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Obama and Surkov

We didn’t bother making a big deal out of Liz Cheney’s Wall Street Journal article from a few weeks back, which excoriated President Barack Obama for his speech in Moscow, arguing that he seemed a little too nice to the Russians and presented distortion of the Reaganite Cold War history.  (For example, I don’t recall W. bothering to meet with Nemtsov and Kasparov while swooning in Putin’s gaze.)  Cheney’s article was a hit among some members of Russia’s opposition, who are eager to discard the reset diplomacy approach as a sign that Obama is politically identical to Putin and Medvedev.  Riiiight.  Anyways, this piece from Alexei Victorovich Chadayev in Nezavisimaya Gazeta last week makes an interesting comparison on the non-intervention statements made by Obama being similar to Vladislav Surkov’s sovereign democracy doctrine.

“State sovereignty must be the cornerstone of international order. …America will not seek to impose any system of government on any othercountry, nor would we presume to choose which party or individualshould run a country. … Just as all states should have the right tochoose their leaders, states must have the right to borders that aresecure, and to their own foreign policies. That is true for Russia,just as it is true for the United States. Any system that cedes thoserights will lead to anarchy. … Every country charts its own course.”And then: “… America seeks an international system … where we holdourselves to the same standards that we apply to other nations.”[Editor’s Note: Quotes are not in the order that they were expressed inObama’s speech].

As I listened to this, I had the impression that the U.S. presidentwas reading aloud a famous article by Vladislav Surkov, Paragraphs inFavor of Sovereign Democracy.

Surkov: “To be on the side of the community of sovereign democracies(and the free market) – is to be against any kind of globaldictatorship (or monopoly). Maintaining national sovereignty is afactor in any fair globalization and democratization of globalrelations. These ideas emerge out of the concept of a just world basedon a community of free societies (sovereign democracies), andcooperation and competition conducted according to reasonable rules.”