Russian political scientists comment on the visit to Russia by US President George W. Bush and the expected signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Chairman of the Federation Council's defence committee Viktor Ozerov believes that the final document, prepared for signing, "is one of the best variants for Russia." "For the first time in the past ten years Russia has achieved an international law document in this sphere, a document which will be ratified by the parliaments of both countries," underscored Viktor Ozerov. In the opinion of the senator, "Russia will be able to plan its defence policy, the sphere of the armed forces, including nuclear containment." Chairman of the People's Party of Russia, leader of the Duma's People's Deputy Group Gennady Raikov expressed the hope that at their coming meeting the Russian and American Presidents would confirm that the missiles of our countries were not targeted at each other.
The parliamentarian also expects that the meetings between the two Presidents will result in signing documents aimed at pooling the efforts of Russia and the United States in the fight against international terrorism without "double standards". He also spoke in favour of signing agreements which would expand cultural and sports cooperation between the two countries. Raikov also expects that the Russian-American summit will result in signing the agreement on annulling the Jackson-Vanik limiting amendment with regard to Russia which was adopted to the law on trade in 1974.
Deputy head of the Duma's Yabloko faction Vladimir Lukin considers that the coming signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty "will be a serious step forward" in the development of Russian-American relations. "The new treaty proceeds from the lower ceilings than the START-2, and this fact testifies to progress," believes the parliamentarian.
On the whole, Vladimir Lukin expects from George Bush's visit to Russia "a good and constructive rhetoric and the formalisation of a new system of cooperation between Russia and NATO within the framework of the twenty countries, though it is not an ideal system of European security." Deputy head of the Duma's Unity faction Vladislav Reznik says that our countries had approached this summit "with the understanding that the national interests do not contradict each other." At the same time the parliamentarian called upon the United States "to juridically recognise a new reality with regard to Russia," having in mind the norms, still existing in the American legislation, that are discriminatory with respect to Russia. "The inertia of the past is still strong in the US Congress," said Reznik.
LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky believes that there are reasons to expect "break-through decisions" from the meeting between the leaders of Russia and the United States. At this meeting Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush should speak about the improvement of relations between the two countries. According to Zhirinovsky, Russia and America should become real partners as it was at the end of the Second World War.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre