Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, the leadership of the U.S. EastWest Institute (EWI) urged to utilize "the historic chance to change the nature of American-Russian relations." EWI President John Mroz, former Democratic Senator David Boren, and a number of other American international relations experts stated this in a report called "Building a New Relationship with Putin's Russia." The institute's experts have come to the conclusion that Russia and the U.S. have arrived at a turning point which makes changes in the nature of relations between the two countries possible. The other conclusion of the report is that this turning point opens the opportunity to rely on positive processes in Russia, as well as the energy and political will of the Russian and U.S. presidents. The participants of the press conference endorsed the reform-oriented approach Russia has been promoting. At the same time they stressed that the U.S. and the West in general are "morally responsible" for giving Russia the help it needs. The writers of the report believe that Russia and the U.S. are to find mutually acceptable solutions to international security issues, the ABM treaty, NATO's role, and NATO's relationship with Russia, and the restructuring of the former Soviet debt. A change in the basis of the American-Russian relations, the EWI experts think, will not occur overnight. The two countries need to approach each other with no prejudice and with realism. They are to avoid overly high expectations, which were typical for the American-Russian relations in the early 1990s.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia