Korea, the Middle East, Iraq, and the Balkans next
When Russian diplomacy helped to settle the inter-Korean conflict, it proved once again that Russian diplomats by right occupy their position on the international scene. Moscow managed to cope with a problem that had been difficult for both Washington and Tokyo. What is more, this success has brought not only political dividends to Russia, but economic dividends as well. As for the political sphere, this success of Russian diplomats will help Russia settle the dispute surrounding the northern territories that Russia aquired from Japan after it capitulated in 1945.
As is known, the construction of a Trans-Korean railway will allow the Trans-Siberian railway to operate at its full capacity, which, in its turn, is to bring billion dollar profits. However, Russia will be able to exert its influence not only in the Far East, but also in the Middle East, as it is one of the four Mideast peace mediators (the UN, USA, EU, and Russia).
For the time being, Moscow is inactive in the diplomatic sphere: Washington occupies the leading positions. However, the situation has changed for the better with time, and without any assistance from the USA. Washington failed to become an arbitrator in the Mideast conflict and decided to take the side of one of the conflicting parties. It is quite natural that the other party (Palestine) disliked this fact. This is why every good idea suggested by the White House bumped into the wall of distrust, and the conflict still increased at the same time.
Yesterday, mediators of the Mideast peace process finally managed to come up with a well-coordinated plan which is designed for three years. The mediators suggest that the Palestinian security services should be reformed and Israeli troops should be shifted to the positions they occupied two years ago. After that, a draft constitution will be developed and hypothetical borders of a new Palestinian state, which is to be created by 2005, will be drawn. According to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, this process will be closely observed for the successful realization of its objectives.
Russian diplomacy still persists that the Iraqi problem should be settled peacefully. Moscow was an active supporter of the international inspectors’ return to Iraq, and this was also Russia’s contribution to the settlement of this great problem. However, the crisis isn’t solved yet, and Washington can’t but admit that considerable progress has been achieved.
Today, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov left for a three-day visit to the USA. He is to take part in the first session of the Russian-American advisory group for strategic security, which was formed on the level of the defense and foreign departments of both countries. The presidents of Russia and America agreed on the creation of the group during the Moscow summit. The advisory group is to consider problems of strategic cooperation and international security problems.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/18/47237.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969