The House of Representatives of the US Congress held a meeting last week to discuss the relations with Russia and the “reset” perspectives. The members of Congress discussed many questions, including potential Russian membership in WTO, building ballistic missile defense systems in Europe, relations with Ukraine and Georgia and energy safety. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon was the keynote speaker.
Some Congressmen proved to be positively disposed to Russia and even self-critical. Thus, Congressman Rohrbacher claimed that the USA previously treated Russia as an “economical pariah”, moreover, his speech got a hand.
Congressmen also touched the question of the Jackson-Vanick amendment, which imposed restrictions on trade with the USSR. US Representative Robert Wexler insistently appealed the USA administration should cancel the amendment.
The House of Representatives was especially concerned about the recent interview by Vice-President Josef Biden to The Wall Street Journal after his trip to Ukraine and Georgia. Josef Biden claimed that the economic crisis in Russia could force it warm to the West.
"Russia has to make some very difficult, calculated decisions," Biden said. "They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable."
However, he underlined that the USA should not overestimate its superiority.
Thus Biden’s interview contradicts to Obama’s speech in Moscow when the US president claimed that the “U.S. seeks a "strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia.” As a result, the American diplomat had to make excuses. The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underlined that the USA treated Russia as a “great power” and that the reset button had been pushed.
Robert Gibbs, a spokesperson of the White House, went even further in an attempt to justify the White House. "In our national interest to maintain good relations with Russia, exactly the same as in Russia's interests to have good relations with our country. The positions of President and Vice-President in this agreement," the official said when journalists asked him to comment on Biden’s interview to the Wall Street Journal.
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon supported Robert Gibbs “The achievements of the Moscow Summit will help put an end to a period of dangerous drift in U.S.-Russian relations by increasing our cooperation on a range of issues that are fundamental to the security and the prosperity of both countries,” Philip Gordon said at the congressional hearings.
By Gordon’s opinion “the United States and Russia have gone far towards achieving this fresh start.”
According to Russian experts, Biden’s allegations won’t interfere with the “reset” process. Despite such controversial remarks, the president’s team is on the whole unified. All the present discrepancies do not go beyond the frameworks of the reset procedure.
It is worthy of note that it was Biden who put forward the term “reset”, thus he presents no danger to Russian-American relations.
Also read: Biden: The Gaffe Master