An editorial on the Obama overtures to Russia is running in the Financial Times this weekend, pondering whether the Kremlin is ready to act its age and reciprocate some of these concessions being offered by Washington. The initial reaction seems only lukewarm, and surprisingly defensive about somehow being victimized: “We will not be a country to which decisions can be dictated or one whose interests may not be taken into account,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. What on earth is he talking about? Doesn’t seem like constructive beginning.
From the FT:
Will Russia respond positively? Given the unpredictability of the Putin-Medvedev duumvirate, we cannot say. What is not in doubt is that Mr Obama is going out of his way to defuse Russia’s security concerns. The US has abandoned plans for immediate Nato enlargement to Georgia and Ukraine. The US has given the green light for Nato re-engagement with Russia, despite deep misgivings about Moscow’s actions in Georgia. The US is prepared to compromise on missile defence, even though this would cause deep concern in east European states that backed the programme. So now the ball is in Russia’s court. The world needs to know whether Vladimir Putin wants to go on cutting an unpredictable and irrational figure. Or whether he is a grown-up who genuinely seeks to solve the world’s big problems.