Skip to comments.US-Russia relations deteriorating sharply, experts warn
Posted on 06/06/2006 11:22:15 PM PDT by vertolet
Relations between the US and Russia are deteriorating badly and there is a danger of conflict in the flashpoints of the south Caucasus, according to senior former officials and corporate leaders advising the EastWest Institute (EWI).
EWI board members at the think-tank's annual meeting in Charleston were almost unanimous in calling for moves to prevent what one called an emerging "cold peace" between the US and Russia.
John Mroz, founder and president of EWI, called the deterioration worrisome. He placed the trend in the context of growing distrust between the major powers, including China, with the world in a state of transition between globalised and marginalised societies "no longer on automatic pilot moving towards a market-centric world".
This had resulted in the rise of ethnic and nationalist identities, with growing numbers seeing globalisation threatening their cultures and religion.
Western societies were also losing their moral authority, he said, citing the example of the reported massacre of Iraqi civilians by US troops in Haditha which would inflict "enormous damage" on the US.
Several speakers - who under EWU guidelines spoke on condition of anonymity - expressed concerns that "populist" presidents in Taiwan and Georgia risked overplaying their nationalist hands and triggering military incidents or conflict between the US and China, and the US and Russia.
With Montenegro newly independent, and Kosovo on the way to statehood, the dangers of domino-style conflict were rising in the breakaway, Russian-backed enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.
"Georgia is an alarming situation and worse than thought," said one former official.
"The mood is ugly and getting uglier," said a corporate executive on the state of US-Russia ties.
Noting that every declared US presidential candidate was "bashing Russia", one speaker predicted a worsening trend as both countries headed towards elections in 2008.
Established in 1980, EWI describes itself as a "do-tank", working mostly behind the scenes directly with governments to address global security concerns. In the mid-80s it arranged "non-meetings" of senior US and Soviet defence officials in Budapest to discuss confidence-building measures.
Under a new initiative, Germany has seconded Ortwin Hennig, a senior official dealing in conflict prevention, to EWI to head a task force on US-Russia relations. Washington and Moscow are also each appointing a senior diplomat to focus on the south Caucasus. EWI is working with diplomats from all sides preparing for the G8 summit in St Petersburg next month.
"Relations between the US and Russia are deteriorating badly..."
Good. Relations should deteriorate, with Russia supplying nuclear power plants and medium-range ballistic missiles to Iran, bringing Hamas to Moscow for meetings, using the guy whom just stepped down as chancellor of Germany as an errand boy in Gazprom (and don't think their influence over Hillary isn't just as great)---there should be a deterioration of relations with Russia.
"...and there is a danger of conflict in the flashpoints of the south Caucasus, according to senior former officials and corporate leaders advising the EastWest Institute (EWI)."
This part I don't like. I feel US power is overextended on the periphery of Russia and we will be rolled back.
"When did the American trials for crimes against humanity for say, slavery, take place?"
How dare you compare slavery to the genocide of 100 million in the last century.
How dare you compare Chicago politics to Russia which tried to kill the Pres of Ukraine several times - and which has killed political opponents within its own borders by the MILLIONS.
You are beneath contempt.
Critics of the US would therefore seem to be violating your first immutable rule of international relations which is never bash someone who can nuke you back to the stone age. Or does that rule only apply to the US?
Also, who cares if a bunch of leftists in Europe are behind the curve? They were behind the curve in the Cold War as well working to undermine US efforts to defeat Communism. I guess they violated your fourth principle as well which is never, ever underestimate your opponents.
I think that the United States has legitimate concerns with the behavior of the Putin regime-- which is trying to carve parts off of Georgia simply because it disapproves of Georgia's new government. Moreover, the Putin regime is reasserting a socialistic style of economic management-- consolidating ever more industries under state control. The U.S. should actively encourage economic liberalization and individual liberty in Russia and neighboring countries-- which means confronting the Putin regime diplomatically and issuing ultimata when necessary. It also means protecting persecuted entrepreneurs and dissenters when possible.
G. Stolyarov II
5. Kazakhstan was an ally in the Iraq invasion and is also strategically important. ==
So it wasn't about no "democracy" buyt about american interests. It is what I thought in first place.
Does Nazarbaev "democracy" is better then russian?
This question is irrelevant to the topic as well as Cheney's visit to Kazakhstan and what he did or didn't say there - and YOU KNOW THAT, Vanjusha!==
Irrelevent are you sure?:) Guy (Cheney) with highest pahos talked about how Russia didn't support "democracy". Then next days he goes to Kazkhstan and praises its president who is like mideival Khan rules there.
Whole Russia with interest watched how Cheney's words about democarcy goes to toilet just on next days. Russian TV and press showed Cheney visits and his words said in Kazakhstan.
