Dmitry Medvedev on President Obama’s Visit to Russia Next Week

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s discussion of President Obama’s upcoming visit to Russia strikes a cooperative, friendly tone.
But toward the end he quotes John F. Kennedy, who said during the Cuba Missile Crisis that “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
I think this statement captures the difficulty of getting U.S.-Russian relations on a better footing. It is not easy to have an honest, respectful dialogue when the two sides have opposing national interests on many of the substantive issues that define the relationship.
As I noted yesterday, Robert Legvold provides one of the best explanations I’ve seen of how we might be able to get there.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

10 comments on “Dmitry Medvedev on President Obama’s Visit to Russia Next Week

  1. Demetrius White says:

    Mr Dmitry Medvedev i need to meet wet you Mr.Presidential the door is open for the U.S and Russisn global Europe oil & gas

    Reply

  2. ... says:

    lol poa! never one to miss an opening… i passed on that one, but glad to see you didn’t!

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “do we really want to reduce nuclear power at a time when North Korea is showing there muscle?”
    Oh, absolutely not.
    If attacked, we will undoubtedly need every last one of the thousands of nuclear missiles we have.
    I mean, geez, dude, one can never have enough nukes!

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  4. Frank says:

    So was this meeting successful then? do we really want to reduce nuclear power at a time when North Korea is showing there muscle?
    Obama Meets Medvedev

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  5. ... says:

    ditto paul norheim…. it really is about military installations and war 24/7.. one only has to look at both the usa’s and russias agenda to see…. at this point everything seems to go to the highest bidder, which is what makes the changing world financial dynamic so interesting to watch… who gets to be the highest bidder? will it be bankrupt usa, or bankrupt russia? another bail out is just around the corner, no doubt….

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  6. Paul Norheim says:

    “Should we be prepared to abandon the installation of an antimissile system in Central Europe?” (WigWag)
    Obviously. And Obama should also postpone NATO membership to countries like Georgia, at least until the leadership shows
    a certain level of responsibility and maturity.
    We`re not even talking about “tradeoffs” here. The trans-atlantic usefulness (not to speak of the political wisdom) of the
    anti-missile system is highly questionable. And postponing NATO membership to countries with adventurous and immature
    leaderships would be in the interest of not only Russia, but also America and Europe. (As well as in the interest of the civilian
    population of small countries in Russia`s backyard with immature leaders).

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  7. Dan Kervick says:

    The top issues on the agenda, it seems to me, are in no particular order: (i) NATO and its relationship to Russia, including recent decisions to renew NATO-Russian security cooperation, and finding the right language for standing by commitments to expand NATO while slowing or deferring action on those commitments; (ii) non-proliferation; (iii) Russia’s proposed European security treaty; (iv) promoting Middle East stability, including stabilizing energy prices who sharp recent fluctuations are bad for both the US and Russia; (v) terrorism, and its relation to ongoing conflicts; and (vi) other global trade and finance issues, including the global reserve currency matter which has prompted so much recent discussion. Both countries, of course, have a clear common interest in pulling themselves out of the global recession.
    Perhaps some concessions on NATO and security issues could be matched on the Russian side by granting the US observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Council?
    In my view, what the US should be quietly aiming for in its long-term strategy is the construction of a four-sided, non-polar world order, anchored by economic and security cooperation among Russia, Europe, China and the US, and should be trying to stem any political tendencies that might push the world toward a new bipolar world order, with Russia and China eventually meeting up in a rival security order and/or to the US and Europe.

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  8. JohnH says:

    From Wigwag’s description (I haven’t made it to B&N yet), it sounds like standard Washington foreign policy–acute atunement to Washington’s hopes and desires (not necessarily their needs) and to those of their coveted special interests. But this is accompanied by total obliviousness to the other side’s strategic interests–why would those matter anyway?
    I used to think that the foreign policy mob behaved like middle schoolers. But middle schoolers have some awareness of the need of others. I’m beginning to consider the apt analogy is to two year olds.

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  9. WigWag says:

    I hesitate to disagree with the formidable Ben Katcher, but when he says this,
    “As I noted yesterday, Robert Legvold provides one of the best explanations I’ve seen of how we might be able to get there.”
    I think he goes too far.
    I dropped by Barnes and Noble this morning to read the Legvold Article in Foreign Affairs (unfortunately it is not available for free on their website).
    The decaf quad espresso and blueberry scone I ate while reading, I liked very much; the article not so much.
    Levgold’s game plan for engaging the Russians in what he suggests will be a major realignment in U.S./Russian relations seems wholly inadequate and unlikely to succeed.
    Levgold suggests that the first three items on the agenda should be non-proliferation, Iran and Afghanistan. Hasn’t it occurred to Levgold that while those three items may be at the top of the U.S. agenda, they are not necessarily at the top of Russia’s agenda? Does he really think that an agenda that focuses on U.S. concerns first and Russian priorities second is likely to lead to a transformed relationship between the two nations?
    Secondly, and more importantly, Levgold makes no mention of what tradeoffs the U.S. should be prepared to make to obtain Russian cooperation. Should we be prepared to abandon the installation of an antimissile system in Central Europe? Levgold is silent. Levgold mentions the importance of a meeting of the minds on NATO expansion but he doesn’t tell us if he thinks NATO expansion should be shelved. He mentions bilateral relations between the U.S. and Georgia and Ukraine but he doesn’t tell us how these relations should be abridged in deference to the Russians. Nor does Levgold tell us what type of compromises on energy issues or control of Arctic gas resources the United States should consider. On the matter of Russia’s passionate interest in the status of the Balkans, Levgold says nothing at all.
    In short, Levgold’s 8 page article suggests that U.S. Russian relations are extremely important (he suggests Obama give a major speech on U.S./Russian relations similar to what he gave in Cairo); he advocates for a major effort to transform the relationship; but he makes no recommendations on what the U.S. should do to achieve the grand compromise Levgold thinks is necessary.
    The result is that the article is ultimately very disappointing.

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  10. Dan Kervick says:

    Here is the text of Medvedev’s speech to the Arab League on June 23rd:
    http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2009/06/23/2258_type82914_218405.shtml
    One key paragraph:
    “It is especially important today to restore Palestinian unity on the basis of the Arab peace initiative and the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s platform. We support Egypt’s efforts to mend the divide between Palestinians, and have made clear this support in our official contacts. In terms of its consequences for world civilisation, including relations between civilisations, the Arab-Israeli conflict has global significance. It is a global danger. Until such time as a fair settlement is reached the international community will find it difficult to respond to all of the different global threats and challenges. This awareness is what underlies the consolidated position taken by the Quartet of international mediators. This unity was confirmed at the United Nation’s Security Council’s special meeting on the Middle East on May 11, 2009 under Russia’s chairmanship. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, perhaps, such a united front has emerged in support of settlement, and this is very important.”

    Reply

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