Positive signs by Moscow and Washington backed by words of friendship, the Russian Federation and the USA move towards a new era of collaboration.
The unilateral decision by the USA to substantially reduce its arsenal of nuclear warheads was matched by President Vladimir Putin, whose decision to respond in kind was welcomed by the western press.
The two presidents concluded months of behind-the-scenes planning with frank and open conversations in which the two countries’ positions were declared in an atmosphere of friendship and trust. The mists of suspicion, mistrust and apprehension of the Cold War days have lifted forever.
Vladimir Putin commented that “We intend to conclusively dismantle the vestiges of the Cold War”. For George Bush, this was “a new day in the long history of Russian/American relations, a day of progress and a day of hope”.
The issue of the 1972 ABM Treaty was again approached. The Russian position continues to be that any missile defence system is a violation of the treaty (to note, under the terms of this agreement, signed between the USSR and the USA in 1972, it was expressly forbidden to implement any such shield). However, Washington reiterates its position that a new agreement is needed for a new era.
President Bush stated that the USA intends “ to develop a new strategic framework which allows both countries to face the real threats of the twenty-first century as partners and friends, and not as enemies”. To this, Vladimir Putin declared that it would be possible for the two countries to reach agreement, and that he hoped that George Bush would leave Moscow on his next visit with a signed treaty under his arm.
The two presidents will deepen their friendship during the Putins’ stay with the US President and his wife at his ranch house in Crawford, Texas. The Putins will stay there until Sunday, November 25th.
Regarding the future, Vladimir Putin said that “President George Bush knows that he has a permanent invitation to go to Russia, whether it is a visit of state, an official or working visit, at any time convenient to him. However, the best time would be at the beginning of Summer, at the time of the white nights of Saint Petersburg”.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru