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En Route to Brussels

Hillary Clinton’s trip to Brussels today–where NATO foreign ministers have pledged to discuss improving relations with Russia–and then to Geneva on Friday to meet with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, has been all over the headlines. “There have been letters between the leaders, between the foreign ministers, outlining a way forward and a positive agenda, and it is on that that we want to build, but with our eyes open about some of the differences we have,” said Daniel Fried, Obama’s assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

En route to Brussels yesterday, the State Department has posted Hillary’s initial thoughts on Russia, and her concerns about betraying “the people and governments of the Czech Republic and Poland” on missile defense, which are quite interesting.

“…they showed great courage and leadership in agreeing to have the missile defense systems deployed on their soil. Why? Because they recognize there is a real potential future threat. They didn’t hide their heads in the sand. They said, you know what, we see it as you see it, that missiles not only with a nuclear warhead, but a conventional warhead, or some other chemical, biological weapon, could very well be in the hands of a regime like Iran’s, which we know will use whatever advantage they have to intimidate as far as they think their voice can reach, and which – who are actively pursuing a missile development program.

“We’ve made the point to Russia, and we will make it again – and I think that they’re beginning to really believe it – that this is not about Russia. We have real potential threats and obviously Iran is the name we put to them.”