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Does Obama establish U.S.-European Space in response to Putin's 'Eurasian Union'?

Publication time: 18 February 2013, 18:05

Russian Service of the VOA ​​reports that Prof. Charles Gati from Foreign Policy Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University said in an interview to the radio station:

"The promise of a reset in relationship during the first term of Obama is a past history, it's over. We know that the president is wary, he prefers to avoid conflict, but he adheres to strict approach against terrorists (despite obvious facts, Obama calls this way not the Russians, but Muslims - KC) ".
 
Gati believes that limiting US goals in its relations with Russia is a mistake.

"The US has outside its borders a hostile world, it is paralyzed on domestic political arena, and foreigners see it. And if Russia and China join efforts to contain US influence? We need to be active to prevent such scenarios. We should be careful.

Europeans are also very critical on us - our policy is rejected in many parts of the world - this is not the world of 40-50 years ago. And if we do not face it - we will have big problems. In fact, because of limited ambitions, Obama will have no legacy of foreign policy. Except for getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Did we win there? I think it's a dead end".
 
Prof. Gati harshly criticized several missteps by Obama's administration.

"I think we simply failed with Radio Liberty. Some of responsible persons there were former ambassadors in Eastern Europe, who do not know anything about this. Incompetence was also manifested with the closure of the programs of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Russia - so really we do not know what happened there", said the analyst.

In an interview with the VOA, ​​Prof. Gati also said that both sides had played a role in a number of misunderstandings between the two countries, "but if we were to indicate the percentage, then over the last two to three years, 80% of the blame is with the Russian side".

"But there is no communist ideology, so it can not be called it Cold War (it can and need to be called like that, as the name does not refer to word communism, but implies an age-old ideological confrontation caused by a crazy mentality of the Russians - KC).
 
I think that Russia restores this conspiratorial mindset for the sake of domestic politics. There is no conspiracy, nobody is trying to disrupt the stability of Russia. The US has an interest in civil society, in promotion of democracy in Russia- but it depends on the Russians, not the Americans".

The politician said that Russia has not lost its significance: "It's a big country, an important country. But one side (America) can not implement policies, when the other side freezes or cancel some existing agreements. For example, the law on adoption of Russian children - is beyond my imagination why they made this decision.

Let's wait and see. Let's just see to what extent Russia finds again its demand for the West in general and the US in particular. I have highlighted the the president's proposal to create a joint US-European Economic Space, which may become a Political Space, and this may might have consequences for Russia.

Russia will have to deal, to a greater extent, than ever before, with attractive unified community - and the interaction with this community will be important for Russia. I hope that with it will be a Russian choice to have better relations with this community".
 
Asked about the possibility of a new agreement between Washington and Moscow on nuclear weapons, the analyst, said: "It is clear to me that Russia continues to be interested in arms control, but it is not interested in a rapprochement with the US in many other issues".

Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center



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