[Guardian Unlimited, U.K.]



Gazeta, Russia

After the Missile Shield: It's Time for Kremlin to Bring Itself to Reciprocate


"The Americans are distancing themselves from the messianic worldview instilled by Bush Jr., concluding that this is a sheep not worth skinning. … We should answer with reciprocity. Particularly if it can be done in a way that will benefit ourselves. … It would be quite appropriate to at least soften the anti-American rhetoric."




Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


September 18, 2009


Russia - Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

Russian President Medvedev has acknowledged recieving a letter from President Obama last March, but said there was no offer of a 'quid pro quo' on the U.S. missile shield and on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Russia's Ambassador to NATO, Dimitri Rogozin, applauds U.S. decision to drop plans for anti-missile shield in Europe, Sept. 18, 00:04:00RealVideo

If in the case of Washington giving up its missile defense project in Europe we are truly dealing with a "new pragmatism," then Russia should respond to America with reciprocity - at least on the Iran issue. And it should also build its own foreign policy on rational rather than emotional or ideological grounds.


America's anticipated rejection of plans to deploy elements of its defense missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic is naturally regarded by Russia as a major foreign policy victory. On one pro-Kremlin Web site, material on the topic is appropriately titled: "The Evil Has Receded."


In accordance with this logic, President Medvedev, who is headed for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, should don the white uniform of a generalissimo from the movie The Fall of Berlin - Stalin being the generalissimo).



The victory, however, was won not primarily over the American military, but over pro-American politicians in Eastern Europe. The deputy head of the Polish National Security Bureau, Witold Waszczykowski, in his interview with Reuters, already stated that American decision indicates that Poland would be "de facto losing a strategic alliance with Washington." But, presumably, the Obama Administration will find words of comfort and measures to compensate its lesser allies.


It is tempting to explain Washington’s decision as a desire to make concessions to the Kremlin on an issue that creates the greatest agitation in Russia, and receive in return at least more consistent support on the Iranian question.


By the way, the Foreign Ministry has already sent an appropriate signal, having expressed displeasure with the lack of transparency in Tehran’s nuclear program. But it's unlikely that we're dealing with a quid pro quo.


Rather, it's more likely that Pavel Zolatarev, the deputy director of the Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is right to say that the step taken by the Obama Administration is, "aimed at a sober assessment of the situation and a reduction of spending on programs that were dictated more by political factors than pragmatic ones." In other words, the Americans are distancing themselves from the messianic worldview instilled by Bush Jr., concluding that this is a sheep not worth skinning [the game isn't worth the candle]. And if we are truly dealing with a "new pragmatism," it's worthwhile not to necessarily follow the example of a power that holds a place in the world radically different from our own - but to answer with reciprocity. Particularly if it can be done in a way that will benefit ourselves.  



[The Independent, U.K.]


It would be quite appropriate to at least soften the anti-American rhetoric (for the authorities to abandon it altogether now, after years of brainwashing, is probably too much to expect from government officials). We can politely support Western pressure on Iran, which, setting aside abstract theories of a "clash of civilizations," presents a real headache along Russia's Southern borders. We can think over whether this kind of pressure might help maintain the CIS "sphere of influence," within which satellite states continue to backstab and hoodwink the Kremlin; Tajikistan, which regularly demands more money for the lease of military bases; Kyrgyzstan, which manages to maintain a U.S. military presence and acquire additional capital from us, and so on.


It wouldn’t be half bad, having been inspired by fresh thinking about the dangers of messianism and considering purse and reputation, to seize the moment and show a little more pragmatism.


The question, of course, doesn’t rest on whether such a turn will inject confusion into the orderly study of sovereign democracy by the Kremlin, which protects our national identity from surrounding villains. But our government has at its disposal many well-paid professionals responsible for getting the base to conform to the party line. It’s possible with some effort to accomplish this.  




Gazeta, Russia: After the Shield: Time for Kremlin to Bring Itself to Reciprocate

Novosti, Russia: Iran Can't Be 'Swapped' for Halt to U.S. Missile Defense  

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia: Medvedev 'Confesses' His Plans Differ from Putin's    

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Obama's Russia 'Gambit'

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Obama's Lesson: Poland Can't Count on the United States

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Missile Shield Talks: How the Bush Team Lost Poland

Le Monde, France: Obama's Missile Policy Change a Shrewd Gambit

Der Spiegel, Germany : 'Russian Euphoria' at Obama's Decision To Shelve Missile Shield

The Times, U.K.: 'Dismay in Europe' as Obama Ditches Missile Shield

Novosti, Russia: Russia's NATO Envoy Warns Against 'Childish Euphoria' Over Shield


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US September 20, 10:14pm]


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