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The Washington-Moscow connection

Colin Powell failed to live up to the expectations

Russian mass media has dedicated a lot of attention to the recent visit of the US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Moscow. The event is quite significant indeed, especially in the light of constant discussions concerning gradual change of American-Russian relations for the worse.

Majority of commentaries possessed a rather strange tone. Analysts and politicians assumed that Powell will be displeased with Kremlin's politics. Several Russian political experts regarded Powell's visit in the following way, “Landlord arrives; he is the one to settle our disputes.”

Powell in turn could have been “displeased” with several things: with our weapon supply to Iraq, with Chechnya, with military bases in Georgia and Moldova, with Yukos and Khodorkovsky, and finally, with our most recent elections to the State Duma. All of the above topics are widely criticized in the West. Their discussions of these events at times end with summons to end all relations with Moscow.

If the great West along with the entire US really did pay any attention at such discussions, present-day Secretary of State Powell would not have needed to visit Russia’s capital. What new information could he possibly reveal to us?

Nevertheless, Powell has made several statements upon his arrival to Moscow. The main theme appears to be the following: The US is perplexed by some events in Russian internal and foreign policies. However, current relations between the two countries are very well grounded, thus allowing for such open dialogue to take place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a similar statement. “Fundamental basis of the American-Russian relations is quite strong, despite some differences in opinions regarding our foreign policy. Our strong ties will enable us to resolve such issues.”

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov concluded at the end of the negotiations that no “storms” predicted by some Russian media sources had taken place in the course of Powell's visit.

It would be incorrect however to claim that Washington-Moscow connection is absolutely perfect. It is not terrible either. Nobody wants additional headache. Overall, it appears quite problematic to make any predictions regarding future long-term American-Russian relations. Both America and Russia will face presidential elections in a not so distant future. Afterwards, we will be entitled to make some predictions regarding further development of our relations.     

 

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