Both Russia and the USA are running the policy of self-delusion for the protection of their own interests
The Russian government never likes to learn. History has proved tbis so many times. One has to be really cautious with relations with Americans. One has to listen to what they say, but Russian officials still sing a song in America’s glory. They hope to receive something from it.
Russia perceives the USA as its key partner. This was said by Russian Minister for Economic Development and Trade German Gref. So what? Russia can feel the same about Zanzibar as well, but the economic gains of the latter will not be increased even a bit because of that.
The summit between Russia and the USA in Houston is over. The business trip of the Russian delegation was in vain. Instead of investments, Russia received a piece of paper, which was signed by four ministers. Was there anything bigger to expect?
In the meantime, the results of the Russian-American “partnership” are showing. Iraqi Deputy Minister for Oil said today that Iraq was going to increase its crude output up to six million barrels a day, instead of the planned four million. Needless to mention that Iraqi is doing its best in order to avoid American and British agression. This will be the latest intervention in the history of the Persian Gulf. The Arab world is rather serious about the possible scenario of Russian competition in the field of oil. Russia decided for itself that it could be a large gambler on the oil market, so the resources for the increase of the crude output can be found without American investment. In addition to that, the USA has been using this “Russian factor” in its relations with other crude exporters.
Colin Powell did not forget to mention that George Bush’s administration understands Russia’s wish to keep its leading position in the Iraqi oil industry. Powell stated that the USA was well-aware of the interests of the countries in the region, as well as of the consequences that might follow a regime change. If American forces Saddam out, then there will be no one among the Russian oil companies to control Iraqi oil. Men from Texas and Alabama will have control instead.
The USA has been having its own way. The United States needs to get at least a silent consent from Russia for a war against Iraq. Even if Russia keeps silent, the conversation with other members of the UN Security Council (China and France) will be a much different. That is why Colin Powell connects Russia’s consent with a possible lifting of the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment to the US Constitution (the amendment keeps Russian companies from accessing American markets).
However, American politicians think that another promise from the American secretary might not have any effect at all. They believe that Russians start getting nervous over the withdrawal of the mentioned amendment. Furthermore, this Jackson-Vanik thing always comes up when the USA wants something from Russia really badly. America always promises to lift the amendment, but it is still there for some reason.
By the way, Russia and America have gotten a lot closer to each other, owing to the concessions on Russia’s part of course. President Putin agreed to the deployment of the American military in the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Putin did not become hysterical about the USA’s pulling out from the ABM Treaty of 1972. Putin did not mind Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonias' idea to join NATO. Putin ordered to shut down Soviet army bases in Cuba and Vietnam, because our American “partners” wanted it. In return, the USA acknowledged Russia as a country with a market economy and promised $300 million in loans to Russian oil companies. That’s it. Not much, indeed.
American analysts are right: Russian politicians and economic figures are becoming more and more annoyed with the state of things. This definitely shows great influence on Russia’s position regarding Iraq. The USA is coming to the realize this, slowly, but surely.
The USSR’s policy was reasonable and weighted, despite all of its disadvantages. The state was doing its best to achieve its goals. All of that has been completely ruined. There are no goals, no priorities, and no ways to achieve any goals. It is hilarious to say that Russia’s main goal is to become the USA’s ally in the world and to sell more oil and gas to America. It is obvious that neither the USA nor Russia need this. Someone once said the following: “Politics is the art of the possible.” It would be Much better for Russia to deal with possible things now.
Dmitry Slobodanuk PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov