Russia » Politics
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Condoleezza Rice rejects USA's intention to reduce Russia's influence in post-Soviet states

The US Secretary of State believes that the cooperation between the Russian Defense Ministry and the US Pentagon is perfect

The visit of the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to Russia, which started yesterday, on April 19th, was formally devoted to George W. Bush's forthcoming visit to Moscow on May 9th. The US president is expected to visit Moscow on the invitation to participate in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Victory over Nazism. It goes without saying, though, that Rice's stay in Moscow is not limited to the above-mentioned preparations only. The US Secretary of State will discuss a wide range of questions with the Russian administration too: from non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to freedom of press in Russia.

Condoleezza Rice started her “formal” visit in a rather informal way. When the Secretary of State was on her way to Moscow, a telephone terrorist called Renaissance Hotel, in which the American delegation was going to stay, and said that a bomb had been placed there. Rice's security did not appreciate the “joke” – when the plane landed in Moscow, the US delegation left for the residence of the US ambassador. When it became known that the message about  the bomb was false, the delegates decided to check in Renaissance.

While special services were investigating the “bomb” in the hotel, the US Secretary of State left for a meeting with the Russian Defense Ministry Sergei Ivanov. Condoleezza Rice has already met Mr. Ivanov before, during the time, when she was taking the position of the US National Security advisor.

Rice and Ivanov discussed questions about non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. When the talks were over, it became known that the US Secretary of State had achieved certain “concessions” connected with American specialists' access to closed nuclear objects in Russia. According to Rice, the cooperation
between the Russian Defense Ministry and the US Pentagon was almost perfect.

Condoleezza Rice touched upon the question of recent revolutions on the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States too. She said in an interview with the Echo of Moscow radio station that Russia was a stable state, which had an opportunity to develop democratic processes and institutes, and where people could freely express their views and hopes. Therefore, Rice concluded, there was no need to think about it as revolutions. The US Secretary of State did not forget to add a few ritual words about the need in democratic development. She stated that the relations between the USA and Russia would continue improving if Russia could fully unveil its potential and strengthen democracy.

Condoleezza Rice shared her opinion regarding the widespread point of view, which says that the series of revolutions in post-Soviet states was the result of interference that the West on the whole and the USA in particular carried out to weaken Russia's influence in the countries of the former USSR. “The USA does not have a wish to reduce Russia's influence in those regions. As a matter of fact, we do not see it as a game, in which someone wins and someone loses. We see it as a game, in which everyone has an opportunity to win, when prosperous and economically developed countries are being established on Russia's borders,” Rice said. According to the official, there was no “export of democracy” from Washington at all. The USA's role was simply about the position, according to which the US administration believed that the people had a right to control their future, Rice stated.

”It is correct to believe that democracy should develop globally. The USA and the European Union backed the development of civil society and non-governmental institutions in many places. It was so in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The peoples of those nations were taking their own steps towards their freedom,” Condoleezza Rice concluded.

It is noteworthy that any visit of a high-ranking American official to Russia during the recent couple of years has been viewed as how “tough” the reprimand to the Russian administration would be. They expect that Condoleezza Rice's latest visit to Russia will clearly demonstrate the fundamental change of the US administration's policies towards Russia, which is not likely to follow.

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