Cheney embarrased America wholesale in eyes of even pro-american liberals who left in Russia.
After his this trick NO one can tell now that America is serious on democracy. But everyone tells that America uses the democracy case very selective. SO means russian people will not trust sincerity no american leaders anymore. That is what Cheney did.
He just helped Putin to paint America as selfish hypocrite who uses the "democracy" word just to bash Russia and conviniently overlook this "democracy" if it is in american interests.
P.S. He did even more. He "killed" politically Vlad Rizhkov who was the political leader of russian democrates. Today everyone asks him how much Cheney payed him to meet him:).
I think that the United States has legitimate concerns with the behavior of the Putin regime-- which is trying to carve parts off of Georgia simply because it disapproves of Georgia's new government. ==
Those parts of Georgia became Gorgia under order of Josef Stalin. In 1992-3 those pats liked to become free of Georgia. Then Gorgia waged 2 wars to bring them bakc but failed both. Today Georgia doesn't rule Abkhazia and S.Osetia.
So if we accept Montenegro and Kosovo independence from Serbia then we should accept same independence Abkhazia and S.Osetia from Georgia. If we are for fair and equality of cause. If we selfish hypocrites then not.
How dare you compare slavery to the genocide of 100 million in the last century.
How dare you compare Chicago politics to Russia which tried to kill the Pres of Ukraine several times - and which has killed political opponents within its own borders by the MILLIONS. ==
Spanalot again with your usual bull*:). You know that 100 millions is not that dramatic tell 1 billion next time:). Housewives will be impressed:).
American interests are what American foreign policy is about. Your complaint is not a new one. We hear this about American foreign policy in the Middle East and Latin America whenever we support less than democratic regimes.
What is more important in American foreign policy: protecting and projecting American interests or promoting democracy? I happen to think the former. It's nice if they coincide, but let's be realistic.
Cheney pointed out that Russia has backslid on democracy since Putin took office. True or not?
Do you mean to say that democracy is not in the interest of Russia?
Cheney pointed out that Russia has backslid on democracy since Putin took office. True or not? ==
The cardinal question. Honestly I would say that russian democracy is far behind american. And Russia needs long way to go.
But Cheney critisized Russia on hypocritical presumptions and simply wrong examples. So Cheney's critics are wrong and nontrustworsy.
But the answer about the progress of russian democracy - I not sure what it will be in that point. Probably something better then in TUrkey but worser then in France:).
Mass human misery is a terrible thing to behold. It makes those who do behold it ashamed and uncomfortable.
To weigh the misery of one group of people against that of another and state that one is greater is the height of arrogance and demeans the sufferers on both sides of the purported scales. Before you try to make any claim that I was weighing one against the other I point out that I only juxtaposed them, and made no claim that one was greater than or more worthy of retribution than the other. But you did attempt to weigh them and by doing so you proved yourself a pathetic little thing.
I compared elections in Russia to elections in Chicago, and you have no answer to that. So instead you raise subject matters unrelated to elections inside Russia in the hopes of disguising your intellectual bankruptcy.
I tore apart your squalid little five point quite easily and this seems to enrage you.
I regard your expressions of contempt as having in the same weight as the promises of a six-year-old to "HATE YOU FOREVER!!!" as expressed to his father when dad says it is time to go to bed and the child doesn't want to.
A person less restrained than I might suggest that you cut the Sarah Bernhardt b******t.
"Spanalot again with your usual bull*:). You know that 100 millions is not that dramatic "
Bite your tongue - you will meet them someday.
The "experts" just now realized this? Things have been going down hill every since Comrade Putin came into power.
"I compared elections in Russia to elections in Chicago, and you have no answer to that."
I don't think you like the American way of life, do you ?
Sure , there's lots of speculation about some precinct ballots in one election in Chicago a long time ago, but you use this to slander our great history of democracy.
We are the longest living constitutional cemocracy in the history of the world and you slander this to promote Russia.
You point out correctly that democracy has different speeds and paths of development in different countries (France v Turkey), so your main criticism of Cheney's remarks is that he didn't blast Kazakhstan for their lack of democracy. Kazakhstan is clearly behind Russia in terms of democratic development, but you think that should be his primary message to Nazarbayev should be to democratize. Because if that isn't the message then Bush is being hypocritical. This strikes me as naive.
Do you think his blasting of Belarus as "the last dictatorship in Europe" was justified or just hypocritical?
Should Cheney not criticize any country if they regress in terms of democracy because other countries are even further behind?
"This is not a one-time deal in 1960, this is every election since the Thirties. Federal, state, local."
You must be on drugs - or an unabashed Russophile.
We know who you are too and stop slandering "ever election" in ANY part of this country.
Russia has been a blight to humanity and your straw dog fallacy will never change it.