The US Council on Foreign Relations has recently published a special report on Russia. The report was prepared under the direction of the former member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Jack Kemp (70) and former Dem. Senator John Edwards (52).
The 94-page report was titled as follows: “Russia’s Wrong Direction: What the United States Can and Should Do.” The authors of the document criticize the politics run by the Russian administration and urge Russia to conduct a closer cooperation with the West on key international issues.
The Kepm-Edwards report condemns the policies that Russia runs on the post-Soviet space. According to the officials, such politics undermines stability and threatens the independence of its neighbours. The cooperation which Russia runs in the energy field with Ukraine is described as “a potential instrument of political intimidation.” According to the US officials, the power in Russia is democratic only outwardly, whereas the content of the Russian power is not democratic at all. Jack Kemp and John Edwards believe that the US administration should not only express its concerns about the current state of democratic affairs in Russia. They think that the USA needs to increase the funding of the Russian non-governmental organizations intended to participate in parliamentary and presidential elections in 2007-2008. To crown it all, the authors of the report do not view the strategic partnership with Russia as a realistic prospect. They believe that the White House should conduct a “selective cooperation” with Moscow.
Making a statement for NBC, Kemp and Edwards said that the Group of Eight was not an eternal organization. “It can easily turn to the Group of Seven again,” they said. Such a turn of events is possible if Russia refuses to cooperate with the West in the solution of such problems as the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the anti-terrorist struggle. They recommended the G7 foreign ministers should hold a special meeting before the G8 summit in St.Petersburg (slated for July) and discuss their attitude and intentions towards Russia . Edwards, however, believes that it would be better to keep Russia a G8 member, “at least for the time being.”
The Director of Russian and Asian programs of the Institute of Global Security, Nikolai Zlobin, told the Vremya Novostei newspaper that the Kemp-Edwards report represented the general attitude of the US administration to Russia . “The report stands between the radical point of view which demands Russia 's immediate expulsion from the G8 and a softer stance, according to which one could let the relations with Russia take their course.
Nikolai Zlobin added that the US Council on Foreign Relations was a rather influential organization developing foreign policy recommendations for the US administration. “Many of those who worked on the report may come to power in the USA in two years and start fulfilling their goals,” said he. “The US establishment has probably realized that the US politics towards Russia is collapsing and needs to be revised fundamentally. “There are too many problems left between the two countries. However, the leaders have been able to avoid them successfully so far owing to healthy personal relations. The USA has a chance to come to a serious crisis in the relations with Russia when both George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin leave their posts,” the scientist of politics concluded.