radar in Poland and Czechoslovakia, then decided to pull them back. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has blamed the United States for the global financial crisis and also expressed optimism about the new U.S. president. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov welcomed a conciliatory foreign policy speech from Vice President Joe Biden at the same time that his country, by pressuring Kyrgyzstan to kick out a U.S. military base, made it clear that Moscow wants to be included in any dialogue about Central Asia.
Excerpt reproduced with permission from Foreign Policy, www.foreignpolicy.com. Copyright 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive LLC. Read the full article at [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4768]