Button Reset

nato.russia.jpgThere were a couple of interesting developments today that suggested the ways in which U.S.-Russia relations might play out under the Obama administration.

Firstly, U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns, a former ambassador in Russia, met with officials in Moscow today in the first act of diplomacy since Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. wants to press the “reset button” on relations with Russia.

The U.S. looks “forward to working together on those areas where our interests coincide,” Wood said. “There are many such areas, such as reducing nuclear weapons and working toward a stable Afghanistan.”

But Russia gave the world an idea of how it might respond to such conciliatory gestures by the West, when in a televised interview with President Medvedev, NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said that America’s turnabout amounted to an apology for its stance on last summer’s war in Georgia.

“The fact that they have undertaken the initiative to literallyappeal to Russia to restore cooperation in a full format, that is akind of apology,” Rogozin said.

And then there was the gem from Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Agency, who blamed NATO’s problems in Afghanistan for Russia’s domestic drug problem.

“The growth of narcotics from abroad has continued since the appearance of troops (in Afghanistan) in 2001,” Ivanov said in a news briefing.

“This organization (NATO) had a remit to combat terrorism and not to combat drugs.”

What else can they blame on NATO?