Secretary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov cut a

red ribbon to christen a statue of Walt Whitman in Moscow.

Are the two sides truly ready move beyond symbolism and

set aside the suspicions of the Cold War?



Gazeta, Russia

Russia's Elite Must Embrace New Era with U.S.


"One cannot build a joint military system with those whom you consider your chief enemy … Here, a substantial segment of the ruling class and ordinary people are sincerely convinced that the United States wants to destroy, dismember and nullify Russia."


By Semen Novoprudski



Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


October 17, 2009


Russia - Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Clinton in Moscow, October 13. It seems that the Russians aren't yet on board for increased sanctions on Tehran.


AP NEWS VIDEO: Secretary Clinton talks with Ekho Moskvy Radio about training Georgia troops and building mutual trust, Oct. 14, 00:05:49 RealVideo

After U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first visit to Moscow, real results of talks on missile defense and a new arms reduction treaty among experts from the two countries remain unclear. But speaking at Moscow State University, Mrs. Clinton made very important comments regarding the basic principles of Russian-American relations, including in the area of military projects: “I will be the first to tell you that we have people in our government and you have people in your government who are still living in the past. They do not believe the United States and Russia can cooperate to this extent. They do not trust each other and we have to prove them wrong. That is our goal.” According to her, United States and Russia will reach a positive results if “… someday in the future you see the United States and Russia announcing a joint plan on missile defense, that we will have … technology needed … to protect what we hold dear, which is our homelands and those with whom we have so much in common." [See video below].


Without having any common values, it will be impossible to create a joint military system, which is by definition based on maximum coordination and mutual trust. And the fact is that for now, Russia and the United States are trying to defend completely different countries and, far more unfortunate, completely opposing values.




The main reason for the impossibility of implementing Vladimir Putin's widely advertised proposal to George W. Bush for joint missile defense wasn't the technological backwardness of Russia's radar station in Gabala, Azerbaijan, but the Kremlin's political attitude toward America. One cannot build a joint military system with those whom you consider your chief enemy and constantly blame for your domestic problems (for example, the economic crisis), as well as Russia's attempts to satisfy its own imperial instincts.


Russia's political elite has mixed emotions of hatred and jealousy toward the United States. Our leaders aren't mesmerized by the idea of taking responsibility for global security, but by the prospect of "adroitly" controlling processes beyond the country’s borders, just like the U.S.


The Obama Administration’s decision to abandon missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of a mobile system based on warships, which has triggered yet another wave of exaggerated pride in our country’s might among our political elite, is dictated largely by rational and financial reasons rather than military or political ones. Yet Russian leaders are saying that America caved into our pressure.


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The problem is that in the modern world, the notion of precise and unequivocal spheres of influence between major powers is fundamentally unrealistic. The scheme under which one country would become “gendarme of the Middle East,” another “the gendarme of Africa,” and a third the "gendarme of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” doesn't work. All the dreams of the Russian elite in a multi-polar world in which Russia does what it wants within a predetermined region on the basis of being a “separate pole” are completely unfounded. Even the leadership of the world's sole superpower, which up to now has formally been the United States (but not as a result if its foreign policy), is smart enough to grasp that one cannot secure a world order alone. It's perhaps not accidental that one of Barack Obama’s key talking points at the recent opening of the U.N. General Assembly was an American refusal of sole responsibility for the fate of the world.


In terms of transnational threats (terrorism, the looming drinking water crisis, the search for new sources of energy, nuclear weapons in the hands of cave-regimes) world order can only be secured within a complex political framework that facilitates a dialogue among of all nations.


Whatever their ambitions, United States and Russia can only be active participants in the launch of such a mechanism - not its sole overseers.


Here, a substantial segment of the ruling class and ordinary people are sincerely convinced that the United States wants to destroy, dismember and nullify Russia. Meanwhile, Russia itself is increasingly unable to adequately cope with its own territory, and without substantial labor, immigration foreign investment, this problem can hardly be addressed. Russia is being objectively pushed by the technological openness of the modern developed world toward friendship with America - and increasingly - with the Western world. Yet Russia's current foreign policy - with its ambition to be at the forefront of global processes but which is at its root isolationist - inevitably and automatically casts Russia into the background of modern history.  



Global processes are such that the whole of humanity - not just Russia and the U.S. - are “on the same side of the barricades."


By struggling with the United States or depicting America as the arch enemy for tactical and domestic political reasons, Kremlin leaders are fighting the future of Russia as a dynamically-developing civilized country. No one is saying that the two countries should always agree. But the fact that they share fundamental values is important. In the presence of weapons that for the first time in history are capable of destroying virtually the entire human race, a third world war would automatically be the last. This fact alone should force political elites of all ambitious countries, one of which is undoubtedly Russia, to measure pride against common sense and objective reality.


So if we ever see joint Russian-American missile defense, it will not be a reset, or a thaw, but a global warming of the political climate across the world. It will be a very different Russia that is responsible and wise rather than one that broadcasts its superpower-hysterics to the world.












































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US October 25, 12:35pm]


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