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Rceczpospolita, Poland

At Kremlin, Mr. Obama Keeps Faith with Allies


"Poland has not been offered up on the altar of new Russian-American relations. And apparently, neither have other post-Soviet states that Russia considers part of its sphere of influence."


By Jerzy Haszczyński



Translated By Halszka Czarnocka


June 7, 2009


Poland - Rzeczpospolita - Original Article (Polish)

Secretary of State Clinton makes a peace offering to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting in Geneva, Mar. 6. The gift - a button marked 'reset' in English, was meant to convey a new beginning. Unfortunately, the Russian word on the button, 'peregruzka,' means 'overload.'


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Presidents Obama and Medvedev have reached an outline agreement to cut back their nations' stockpiles of nuclear weapons, July 6, 00:02:29WindowsVideo

Thereís nothing wrong with smiling. There's nothing wrong with declaring a new beginning in relations between the two powers - whether it's called a reset or a perezagruzka.


Thereís nothing wrong with reducing the nuclear arsenal or with military cooperation on Afghanistan. To the contrary. But that doesnít mean that the Moscow meeting between the great of this world - Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev - should be considered a breakthrough that will change the world.††



In particular, it wasn't a breakthrough from the Polish point of view. We still donít know whether plans to build components of an anti-missile shield in our country will remain plans and nothing more. But we do know, pressure from Russia notwithstanding, that the project is yet to be buried, meaning that Obama didn't offer Medvedev the greatest gift. If he were to do so, surely it would have happened during their first meeting in the Kremlin.


Everything seems to indicate that the new president of the United States is now convinced that the reasons for creating the shield given by his predecessor remain - more poignantly than ever. Iran and North Korea are a threat, and Russia either doesnít want or cannot do anything about it.


Poland has not been offered up on the altar of new Russian-American relations. And apparently, neither have other post-Soviet states that Russia considers part of its sphere of influence, including Georgia, whose territorial integrity Obama mentioned.


All of this testifies to Obamaís diplomatic skills: he has obtained help on Afghanistan, but not at the expense of his allies (who themselves are engaged there). He also managed to reinforce his hostís image, signaling that it's Dmitry Medvedev who is his partner - and the most important man in Russia.


Will the Russians believe it? Will Medvedev meet expectations - as more liberal than party leader Vladimir Putin, i.e.: mentally detached from the Cold War and willing, for instance, to release former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky from prison? [photo,left].


These questions have no answers. But the seed has been sown. It was Barack Obama who did it.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 8, 4:21pm]



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